I would love to paint, draw, write, (fill in the blank)______, but I just don't have the time.
This is a common statement for many people who wish to explore creative pursuits.
Our days are filled with obligations of work and family which creates an obstacle for many in regard to finding time to be creative.
Being creative gives us so many gifts isn't it time we gave ourselves the gift of time to create?
Our lives are over-scheduled as it is so creating another schedule may seem overwhelming. Or you may be newly retired and have so much time on your hands you just do not know what to do with yourself.
Having my own business creates many blurred lines between work time, errands, chores and other have-to's.
I thought I would share with you some ways I have found to find time for creativity.
First of all, have your creative materials ready to use. If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated table, room or work space set it up so you can walk in, sit down and create. If you share work space, such as the dining room table get yourself a pretty basket, crate or container with your creative supplies in it ready to go. Making it easy for you to create will help to motivate you to do it when your precious time is available.
You have your supplies ready now set an easy, achievable goal. This is different than a schedule in that a goal will help you feel motivated to make time to do your creative work.
First of all ask yourself, What do I want? For example: I want time to practice my watercolor painting.
Now create a goal following these guidelines: Make your goal specific, Give yourself a reasonable time frame to accomplish it. Make your goal measurable.
Example goal: I want to complete 10 practice watercolor paintings by the end of the month.
Now ask yourself: Can I see myself really doing this?
Now create a flexible schedule. Where can I fit this into my daily routine? 15 minutes after everyone goes to school or work in the morning. In the evening after dinner and the kids are doing homework or playing. After breakfast. On Sunday afternoon at 2.
Mark it on your calendar: Creative Time Do Not Disturb
Yes, it is a schedule but it is flexible, if you miss your time that day it's ok, life happens. Give yourself the next available time. At the end of your timetable be sure to check in. Did you accomplish those 10 practice watercolor paintings this month? Maybe you only did 7. That is great, you did 7! Isn't that 7 more than you did last month? Celebrate your accomplishment and create a new goal for the next month. Maybe this time it will be: I will complete 8 practice watercolor paintings by the end of the month.
Be flexible, be forgiving, be thankful you are giving yourself the time to be creative, that is your ultimate goal!
This week I thought I would ponder the gifts that art gives us. This quote by Pablo Picasso pops into my life quite often and I think it is a great starting point in discussing art's gifts.
When frustration and disappointment settle in I often ask what is the point of art. Why should I keep making it if no one is buying my art, commenting on it or liking it on social media? Every artist and creative person feels this at one point or another. But, then I take a step back and a deep breath and maybe a walk, and I realize that's really not why I make art or why art is important to me. Sure it is amazing when someone says they love something I made and when they buy it I literally dance around and shout Alleluia! Art IS important not for the recognition and money it can bring but for so many other reasons.
Making art makes me feel like I have accomplished something. "I made this!", is a great feeling!
Art gets me out of my head. When I am in the middle of creating there is no room for worry and ruminating!
Art calms me down, makes me happy, inspires me, gets me energized, and makes me think different thoughts.
Art makes me feel connected, dare I say it? to God! Yes, for me there is a spiritual aspect to making art. I feel connected, peaceful and content.
I can create no matter how I feel. This is very helpful on days my joints ache and my muscles hurt and I feel very down. Just dabbling with my watercolors for a few minutes can ease the pain and frustration.
Whether life is overwhelming, stressful, depressing, painful or frustrating I can always turn to creating art to wash away the dust of everyday life to feel renewed and hopeful once again.
Wherever you are on your creative journey I hope you have found the personal gifts that art has for you. I would love to hear what they are! Please share your thoughts on art as a gift in the comments below.