Getting Artist Time When Your Week is Super Busy

Getting Artist Time When Your Week is Super Busy

This Week: Holy crap.

3 performances. Day-job clients with exciting projects. Lessons with music students. Talking with producers and engineers. Business bookkeeping... 

Oh, that reminds me, 2014's taxes are also breathing down my neck. Awesome.

In full sarcasm, "Sounds like a great environment for making art, doesn't it?!"

Regardless of your artistic medium or level of ‘pro-ness’ in your art career, life can get really busy.

But that fact certainly doesn't take away the necessity to actually sit down and create.

If you're like me, stress wears down the bones. Creating stuff makes them feel better.

Here are my go-to ways to make sure there is Artist Time in my week.

  1. Schedule it. - This is not a sexy artist feature of myself. Some folks think their art only happens spontaneously. That may be true, but it can also happen when you give it figurative space to breathe and grow. I look at my calendar at the beginning of the busy weeks. and I schedule in Artist Time. Some weeks it's found in just the cracks between other things. Other weeks I schedule out a chunk of time. & Even if nothing 'tangible' comes of these times, I know I've given myself that time. and that feels really good.
  2. Make physical space for it. - Trying to make art on the same desk that you're currently getting your taxes done on is just flat-out gross. *gag* Get thyself on a different table. 
  3. Set alarms for it. - This one is a simple thing to do these days, especially if you keep your calendar on your phone. Set yourself a reminder to sit down and just make art. Especially if you set your phone to tell you "Dude. Get away. Just for a little while. You need it."
  4. Wake up early. - Even just an extra 10 minutes at the beginning of the day is a powerful start. 
  5. Carry a notebook. - Some, like myself, carry a smartphone. This is a phenomenal way to get in your Artist Time in between meetings, lessons, rehearsals, while on the bus, etc.
  6. Talk about it. - When you're sitting at dinner, talk about your art. Create conversation with others about the concepts. Ideas will pop into your head and you'll need that notebook handy. 
  7. Don't get on Facebook. - This guy... I both love and loathe Facebook. But on busy weeks, I loathe it for sucking up the time I wish I could've spent making art.
  8. Let yourself have just the tip. - Set a timer and just give yourself 5 minutes of jotting down a few ideas or dreaming up new textures and concepts. 5 minutes often becomes more. ;)
  9. Make the tools/instruments easily accessible. - Make it a stupid choice to not pick up your art. I give this advice to my cello students. Take the instrument out of it's case. Put it on top of the piano. or resting in the corner. But for the love of all things holy, take it out of it's case. 
  10. Turn off the phone. - Sometimes I'll even flip it over, face down, so I'm not reminded of the screen. It's just super distracting and I don't have time to get distracted, especially on busy weeks. When I'm writing at the piano though, I put the phone on airplane mode. (I do this because sometimes I use my dictionary/thesaurus and other apps to write songs.) 
  11. Become a sponge. - Driving to meetings = musician's podcast time. Sitting in the waiting room = looking at magazines & visual inspiration. Researching topics for work = researching song concepts. Waiting in line for a latte = absorbing today's street fashion runway.

On the busy weeks, it takes a little extra elbow grease to make the Artist Time feel smooth and easy, but it's totally doable. 

If you've got anything to add to the list, let me know!


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