Developing Your Art: Finding Time for Everything!steemCreated with Sketch.

in #art4 years ago

The vast majority of artists are "part timers."

I put "part timers" in quotes to indicate that it doesn't necessarily suggests that artists aren't applying themselves to their art, or taking it seriously... but that we tend to have "day jobs" in order to pay for our lives because very few can actually making a "survival wage" (or equivalent) from their art.

Making an actual living from art might be our dream, but it tends to be an elusive one: In the course of my 40-odd years of working and also being in the art business as a art gallery owner, my estimate would be that just somewhere between 3-5% of all artists do not need to have a "regular" job aside from working on their art.

AS0008LargerUPP.jpg
A large and quite complex design... this took about a full day to finish...

A Question of Time... and Money

Unless you happen to be independently wealthy — or retired, with a good pension — odds are you can't just drop everything one day and declare "From now on, I'm an artist!" and somehow make it through the several years it typically takes to create and bring your work before enough people that you actually are able to eat and pay your bills.

Of course, some artists are fortunate to have supportive spouses/partners with good jobs, and they make a joint decision for the artistic person to "have a go" at pursuing their dreams.

Now I'll be the first to admit that for many artists it's not "about the money," it's about the drive and desire to create. But that doesn't preclude the fact that most of us like to occasionally eat and sleep somewhere other than a deserted squat. Besides, we typically have to buy art supplies.

So even when we claim to not care about the money, the pesky reality remains that we still have to somehow interface with the financial aspect of our lives.

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Detail of a couple of smaller stones...

"Finding" Time vs. "Making" Time

One of the laments I often have had, and that I often hear from others in creative fields is that they just "can't find the time" to work on their art.

I know I spend about 40-45 hours on "going to work" every week, and then I spend about another 20-25 hours a week running a couple of eBay based businesses and doing free-lance editing and proofreading jobs, because a full-time retail sales job doesn't actually support our life.

Which brings up something quite a few artists and creatives face: "at the end of the day, I'm just too EXHAUSTED to do anything creative, so I zone out on the Internet or in front of the TV, instead."

And that's where — a few years ago — I came to the realization that I can't "find" time for art anywhere, so I have to *"make" time for it!

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A matched set of Chakra Stones

"Making Time" isn't Supernatural Magic!

Now "making time" isn't some strange woo-woo and New Agey concept, it's simply a matter of arranging your day and setting priorities. Specifically, if you are claiming you "want to" be an artist, then BE an artist!

AlchemyStone
Sometimes the simple designs are the most beautiful... here only green and white

In other words, realize and accept that you may "have to" do other things, but you can still make art Number One in your world.

For me, it started with a little self-analysis and self-awareness, and recognizing that I am at my "sharpest" and most creative in the morning, before the "weight" of the day's events have infiltrated my brain.

So — about seven years ago — a developed a habit of getting up around 6:30 (especially in the summer when the days are long!), grabbing some coffee and spending the first couple of hours or three of each morning on creativity. Thankfully, I now work "outside" from 11:00am to 6:00pm, so I can do that. Then I work on the "eBay stuff" at night, when my brain is tired, because it's actually pretty mindless and not very creative.

I don't actually "have" any more time than I ever did, but I am giving the creative process the best of myself, rather than the most tired of myself at the end of a long day.

Is it "perfect?" Absolutely not! But it has helped my go from being a somewhat tired dabbler back in 2007, to changing how I approached my day in about 2013, to now having 5+ years of building my creative endeavors to where they are much more established, and occasionally I even have a few $1200-$1500 months, in terms of art sales... and that was never the case, before.

Patience, Patience, Patience....

Art and creativity — like pretty much anything — requires a lot of time, effort and patience to develop fully.

AlchemyStone
A large design in the colors of the Heart Chakra, made as a gift for HH The Dalai Lama

Experience tells me that most would-be artists abandon their dreams not as a result of discovering that they don't have talent, or they don't like what they are doing, or others don't like their work... they abandon those dreams because "it's not happening fast enough."

I guess I have applied a rather "left brain" to a very "right brain" activity, in the sense that I approached being an artist much the same way one would approach becoming an expert at anything, in any field: Many experts agree that it takes about five years, full time or 10,000 hours to become "expert" at something. That translates into five years when you're doing something full-time; more like 10-15 years when it's only part time.

Now, I'm not applying this to creative talent, which tends to be rather intangible... I'm applying these principles to the entire process of getting from simply deciding that you want to turn your art "into something" to becoming an established artist with a fighting chance of actually making a living from your art.

I'm personally about seven years into the process, and figure I probably have another five years to go before I will gradually start dropping other projects in favor of artistic time.

Of course, your process will be entirely your own... this post merely lays out one possible path to take.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

2019.03.26 AS-TXT-008
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Thank you @dandays, appreciate the support!

You have to make time to do what you want in life. Nice work voted sharing and awesome seeing another post!

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My experience has definitely been that you have to make time, or you will be waiting forver to "have" time...

I am a true lover of the Mandala!
I love my rock, thank you for my lovely rock ;-)

Glad you like it @surfyogi!

I started drawing pretty intricate mandala patterns as a teenager... the stones seemed like a next step; something slightly mystical about putting these on an actual piece of the Earth that has been here for millions of years... and yet? Compared to the lifespan of a rock, the pattern I paint is largely impermanent.

This is a really cool article @alchemystones, thanks for using the #artzone tag. Your stones are beautiful!

I call what you’re referring to ‘lack of instant gratification.’ Like the guy who joined the gym last month, didn’t lose any weight and isn’t at the department store buying tank-tops—his instant gratification wasn’t met. All good things take time.

I can see you have a lot of time into your rocks—thanks for sharing this with us.

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement @dandays!

I think we live in this world where everything around us has slowly been reduced to the length of tweets and text messages... and it seems like a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we can shoehorn created by hand into the that box. You just can't.

I started painting on stones some 10-12 years ago, and before that I have drawn mandalas as pen and ink on paper since my teens. It's only in the last few years I have started "taking myself seriously enough" to consider turning this into an actual occupation, and this blog is part of describing that journey...

Hello @alchemystones, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thank you for the support @creativecrypto, appreciate it!

Again, a wonderful, beautifully written article that is both thoughtful and empowering <3 I love your posts so much, @alchemystones :) It is true that art is, for most of us, are not a feasible full time job, but that it is good to hear from someone like yourself who has sort of 'figure it out' with the time issue. You are right, of course, we have to make the effort to make time!

And that final section is so true, patience is key! There are devoted artists who never got quite where they want to be, even, but that they are fulfilled and they cultivate their senses and artistic journey with sincerity. Of course, it would be ideal if somehow our artistic journey can also bring us income :D :D :D

All in all, I have heard that arting is 99% perseverance and 1% talent, hahaha. Love this post so much!

Thank you for the nice words @veryspider, it's always great to have some outside perspective!

I know from the field of writing (and many years spent as a copywriter and technical writer) that is takes lots and lots and lots of perseverance to get from "idea" to "realization." And I remember well one of the professors for my creative writing classes in college saying that *"what it took" to become a published author wasn't "talent" but the ability to actually sit down and string together 75,000 words and then promote the hell out of those words to every publisher on the planet.

I enjoy what I am doing "for its own sake," but I also really like the idea of sharing with a greater audience.

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