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  1. #1
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    Where do you find the time for art?

    Recently I've been focusing more on aspects of my life other than art, due to rather extenuating circumstances, and I've found that by the time everything I want to take care in a day of has been addressed to my satisfaction, I'm exhausted and it's very late. How do you find the time to draw while still fulfilling your everyday needs? To the professionals, before art was your job, how did you make room in your schedule for it? This might seem like a rather self-explanatory question, i.e. I should just draw right now, but I want to know what you personally gave up in the pursuit of art, or how you managed your time in order to draw as much as you needed to. In the past few years I've alternated between giving up everything for art, to avoiding art altogether because my life was suffering from such intense dedication. I'm having a hard time finding a middle-ground.

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  3. #2
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    There is no such thing as finding time. That is fixed. What you are talking about is how does anyone do what they want to do and deal with the repercussions of their actions.
    You make a choice and stick to it knowing that when you make the choice you are giving up something else. As Getty Lee says "choosing not to decide, you still have made a choice."
    I see people two ways; those who let events direct their life and those who direct their life in spite of events. You can only fail at something when you give up, if you don't give up you have your whole life to try.
    I gave up monetary success at first, relationships and marriage. I worked during the day in electronics and construction jobs and painted at night. I never made choices that would override my desire to be an artist like having a baby with someone. When I finally gained financial success it was easier for me to find like-minded women who put career before family (they wouldn't have anything to do with me when I was poor). Things worked out in the end because I didn't let anyone change my game plan. When people told me to grow up, settle down or get a real job; I got new people in my life. Some of these included family members.
    I now have an art career and a longterm relationship and monetary success, it came later than I would have liked but but thats my fault.

    I'm not saying it has to be this way I'm just telling you my expeience. I never tried to bend other people to my way of thinking but I have seen that work for people too. I never wanted that responsibility

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  5. #3
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    I call it " It's the freakin' weekend time to have ME some FUN." which really just meens not homework, but drawing. That's friday night, and then on Saturday & Sunday I try to get ahead in life so that the rest of the week I'm not trying to keep up and I can dedicate a little time (when I not in class) to Art as well. That's one way I do it
    Another way I use to do it it I would set a time, and every night at that time I would practice drawing, no matter what. I did the same thing with working out in the summer time, it was always at sunset not on purpose, that's just the time I came to find myself running the most, so about 9-10 after that I'd come home, I'd make a sandwich and rehydrate, and then I'd get some Chocolate Milk and a banana and Draw for an hour +. It was a routine, I didn't put any thought into it, I already had my supplies/equipment set up where I wanted to draw , that way I could just do it.
    Often Times finding a where is harder than the when, which I think what you really meant by your question, once you find the where, Set up a few peices of paper and your tools, and maybe your laptop or some books for reference material. And then that way when you want to or have time to no energy is spent getting ready to draw, you just do it without even thinking about it or considering what you're doing.
    That way, Drawing will become a habit; like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or eating breakfast. One doesn't think about it , they just do it. It becomes part of your life like you've always done it and you probably couldn't survive without it, or atleast not survive a decent life. I meen really, what kind of person doesn't brush their teeth ? You brush your teeth right ? so draw like you brush your teeth.

    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
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  6. #4
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    8:00 - Wake up
    10:00 - Work start
    18:00 - Work is over, heading studio
    18:45 - Gettting started on painting or whatever im working on.

    This is my priority, sometimes is paid, most of the time is not but is still my everyday priority for monday to friday. Sometimes I do call sick at work just so I can work more on my stuff. I NEED to do it. You can give in a 30min to go grab dinner with friends or something like that. Once or twice a month I go play with friends. Saturday/Sunday are familly and girlfriend day. I'm trying to find time to exercise and I can't, for now, but is the reality of life, there is only 24 hours a day and regular work take at least 10hours a day with transport.

    It really depend what YOUR priority are. In my case I find more enjoyable and fullfilling to go do my shit than play videogames or go hang out with my friends. If you do have a girlfriend she probably won't approve this kind of schedul so you will need to change girlfriend, be single or try to make her understand that this is important for you and you need to do it to be happy.

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  7. #5
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    8:00 - Wake up
    10:00 - Work start
    18:00 - Work is over, heading studio
    18:45 - Gettting started on painting or whatever im working on.

    This is my priority, sometimes is paid, most of the time is not but is still my everyday priority for monday to friday. Sometimes I do call sick at work just so I can work more on my stuff. I NEED to do it. You can give in a 30min to go grab dinner with friends or something like that. Once or twice a month I go play with friends. Saturday/Sunday are familly and girlfriend day. I'm trying to find time to exercise and I can't, for now, but is the reality of life, there is only 24 hours a day and regular work take at least 10hours a day with transport.

