One hour, everyday. No excuses.
My challenge is to commit to spending time in my studio making art (organizing and prepping doesn’t count) for just one hour a day. I’ve got to say that after more than halfway into my challenge it has made a huge difference.
I’m an artist and have been for many years, with a focus on photography. I love creating images with my camera and have worked very hard to build and sustain my business. And in addition to my photography, painting is also an important part of my life. But making that time for fine art practice has been a struggle for me–big time.
I’ve found for the last few years, that even though I have been making strides to make fine art more of a priority in my life, I haven’t made it a habit. I tend to treat it like dessert; if I have room for it, if I feel like I “deserve it” I’ll gift some studio time to myself. I discovered that this approach didn’t work for me. Something always came up–a new client inquiry, just a little more editing and retouching, a sales meeting, a photo shoot, laundry, marketing opportunities–something, any box that needed to be checked before it was “ok” for my art practice.
Alright, I’ll try something else, I thought. I’ll set up my schedule ahead of time, with a few hours blocked out on my calendar, a couple of times a week. Then for sure I’ll be able to focus on making art.
I figured out a way to sabotage that too. I can get into deep emotional insights on why this block scheduling didn’t work (or hasn’t worked just yet) but the short story is, it just didn’t. I let anything and everything fill that time slot.
I needed to build a new habit–the habit of making art.
So my coach (I have a lovely creative and business coach that has been such a tremendous support to me) and I decided I’d try an hour a day for thirty days. I could begin my day with an idea in mind about when I’d put my time in. The hour could fit in at any time during the day, as long as I fit it in. I could spend more than an hour in my studio but the challenge was to do it every day. If I were traveling, I wouldn’t be able to put my time in, but otherwise, my hour was a top-level priority.
Sure, I’ve missed a day, maybe two due to illness, but otherwise, this art practice is becoming part of my daily routine, a new habit. I’ve declared this challenge to my friends and loved ones so they hold me accountable, which helps me a lot.
Maybe you have no issues spending time on your art practice–great for you! But perhaps you’ve experienced something similar to me, wherein you know you want to make art but can’t quite turn it into your reality. I am constantly trying to figure out how I can choose to step into what fulfills me on a daily basis rather than waiting for the perfect time when all of my other boxes are checked. It’s hard, but it’s possible. We’ll see how the next couple of weeks go!
What tactics have you found help you make the time for your art practice?