Friday, August 27, 2010

Time Management

We artists have to be excellent time managers, mainly because most of us pursue our craft as a side job. After working at the "day job", most people go home and veg out. But the artist can do no such thing. He must work on his a little bit craft every day, so he has to come up with a strict schedule and routine to make this happen. This is the case with all serious artists I think. Andy Warhol was known for following a very rigid daily schedule and working well into early evening. As responsibilities multiply, the need for making and following a schedule, and thinking through the artistic process, becomes even more critical. The ultimate game-changer as far as scheduling goes is having children.

We just had our first child and this throws a wrench - a good one! - in everything. Something similar happened when I got married and lost my art studio in Baltimore City a number of years ago. I could not paint in oils in our small apartment, so that was when I got into egg tempera and exploring iconography. Eventually I got back into painting in oils as I found space and my wife and I worked out our schedules. For right now I am still trying to adjust to life with a baby. I cannot bring him up to the studio with me because I am concerned about fumes, so I have to stretch canvases one day, prime them another, do sketches another, paint another, and so on.... all of this around my work and home schedule. I have to paint only when I know I will have a serious block of time available. I have to decide what medium is best to use considering these limitations.... e.g. this may be the time to do some more icons as I can work on them downstairs in the house and there are no toxic fumes.

All of this is to say that, contrary to popular belief, the artistic process has to be very rational, orderly, and well-thought out in order to be successful. An artist has to adapt to the circumstances, such as studio space, time limitations, financial limitations, success, etc. if he wants to even begin to have success.


Matthew James Collins said...


That is so true. The general population do not understand how much work, determination and sacrifice go into the daily life of the artist. Growing up in a creative family, I learned these lessons from an early age. There isn't time to waste. Congratulations to the new addition to the family and compliments on your blog


J. Gordon Anderson said...


I have taken to painting late at night - sometimes in the middle of the night - just to have time to work on it regularly.

God bless you.