Past Posts

August 2009
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Establishing an Art Time

“I have NO time to be an artist.  What with the children, my job, my in-laws, the after school sports, all the meetings. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! And by the end of the day I am too tired to think about it.  Maybe when I retire.”

How about this one “I could do that if I put my mind to it and had the time.”

Does this sound familiar?

Well it does to me because not ony do I hear it all the time from artist hopefuls but I once walked in the same shoes.  Yep,  I had the same excuses.  And as far as I was concerned, they were all very justifiable excuses!  And yet it seems that the people who have the most on their plates, accomplish the most! So why do some people seem to accomplish much and others nothing with the same number of hours in the day?

The key to accomplishing your artistic goals is to make a plan. Call it a list. But don’t call it a wish list!  If you are busy with your daily activities, then you already know how to schedule  your day, your week, even your month.  Scheduling  appointments is good for your job and for your family . But scheduling activities for yourself also has to be high on the totem pole…not constantly sliding down to the bottom!

I have told countless parents, mothers especially, to schedule 20 minutes 2 times a week in the evening or morning for Art Time. I do not care if it is for scrapbooking, painting on canvas or sculpting but whatever it is, schedule it realistically. You know the bedtimes, you know who gets up and who doesn’t and set your two weekly appointments with your Art Time around those times. 9:15 in the evening? 10:00 pm? How about 5:15 am?  Have an hour lunch break at work? Work on your art product at the office, in a park, whatever.   IF you are serious about  accomplishing your goal of creating art, you WILL set up a place, a time and a schedule :-)

Let your spouse know your plan. If your spouse is positive in supporting your efforts,  he or she will help you by holding down the fort while you enjoy your Art Time.  A supportive family can still unwittingly sabotage your efforts so establish the fact that it is YOUR time and go into the designated area and start your art project.

You need a workspace with a door and a lock. No joke.  Because initially, the fact that Mommy or Daddy is going to do something that does not involve “them” makes vying for your attention an irresistible challenge for a child. Even a teen!  And sometimes even a spouse!  The first few times you establish your Art Time is a critical period which will determine your future success or failure at controlling your schedule.  In other words, unless the house is burning down, do NOT open the door until your 20 minutes is up.  Not to your children, Not to your spouse.  Make it clear that this is YOUR time. It will take about 4 sessions and fortitude on your part, but once you  establish the fact that you are SERIOUS, the attempts by your family to have your undivided attention focused on them, will end. Do not ask me why 4 is the magic number but it is! Set up your schedule, adhere to the pattern and it will become as easy as sitting down to watch a TV program!

If you are NOT serious, then you will procrastinate and spend the rest of your life wondering “what you could have accomplished if you had had the time.”

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