    It really depend what YOUR priority are. In my case I find more enjoyable and fullfilling to go do my shit than play videogames or go hang out with my friends. If you do have a girlfriend she probably won't approve this kind of schedul so you will need to change girlfriend, be single or try to make her understand that this is important for you and you need to do it to be happy.

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  8. #6
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    Howdy Nat,

    Have you been spying on me? Just joking with you. It’s funny but I somewhat addressed this same issue with a post I just put up a minute ago. This is a problem I’ve have for at least the past 3 or 4 years. I don’t know why it is but I always have a crap load ( < figure of speech here only) of things to do so that ART seems to always take second fiddle. Just life I guess, but I do tend to set aside at least 3 weeks a year to try to be creative in painting or drawing. Even at these moments I feel like I’m stealing time from something else.

    Just the nature of life I guess. At least my life. Anyway I think the best time to begin an art career or anything in an art related field is to start when a person is young. For all the youthful spirits here, if your serious about becoming an artist or working in the art business, best time to concentrate on doing so is NOW.

    It is possible to be a success at it later but my advice is to focus and set some goals.

    Nat, set aside some time to just focus on your art ( you seem to be doing this already) and make it a habit to scribble and sketch as often as you can…..that’s what I do.


    See ya, Bruce

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  9. #7
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    I don't have an art job, but find getting up earlier when everyone is still sleeping is a pretty good time.

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  10. #8
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    I have the opposite problem...
    finding time for things that are NOT art (ie.work) is really difficult.
    To support a family doing this job takes an insane amount of effort and hours.
    After work duties, household duties, wife and children, I'm left with about 1 hour to myself each day (sometimes less)
    I always promise myself I will use that time to exercise...
    but I usually just watch Star Trek instead.

    Before I was professional, I was in school, and I pursued my work with the same fervor and sense of importance.
    Though, for a while, I did gallery work and that was kind of nice.
    At that time, I used to work in fits... paint non stop for 7 days straight, then take 7 days off.

    Anyways, the key to making time for your art is 'neglect'.
    Neglect your friends, your job and your health, and suddenly you'll have much more free time!

    - Dan Dos Santos
    www.dandossantos.com
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  11. #9
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    Look at where you are and where you want to go. I put my self in college in my mid 20s to make a change and for 4 years I worked on art. I had to work to pay rent, food etc, but I didn’t let work over run school. This was something I learned from experience, but that is another story for another time.

    After college and landing a job in the design field some of my traditional art slowed down, then kids and family took up more time, and it’s time management. Life just keeps getting more and more things to do.

    There are good things here so try them out, including what was mentioned above:

    • Have a place and materials. If you move around have your materials organized and portable so you can just go and get started.

    • Make it a habit, or set a time that you work on art. You many not be able to do it every day, but a few times a week.

    • If you are a goal person, set some small goals to get the fire lit.

    • Keep doing little fun stuff, scribbling, doodling etc. You can pick out our designers in a meeting, all have note pads that tend to get filled by the end of a meeting.

    • If you can’t put in an hour, but you can a half an hour, do it. It doesn't seem like much to start, but you will find a rhythm and start to pick up time here and there before you know it. It’s doing what you can when you can.

    • Also, turn off your computer, TV, phone etc. I do need music, but that keeps my hands and eyes free to work, it’s eliminating distractions. Now turn off your computer and go to it.

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  12. #10
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    Look at where you are and where you want to go. I put my self in college in my mid 20s to make a change and for 4 years I worked on art. I had to work to pay rent, food etc, but I didn’t let work over run school. This was something I learned from experience, but that is another story for another time.

    After college and landing a job in the design field some of my traditional art slowed down, then kids and family took up more time, and it’s time management. Life just keeps getting more and more things to do.

    There are good things here so try them out, including what was mentioned above:

    • Have a place and materials. If you move around have your materials organized and portable so you can just go and get started.

    • Make it a habit, or set a time that you work on art. You many not be able to do it every day, but a few times a week.

    • If you are a goal person, set some small goals to get the fire lit.

    • Keep doing little fun stuff, scribbling, doodling etc. You can pick out our designers in a meeting, all have note pads that tend to get filled by the end of a meeting.

    • If you can’t put in an hour, but you can a half an hour, do it. It doesn't seem like much to start, but you will find a rhythm and start to pick up time here and there before you know it. It’s doing what you can when you can.

    • Also, turn off your computer, TV, phone etc. I do need music, but that keeps my hands and eyes free to work, it’s eliminating distractions. Now turn off your computer and go to it.

