Why is it so hard to just take time to do what you love to do? To sit down and create? So many of us say we don’t have time to be creative. I have to admit I have come up with many excuses myself why another day has passed and I didn’t take time to create. So many chores, family commitments, volunteer opportunities, social and work obligations…
Here are five tips to help you find (more) time to create art:
1. Create Goals
Set realistic goals for yourself by either setting aside a certain amount of time a day, a week, a month or planning on creating a specific number of pieces of artwork within a certain amount of time. Know that you don’t have to set aside an entire day to create if there is no way that is going to happen in your life right now. Maybe an hour a week is all you can squeeze in. If that is more realistic, then set this as your goal and stick with it! If life happens and you can’t create during the time you had planned to set aside, don’t beat yourself up over it but reschedule! Jotting down your art creating time as an appointment on your calendar will make it feel more official and easier to commit to.
2. Set Deadlines
Sometimes we all need some structure and a deadline to make things happen. You can apply for juried shows, contests, craft fairs, etc. to create deadlines for yourself. Or just set your own personal deadlines on what specific tasks you need to accomplish by a specific date.
4. Work more efficiently
Instead of procrastinating and doing your chores in an unlimited amount of time, try to set limits for yourself. For example, restrain yourself to check and respond to email for only 5 minutes so you have time to create art for the next 15. Create a grocery shopping list as you run out of items so you don’t have to go back to the store for those items you forgot to pick up. Try to run errands that are in the same neighborhood on the same morning so you don’t have to drive around more than you have to. And maybe just be content even if the house is messier than you’d like it to be!
5. Stop wasting time
Okay, I love connecting with my faraway family and friends via facebook but can I say TIME KILLER? It’s so easy to check in on facebook and get sidetracked reading interesting articles a friend posted or scanning multiple days worth of posts. Or is it just me? Also, it is easy to say you are researching something, only to spend not just a few minutes but a couple of hours surfing the internet… And how about the TV? Imagine how much time you have when you just turn it off and spend the time creating instead.
It is important to find time to create art if it makes you a happier person. Society doesn’t always encourage us to take time for ourselves or to pursue creative interests but you can choose to take your art seriously. One book I have found especially encouraging and helpful on this topic is Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne. I loved all the beautiful drawings illustrating this book and her straight forward, positive advice and encouragement to help you grow your creativity.
Do you find it challenging to make time for your art? What has worked for you?
I recently created some custom design work for a mom named Lexie in Connecticut. I was touched when I found out the reason for her reaching out to me. She was leading a campaign to inspire kindness among children at her kids' elementary school. She had ordered stickers with my "Honey Bees with Heart" design to give to kids during the week the school focused on "Random Acts of Kindness." This Honey Bees with Heart design has been popular for weddings, anniversary gifts and to label handmade items. Now this whimsical illustration was the logo for a campaign to promote kindness! She had also ordered buttons for the teachers to wear and customized these items with the campaign slogan "Bee Kind." I worked with Lexie directly on creating letterhead and posters for the campaign to create exactly what she had in mind and help her meet the tight deadline. I enjoyed hearing that my design was part of such an inspiring campaign towards positive change.
If you have organized a kindness campaign at your school, I would love to hear about it! Any ideas/tips you can share? Have you practiced "Random Acts of Kindness" on your own? Please share your story!
When we had yet another no school day due to nasty weather, I decided I better come up with some fun activities to keep my kids busy (being cooped up in the house gets old) while learning at the same time. The streets were full of ice and slush so going outside wasn't much of an option. Right after learning about the school closure, I announced that tomorrow we would home school. It was funny to see their faces! Then, they actually got excited about going to "mommy school"! My oldest said that he loved the idea of yummy food at lunch. My youngest thought we may need to make bathroom passes. :0) As I tucked them in that night, both said they couldn't wait until tomorrow...
So after they went to bed, I stayed up to make a packet with a front cover that said "Welcome to Mommy School!" I kept it pretty simple using just blank copy paper and some notebook paper with lines for writing. In case you stumbled upon this blog post needing some ideas for your kids, these are some of the activities I included:
- write about time travel (I used prompting questions such as what country did you travel to? What did I feel like to time travel? How did you make it back?)
- write a poem about winter
- what do you want to be when you grow up. Describe your typical day. (that got interesting)
- write down 5 interesting facts about an insect of your choice (they used non-fiction books we already had on the shelf as a resource - who knew land slugs could be so interesting?)
- draw a self portrait using your favorite art supplies (gave them a mirror to study their faces)
- draw a silly monster (I drew a circle for the face to get them started)
- you are a designer of fabric. Create 4 patterns. (I drew four big squares that they could fill with patterns).
- trivia questions (I found lots of great resources online)
- wrote down a bunch of math problems (addition and subtraction)
- a simple checkbox to check if they did their music practice
- a kids yoga video I still had from when they were itsybitsy. It somehow helped to relax them because they asked for "naptime" afterwards which of course didn't result in sleep but they enjoyed lounging for a bit nonetheless.
- trip to the kitchen to get one of mom's home baked cookies :0)
So, how did it go? Success! They were engaged in the activities, had fun, learned and enjoyed sharing their writing with each other. On day 5 of being stuck at home, it helped to have some structure and we enjoyed a peaceful, positive day. Have you homeschooled your child? Any fun kids activities you can share that we can do on the next no school day?
I love this famous quote by Mother Teresa: “We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.” These words are humbling and so powerful. Even though it seems easy enough to focus on the small things, it puts the challenge out there for us to do them with great love. Some days it is hard to do (especially) the small things with great love. Like trying to get the kids to bed while they are rambunctious and you are exhausted. Or cleaning up a big milk spill after you just mopped the floors.
However, as they say, practice makes perfect so I’ve been trying to keep this quote in mind during my daily ups and downs as a mother, wife, friend and community member. Some days I’m more successful than others but I’m often reminded that even small gestures of love, such as a smile or helping hand, go a long way. Ultimately, love is what makes life worthwhile. Every day we have the opportunity to show love, to make this world a better place by our actions. One way I hope to make a difference is through my drawings. I hope my art inspires love or simply enables someone to tell a loved one just how loved they are. So, this is my small thing: sharing love one drawing at a time….
I recently uploaded a new design! This red heart with hand on purple background is available on many products, from t-shirts to phone cases to ornaments. I personally like how this ornament turned out with the red ribbon matching the red heart.
Also, if you purchase from my website now through tomorrow 2/4/2014 11:59pm PST using promotional code: SEASONOFLOVE, you can take advantage of the following discounts:
50% Off Cards, Stickers, Buttons and Postcards
40% Off Phone Cases
30% Off Mugs and Shirts
20% Off Watches and Necklaces
If you are still looking for any Valentine's Day gifts, this is a great time to buy! This holiday is coming up quickly!
Illustrations and nature inspired, handmade art gifts that remind us of the simple joys.