What does it mean to be an artist?
This morning as my son, my husband, and the neighbours got into their vehicles to drive off to their jobs, I had a moment of gratitude to the situations that make it possible for me not to commute.
My days are my own to design and create. As you can see from the image above, I attempt to organize my days by the tasks that need my attention.
A few times a year I lay out a new structure, a time table of sorts, that I hope will keep me on track and accomplishing the things that I want to get done.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Which brings up my question: What does it mean to be an artist? Is it really about the schedule? Or is it about witnessing your life through the sensitive eyes of someone in touch with how they meet each day?
Considering that my attempts at structure often need to revisited because they simply don't work well, or for very long.
I've been struggling to be in the 9-5 work day mindset that if I start at a regular time, do similar things, work for a certain duration, then I'll have the outcome of completing things.
If I were to stop my struggle, I suspect, I would actually accomplish much more and be happier for it. Isn't that why I chose this artistic life - to be able to set my own schedule?
How very difficult it is to extricate oneself from the rhythms of the world around us, when we choose to live by a different rhythm. A rhythm guided by self direction.
I'll be the first to tell you how obstinate, passive aggressive, grumpy, and opinionated I become when I'm forced to do something I am not motivated to do. I set aside my preference often and get the thing done, but I do not enjoy it, nor do those around me.
So how do we/I be a full time artist. How do we allow the rhythms of our artistic heart to guide us versus be pressured to do things like everyone else?
It's a great question and one I don't have an answer for, completely, just yet. However, this book Daily Rituals: How artists work may have some answers. I'll let you know what I find out.
As for today, I started painting at 5am in an effort to beat the heat wave that British Columbia is experiencing right now. My studio is south west facing and by 12:00 it's simply too hot to be in here painting.
I painted for 5 hours, had a shower, got dressed, went to the library to pick up the said book and went for a short walk along the ocean.
It's an amazing life that I live. I'm grateful for it. What I'm seeking is a way to be at peace with the freedoms that I have and not feel like I have to push myself to conform to the 9-5 system happening around me. This is a practice of awareness and grace. Giving myself the generosity of kindness and allowing my creative spirit to flourish within these freedoms.
I'll let you know how I make out.
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