How to Find More Time to Make Art

I’m in the process of very focused research as I’m preparing for a new batch of art and business related classes to add to the existing classes at lifeidesignonline.com. During my research, I have noticed common struggles among my students and followers. The biggest challenge has to do with not having the time for creative practice.

Not having enough time in the day seems like a common problem all around. I’m not sure if it’s because we are glued to social media, watching endless cute animal videos or perhaps it’s all the binge watching on Netflix, to which I am guilty of myself!

These time sucking activities are all inactive, non-participatory, and time wasting activities that we are all guilty of!

This fall I set a few goals for myself and one of them being; to make more time actually make art!

I have set in place a few tips and strategies that I want to share with you, to help you find more time to make art too!

TIP 1 SCHEDULE IT!

TIP 1 Schedule time for art, lettering, creative practice.

TIP 1 Schedule time for art, lettering, creative practice.

Scheduling your time to practice lettering, work on a painting, or learning a new technique should be added to your calendar. This scheduled art time is just as important as your kids dentist appointments, your work appointments and even travel dates. I am most successful at making time and sticking to that dedicated time when I block it off in my calendar. For a while, when I was getting ready for my spring art show, I scheduled Sunday afternoons as painting dates. My family knew not to bother me during this time. I said “no” to other people and dates, so that I could get as much solid time painting as possible. Guess what?!! It worked! By respecting my creative time and need to prepare, I made the time, used that time for art, and everyone around me supported that time I needed. There’s power in declaring that time for yourself and showing others that your creative time is valuable and should be respected! So schedule it first!

TIP 2 SPEND LESS TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

TIP 2 Spending less time on social media will free up time for creative expression

TIP 2 Spending less time on social media will free up time for creative expression

We are all guilty of falling into the trap of scrolling for ages at a time. I enjoy seeing what other artist, letterers and designers are positing on social media and can get caught-up in watching what they are doing rather than spending time “doing” myself! I feel very strongly about the fact that we spend so much time watching what others are doing, rather than doing more ourselves. I see it more and more with my kids generation and always encourage my kids to put their phones down and just step away as much as possible. So my advice to you is to enjoy social media and gather inspiration, but set a timer!! Allow yourself 15 minutes at a time at most! I truly pop in and out of my Instagram feed for only about 5 minutes at a time and that’s it! Curb the time you spend, stick to a timer and you’ll see how much time you gain back in your day! Give it a try and let me know what you think!!

TIP 3 WORK IN SMALLER SCALE

TIP 3 Work on a smaller scale, focus on one page at a time, or on a tiny painting

TIP 3 Work on a smaller scale, focus on one page at a time, or on a tiny painting

Working on smaller sized projects can really help you get in creative time more often and in a more satisfying way. If you work on a sheet of practice at a time, or a piece of art that is perhaps 10 X 10 vs. large canvas, you will get further into your art than you would be if you worked on a larger scale. Use a notebook or a sketchbook, fill up a page or two and see how quickly you will fill up that book! Working smaller scale is magic! Think of what type of art you are wanting to work on and decide what it is like to work on a smaller scale!

TIP 4 SET UP A DESIGNATED AREA

TIP 4 Set up a designated spot to work from in your house. This was my set-up in a small hotel room where I left everything out during our stay so I could paint and play.

TIP 4 Set up a designated spot to work from in your house. This was my set-up in a small hotel room where I left everything out during our stay so I could paint and play.

This can be challenging if you are limited with space, however, I believe that there is a solution to everything! If you are not able to set up a designated room for your creative practice, then a small table is all you really need if you want to keep your supplies out and handy! Ikea has some really affordable tables, steal an extra kitchen chair if you can, and get a few baskets to keep your supplies in! This is extremely helpful if you are working on your dip pen calligraphy or watercolor practice. When you have your art set-up and ready to go, it’s much easier to sit for 30 minutes and work on your craft. If space is an issue, how about setting up a small area in your bedroom or your living room. You may even inspire your family to explore art with you when it’s in a communal space in your home!

TIP 5 CREATE A PORTABLE KIT OF ART SUPPLIES

TIP 5 Have a simple set of supplies that are portable and uncomplicated. Keep it simple!

TIP 5 Have a simple set of supplies that are portable and uncomplicated. Keep it simple!

Setting up a kit of art supplies doesn’t have to be complicated. You can buy a few inexpensive baskets to store your inks, pens, paints, brushes and paper quite easily. Maybe you truly don’t have space to set-up a table like in TIP 4 above, however, you can make your tools easy to access and clean up, so that you can work at a kitchen table, a dining table or even in your bedroom! Having everything at your finger tips and uncomplicated means you can get right to creating even if you only have 20 minutes for your art time! When I travel, I bring a small kit with me of; a sketchbook, waterbrush pens, dry watercolor palette, brush pens, pencil, eraser and papertowels. I have created some really fun pages in my sketchbooks with this very small and limted supply of tools! It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated.

TIP 6 WAKE UP 30 MINUTES EARLIER

TIP 6 Wake up 30 minutes earlier 2-3 times a week to make art, practice lettering, or explore your creativity

TIP 6 Wake up 30 minutes earlier 2-3 times a week to make art, practice lettering, or explore your creativity

I know, this can be painful! I am up at about 6:30am, Monday to Friday to help get my daughter ready and off to school - yes she’s a teenager and can manage herself quite easily, however, I still get up when she does to get her lunch ready and get her off to school. It’s one of my pleasures as a work-from-home Mom. What I found is a few days a week, I set my alarm for 6:00, brew my first cup of coffee of the day, and spend that extra 30 minutes on my art practice. I find it to be very peaceful and productive, and I don’t feel like I have to be regimented and do it every day. Give it a try and I bet you’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes and how satisfying that time can be. Not an early bird?! Carve out that evening or time at night for your creative play. You’ll be amazed at how much more time in the day you will find. I myself don’t have as much energy at night, that’s when I allow myself an hour of Netflix and can zone out! Find what works for you and stick to it!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 TIPS to help you find more time to make art. Try one or a few tips and let me know what sticks, what you have incorporated and how it helps you!

Good luck!!