In CVA Art Blog

Here’s a great blog for artists who struggle to carve out creative time as well as those who get stuck in a funk.

A couple of years ago I struggled with finding the time to paint….

I worked under the assumption that I needed several hours of time to really get anything done and if I didn’t have several hours then it wasn’t worth me even getting started. I work a full-time job but I need to make art so I decided to challenge that notion.

In my day job I manage print production for a book publisher. This requires me to do several things throughout the day and I’m continually interrupted with emergencies, meetings, requests etc. I generally have an idea of what is in store each day, but know it can turn sideways at any moment. I don’t believe in multi-tasking, it’s impractical, what I do instead is chunk my time into smaller dedicated pieces. This allows me to give my undivided attention to a task in a short period of time. So, I brought this line of thinking into how I paint.

Before I go to work in the morning I have 15 to 30 minutes of time after breakfast at my disposal. I chunk to parts of the process that don’t require much time, but are important to the process. Some of the ways that I will use this time are:

  • Stretching paper
  • Cutting the sheets to size
  • Doing the underpainting
  • When you take the photo, remember to tilt the camera slightly down to match the angle that the artwork is leaning—this will help minimize distortion of the original image.
  • Take photos of works in progress to look at throughout the day
  • Spend time sitting and looking at what I’ve already painted
  • Journal about what I’m working on or new ideas
  • Start writing a blog post
  • Set-up lights and camera for photographing pieces that evening
  • Clean and organize the studio space
  • Experiment with some ideas
  • Reading about art or creativity

All of these little chores add up and free me when I do have more time in the evening and weekend to commit to painting. They also keep the creativity flowing throughout the day by keeping my hands and mind in the process. I take my journals with me everywhere, when I get a break or at lunch I try to write a little about what I’m working on or ideas I want to try. I also have been enjoying having the work in progress on my phone to look through. The smaller images help me see if the composition is working and I can identify what my next steps might be. One other thing I do throughout the day is check into Pinterest looking for more abstracts I can add to my board of inspiring abstract art.

These are all simple acts that keep me engaged in my art and creative process so I don’t go days without engaging in making art and have to deal with that feeling of needing to reconnect with what I’m working on.

If you find yourself with not enough time to paint, try to commit to spending 15 to 30 minutes to making art several days a week, you may find that it adds up fast and you are making more work than you have before.

What are some of your ideas for making art with limited time?

Happy Creating!

+ Learn more …You can view  West’ s original post from West Hardin-Leeth Fine Art here

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