I am an Artist. It’s my career, my profession, its what I ‘do’.
It’s my day job ( my night job too). It’s the fire in my veins.
So what happens when I’m getting no art done?
How do I let that happen?
Am I even still an ‘Artist’ when I’m doing hardly any art at all?
I’ve been ‘on the road’ for the last month with huge, back to back exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne. Early starts and late finishes leave little ‘me’ time, little creative energy…and I start to worry about not being ‘creative everyday’.
I’m sure, what I am going through isn’t at all unusual. All arts professional need to take time to work on the ‘business end’ so their career continues to flourish and move forward. Being out of the cocoon and connecting with collectors of my work is essential. I have a chance to see what I have created with fresh eyes. I glimpse the legacy I am creating over my lifetime.
So, taking a step away from art making is a bit of a rush. For me, it’s a solitary process. I need space to create. It could quite easily be described as a rather selfish endeavor. So a step into the Outside World and to be in amongst crowds of people is a good thing.
At an exhibition, the prime focus is on me and my artwork of course. Being the centre of attention, public speaking, demonstrating what I do by painting live on stage takes a type of courage that is born of ‘just doing’. When I engage with people, I can feel the energy pouring out of me, I’m one of those ‘you have my undivided attention’ people. It’s exactly like creating art and at the end of the day, I’m pretty depleted and I need to rest to refresh and refill.
I also get to meet many of my online students and that’s a really magic moment for me, to hug someone I have come to know online through their art . There is laughter, much sharing of journals, sometimes there are tears. It’s emotional and the highlight of my days out in the ‘real world’.
So when I am ‘on Tour’ I am doing very important things. But I do leave behind being an ‘Artist’. I just don’t get to it… I may do a bit of painting, a smidge of journaling here and there. I pack all my art stuff and hardly look at it.
And yet I know that my students are squeezing their art into their days somehow. In amongst motherhood, jobs, partners, renovations, illness and life in general.
So am I letting myself down by not pushing myself to keep creating while I am on tour? Should I be planing my days and structuring ‘creative time’?
How do you feel when you go on a creative hiatus? Does it make you worry, or feel guilty? Does a little part of you whisper that you may ‘forget’ how to be creative if you don’t keep at it?
Or can a little break be a good thing? I come back into my Studio and see un-completed paintings with fresh eyes. I see all of my supplies anew and want to open up every draw and see if my pencils missed me ( they did!).
Other times, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things… I find that’s when attending a workshop is particularly helpful! To surround myself with other artists and learn some new skills. It can be a perfect creative kick-start.
Joynal starts on Monday and I am madly busy with all the admin preparations that entails. There’s still been little time for creating artwork for myself…but! I go into fairy mode tomorrow! And I can feel the excited anticipation of ideas that have been formulating in my mind for the past 6 months… things I want to draw, to paint, to teach. I like to expose the secrets of what I do. I like sharing my creativity. I love the challenge of breaking down what I create into its essential elements. I love sharing in my students creativity.
Even when I’m not creating art… I’m still always an Artist at heart. I feel it deep down, through and through.
How do you find time for Art? And when you don’t, how do you feel?