17 October 2018

Making Art After a Long Pause

It's been nine months since I finished Playing With Fire, and since then I haven't made much art to speak of. I've been mostly consumed with everything that was required for our move to Rhode Island, including making some extra money via my freelance illustration day job. So how to get started again after such a long down time?

Fortunately, I have a 20-year freelance career to draw from. A few tricks and techniques I know about for revving up the creativity engines:

Dress for It
Pajamas or sweat pants or sometimes even blue jeans can make me feel schlumpy and lazy. Getting dressed for work, putting on some clothes that make me feel attractive and sharp and powerful, can really help raise the energy.

Keep to a Schedule
Having a dog who loves her schedule helps keep me on schedule too. We take a long walk in early morning, I do some errands if needed, and then I try to be in the studio by 9:30 or 10:00. Once I get started the flow is easier, but getting started can be hard for me so I focus on the morning.

Make a List
Juggling house tasks, dog needs, and freelance jobs can feel overwhelming. I make a proioritized list at the end of each day so that it's on my desk when I arrive in the morning. Turns out that making a list at the end of the day also helps me sleep better.

Studio Time Is Sacred
Other tasks will almost always win out over studio time unless I make an effort to carve out specific art-making time, so that's part of my scheduling and, once scheduled, my studio time is sacred.

Don't Wait for the Muse
Once in the studio it doesn't matter if I "feel like it" or not. Working only when inspiration hits is a recipe for not working. Inspiration and light-bulb moments more often than not come from trying and failing and trying again.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered paper and wood. The wood came yesterday and the paper is en route. Today I got out my calendar and blocked out my studio time for the rest of the week. Engines ready!

Do you have any tips to share?

04 October 2018

I Am Here

Hello blog readers. Greetings from Providence, Rhode Island! My family and I arrived here three and a half weeks ago, and just today I finished unpacking my studio space. I thought I'd give you a look around.

Here's my new house. The little upstairs balcony is accessible from my studio, a nice feature.
The door, which goes out to the balcony, plus the large window let in a lot of northern and eastern light. After living in a ranch house for the past eight years, it feels good to be up high again in my studio. I'm also happy that the room is big enough for a tall book shelf. The blue ring on the floor belongs to my dog Zuzu.
As in my previous studio, inks and brushes hang on the wall above my work tables. Flat files and a light box continue to the corner of the room. That blue paper on the wall is a map of the East Side of Providence where I live.
On the opposite side of the room is my computer station where I do my illustration work. That little door behind the printer goes to a small room which probably was designed to be a nursery back in the 1930s when the house was built. We're going to remove the door and have it drywalled over.
A deep closet lets me keep art supplies tucked away.

So I'm ready to get to work again! Today I ordered some paper and wood. I'll keep you posted.