Creating a solid studio practice during these challenging times demands more from us today living in Trumplandia. The daily drama is an intrusion into our lives. Our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds are incessant and unhinged rants force us to navigate resisting in order to have our inner world back to ourselves. At least enough internal space to create, make art and meaning happen on a daily basis.
The once familiar energy and lightness of stepping into my home studio is no longer the same as it once was. I often reflect back on calmer days and wonder, " what was I complaining about?" The natural light in the studio was off, the noise of the urban traffic was distracting, or the neighbors slamming their doors and people talking loudly on the docks below me 3 floors down?
What are you doing to manage your daily energy in order to return to the studio and get cranking? For me, it’s taking a very methodical approach of getting grounded to focus and eliminate the distractions little by little. Small steps...
Here is my ritual and routine:
Early mornings (5-6am). Make a favorite tea, drink a full glass of water. Play with my cats. Walk into the studio to look at work or no work on the decks. Sit a while to cultivate a focus on what I intend to do with the amount of time I’ll have for the day. Bring myself and tea to the sofa where I surround myself with my favorite sketchbooks and drawing tools. I enjoy being ensconced with comfort things —soft pillows, a plush throw, fresh flowers, incense, books, and magazines before grabbing my electronic devices.
Building an effective daily routine for working establishes a foundation for showing up to work. My rituals and routines trigger the positive steps toward working every day. Whether it's sketching, digital work or being in the studio to paint makes this frequency possible.
I live in a loft, so there is no privacy for the 3 of us. My partner is a musician with our studios side-by-side, and my daughter's screened off pod behind us goes to her ceramic studio outside of the home. Cultivating work space within a living space requires us to be sensitive and articulate in our communications with one another to enjoy and live happily in our live/work loft.
Here are my thoughts on how I bring myself back to creating:
My mantra: Ritual, Routine & Frequency
I push myself to relax into the deep quiet of dawn while my family sleeps. I meditate for 20 minutes, and journal afterwards for 15 minutes. Next, I get to work in a sketchbook or my computer to create digital images. After this time for myself, I routinely get on Instagram and Facebook for about 30 minutes to upload a post and/or to interact. I don't usually return to social media until I'm finished in the studio around 4-5pm.
Do you know the rhythm of what helps you get started each day?
Every artist has their own routine of getting to work. It’s important to know when you are at your best and most focused in order to work. Whether you have a day or nite gig, children at home or not, you’ll want to figure out when your best time is to work.
No one works in the same way, and it's important to understand and accept your own schedule, and what triggers you to get working. It will require making little changes with others if you don't have the choice of living alone. I suppose artists that have studios outside of the home have to make the same type of trade-offs and choices with time, rituals, routines and scheduling.
I believe the frequency and habit of setting up a structured work time is essential. Try to get to your work at the start of the day and leave responding to emails and reactive work later!
Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back blogging more frequently and look forward to hearing from you!
"It's not enough to be busy, we must ask: "What are we busy about?"
_ Henry David Thoreau