There comes a point when the excitement of possibility requires you to re-examine your routine.
Roben-Marie and I were chatting via Skype. We do this from time to time, and a simple call becomes a gab-fest for at least an hour. Despite the differences in our art, we find we’re often on the same page; I’ve long accepted the way our thoughts and feelings match up as a type of serendipity. And lately, it seems we’ve been dwelling on something: that our business selves have taken over our artistic selves when it comes to where we’re directing our energy. In fact, when she brought it up, I said:
“I know exactly what you mean. Look at my to-do list — most of it is computer work. Only one thing on here is creating art.”
Here’s a little view of the inside: I spend more time doing admin work on my various lists and sites, creating online content (such as blog posts, essays, photos, etc), and contacting people via social media than I do creating any sort of art. And of all my artist friends, there’s only one or two I can think of that spend more time making art than the other way around, but they have people helping them out when it comes to the internet, or simply have made a conscious choice to reverse this tide.
And this is what Roben and I were discussing. Figuring out a way to spend more time making art and less time on the computer. How could we accomplish this? Roben runs her own stamp company, so she certainly has more work than me, and has to bring someone in to help her out. She’s realized she can’t do it all on her own, not if she wants to continue to grow as an artist. And she’s taking a few new classes to help her grow in a few new areas in her life.
Myself, I’m taking a drawing class at the local community college to help boost my productivity and learn a few new skills. I’ve tried to automate a lot of my services on the web — digital downloads don’t require me to send any sort of file, and Journaling Deep adds people automatically, now. The blog will get a little face lift soon as I continue to let it grow and evolve just like me.
But it’s hard to create new, exciting content to present to the world via the internet if you don’t have any time to make any art. This summer, I took time off from social media to work in my journal, and was amazed at how many new things I discovered. And then I turned around and started sharing them with you. I feel like that was important, taking that break, devoting extra time every day to my journal and paintings. And I need to rediscover this balance as 2012 begins. Because I now see myself as a professional, finally, have stepped up to teach in-person again (this upcoming Wednesday; if you’re in the Phoenix area, I’d love for you to come!), am a designer, now. Have my tablet to create new digital content. And Journaling Deep has such potential, I’m excited to be on this roller coaster without a safety net.
How about you? Is art still a hobby, or is it what you love to do?
I feel as though I’ve broken free of the cocoon and am unfurling my wings, prepping for my first solo flight as a transformed creature. I can paint my wings, sing with my soul, and pray I catch the wind.
I’m currently under the weather, so Journaling Deep will be sent out tomorrow. If you’re expecting anything from me, I appreciate your patience. I’m hoping that by resting yesterday and today, I’ll be back at it tomorrow and work through the weekend.