[ inside the studio ] routine

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's been about two months since I left my second part-time job and rearranged my life in order to have three entire days a week to paint and focus on my business.  Overall, this change has been amazing.  My business is flourishing beyond my wildest dreams, my life seems to be in balance, and I am just a much happier person, in general.

I work at my part-time job as a Program Assistant/Coordinator for a Sculpture Garden/Arts Center (I should really do a post about my day job some time, it's pretty awesome), Friday - Monday... this was the biggest adjustment, working weekends and being on the exact opposite schedule as the Mr.   I do surprisingly enjoy being off during the middle of the week because I am much more productive, instead of being distracted by weekend activities.  But I also feel a bit guilty.  It's hard to explain, but I get a lot of anxiety during the week knowing my co-workers are working like crazy prepping for events and what-not, and I'm just... painting.

As I've settled into this new life, one where I actually feel legitimite enough to say that I'm an "artist" when people ask me what I do, I've adjusted to a new studio routine to keep my creativity and motivation at a max, and my anxiety at a minimum.

It looks something like this...

Tuesdays are my day to let go of my (irrational?) guilt, and my first day to decompress from the busy work weekend and get back into studio mode.  I let these mornings be my lazy mornings... I grab a cup of coffee at our local shop, bum their internet, email and blog a bit, and let myself really enjoy a moment of peace.

Once I get back to the studio, I review all of horribly scribbled notes I've collected over the weekend when an idea would strike, photos I've snapped, and scan pinterest for a bit for an extra boost of inspiration.  On Tuesdays, I like starting with a big, blank canvas and just paint.  Whatever I want.  I don't think about the list of commissions I should be finishing, or the e-mails I have left to respond to... I just paint.  This is how some of my favorite paintings are born.

in-progress 40" x 40" canvas
 Wednesdays are my get-back-to-business days.  I work on commissions, watch (listen to) lots of movies, and sketch for future works. 

On Thursdays, I like to tie up loose ends... finish paintings that have been scattered throughout my studio half-developed, photograph new works I've completed throughout the week, and update my shop and inventory and mailing lists.

When I'm slacking, I turn up my music REALLY loud for a well-deserved kick in the butt.  Lately it's been the Mumford & Sons Pandora station, or Grouplove (Mark, thank you for the rec ;)
Or I take the pup for a walk down to the beach.

So there you have it...

What do your days look like?  Any tips for staying motivated when you're your own boss?

2 thoughts:

  1. Oh Allie...your schedule sounds wonderful. You are building in your 20s what I will let flourish in my [ahem] 50s. About four years ago I restarted my art career. Now, at 49, I am beginning to find my 'voice' and can envision a time when I can paint more than I work. Your art is wonderful and your blog inspiring. Keep it up!
    Denton [dentonloomis.com]

  2. Hi Allie...congrats on the beautiful new blog! Need to get used to the "flip" of having your info on the left rather than the right side bar :)...as for my motivation as my own boss...since my "job" is a little teeny weeny bit different from yours my goals are a bit different...my motivation comes from cute little check marks or wiggly lines through the items on my VERY long to-do list :). Love the check lists my dear. Plus...a "what's in it for me" attitude...if I wash the sheets I get crisp clean cool linens at bed time - Jack pot! I'm doing it!...if I fix a big salad in the morning I can have a healthy dinner - that's a winner! If I water the garden in the blistering heat I can have fresh produce in a few weeks - I'll force myself. If I take the kids to the beach they'll be really tired at bedtime from a full day of fun in the sun - Yahoo! That's my motivation! I love you lots! Mom


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