Is it possible, while still working full-time, to spend time every day on a creative project?
For years, I asked myself that question and yet seemed unable to establish a daily rhythm that would make my dream possible. Yet, painting or drawing once in a while did not satisfy me any more. I wanted more.
So my creative goal for 2016 is to spend at least 30 minutes a day on a creative project. I am focusing on collage painting at the moment.
To help me keep this long-term goal, I’ve joined A year of creative habits. I knew it would be difficult to establish a new routine, especially if I tried to make it on my own. Accountability is key, and knowing that other artists are struggling and creating along with me, as well as the encouragement they offer, provides some of the motivation I need to continue daily.
Here is an overview of the past few weeks:
- What works for me at the moment is art just after breakfast, before work, with a good cup of coffee. Basically, I don’t allow myself to go to work until I’ve done 30 minutes of art.
- I’m working regularly in my visual journals and have also started a large format painting. The journal is a familiar and a safe place to process thoughts and develop ideas. The large canvas is where I have decided to take on something new, and for the moment, it is rather difficult.
- I find myself thinking of my artwork throughout the day, especially before falling asleep and when waking up. When I get to the studio, I usually have new ideas to feed my work.
- Many days, I work more than 30 minutes, often continuing in the evening.
It has been only 17 days. I can’t help but imagine how much further along I will have taken my work after 365 days!
I was talking to a seasoned artist yesterday who reminded me that art would always be there for me. Our conversation revolved around the topic of making a living and finding time for the art we so enjoy.
It’s both very simple and complex; you just need to show up.
It was a timely remark as I try to integrate in my schedule a more regular art practice, while still working full-time as a translator. This brings me to the topic of creating small art pieces:
- Small art pieces are a way to get back to a regular art practice. It’s a simple way to ease in to art.
- Starting small is less intimidating then envisioning a large project, especially if you have other work. Starting in and of itself is rewarding.
- A “sample” is a good way to develop an idea or concept and can lead to other projects.
Remember to create, even on a small scale.
I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony. – G. Flaubert
If you come by my site regularly, you might remember a very similar post last year. Somehow, it was lost (with others) following technical issues. Because some of my readers have asked questions about my stand up desk, I’ve decided to write another blog post.
After all, we should really not sit all day!
Materials used for this project:
- Dark wood stain
- Medium size paintbrush
- Paper towel or lint-free cloth
- Electric desk base found at ErgoCanada
- Wood or pressed wood board for desk top
- Large piece of glass, if desired, to protect the stained surface
I asked my daughter, Rebekkah, to help me with this project. I loved the flower pattern she used to refinish my writing desk, so this is how she did it.
She started by tracing the flower pattern lightly with a pencil on the desk top.
Then, two stain colors were mixed to get a deep reddish brown. Before applying the stain, it’s important to have paper towel or another lint-free cloth at hand to wipe off and spread the stain as you apply it.
Winter has been stretching our patience, testing our limits. It has been both intervening and interruptive (see definition above).
While looking through the window at another snowfall, I enjoyed a moment of quiet creativity, a winter interlude.
A well-known Quebec singer-songwriter, Gilles Vigeault wrote:
Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver. (Translation: my country is not a country, it’s winter.)
This was the starting point of this small project.
A few dictionary pages, cardboard and an accordion fold. I enjoy the simplicity of small accordion books. Anyone can make one and the creative possibilities are endless.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
— Maya Angelou