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  13. #11
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    Thanks guys. I tend to draw on the computer and thus tend to get distracted (a problem haunting me from my year of middle school programming), but I think I may be apt for a clinical diagnosis of ADHD, anyway If anyone has more advice or personal stories to relate, please share with me. In the meantime I'll set up my own place for art with materials handy, set a few small goals to get me motivated, and carry around a little pocket-notebook and a pencil for doodles.

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  14. #12
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    either discpline or will

    Its been my experience that you do this one of two ways. Either through discipline (my wife can do this) or through sheer undiluted WILL and intention. This is the only way that I know how. When you've reached the point at which there is NO doubt about the outcome of your actions you are operating on pure will. The following has helped me as well:

    Until one is committed
    There is hesitancy,
    The chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
    Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation)
    There is one elementary truth,
    The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
    And splendid plans:
    That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
    Then Providence moves too.
    All sorts of things occur to help one
    That would otherwise never have occurred
    A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
    Raising in one's favor all manner
    Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
    And material assistance,
    Which no man could have dreamt
    Would have come his way.
    I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
    "Whatever you can do, or dream you can… begin it. Boldness has genius, poetry and magic in It."
    W. N. Murray

    John Blood

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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration View Post
    I have the opposite problem...
    finding time for things that are NOT art (ie.work) is really difficult
    Same here. It's 10:40pm now and I just realised all I've had to eat today is an olive.

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  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Impossible View Post
    Same here. It's 10:40pm now and I just realised all I've had to eat today is an olive.
    Same here.
    So don't worry, you will find enough time for art, when you sort things you have to sort out.

    M

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  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration View Post
    Anyways, the key to making time for your art is 'neglect'.
    Neglect your friends, your job and your health, and suddenly you'll have much more free time!
    Is it worth it?

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  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Is it worth it?
    I personally think it's worth it in the short term, but not long term (ie: first few years it's ok, but not forever).

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  19. #17
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    I am struggling with these issues at the moment too. This is my day so far:
    5:20am get up for work
    7am - 3pm work
    3pm - 4pm train home
    Then the rest can vary....this usually includes about 2 hours for making food and paying attention to my boyfriend (he can get damanding lol! )....About an hour or two for internet bludging - or keeping my blog up to date (this can take a while sometimes too!)....
    and whatever else time I have left until about 10pm when I have to go to bed otherwise I'm way too tired for anything.....well that time is for drawing.
    And the time on the train...
    This usually amounts to about an hour a day, if that. Sometimes more...On weekends there are social things to do and going out and paying more attention to my boyfriend.

    I already don't do any exercise cos honestly there really isn't time for that...and I'm not an overly social person in the first place so there doesn't really need to be any sacrifices made there.

    Overall, I think the biggest thing that has helped is telling myself I have to draw something every day. Even if it's only ten minutes sketching something random.....And now I've got the habit up, even when I'm feeling super lazy I still manage to get something out cos the urge is there.

    Though I'm not the most productive artist out there....Really wish I didn't have to work and commute and cook etc (though I do love the boyfriend hehe).

    Kitty's Drawings - My blog!

    I have a Sketchbook now ---> SKETCHY!!
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  20. #18
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    I know people are half kidding about ignoring other people in your life for art...but if you make it a non negotiable process you will lose the people who don't understand by attrition and attract the people who are supportive.
    I always think of my art as the power to an elctromagnet (me) when I live my art the power of it attracts the right people and pushes away the others. I don't have to be mean or anything, I just don't compromise my art. I still have plenty of friends, someone who loves me the way I am and I get paid to do what I want.
    I spent a lot of time trying to help people who didn't know what they wanted from life until I decided it wasn't my job to rescue them from themselves while they stayed comfortably numb.
    Art is hard and it takes a long time to get good at it for most people. All choices have consequences, many times they have unforseeable ones and many people make bad choices they can't escape in life but you dont have to sink with them. Do what you want to the exclusion of everything else if thats what it takes and maybe that will inspire others to do the same. I think in the end that is better for everyone.

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  22. #19
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    I try to find time for art any time of the day. When on the bus to the university - I draw. When in class and not intressted in some boring lecture - I draw. When during breaks if I don't talk to my friends - I draw. And since there are statues close to where I study I force myself to go there after school and do studies after them. And then when I get home I try and spend my free time on art. I know it takes a lot of time and practise to get good at it, and the more you do of it each day, maybe the more you progress I think.

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
    My Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!

    My TUMBLR!
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  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    I know people are half kidding about ignoring other people in your life for art...but if you make it a non negotiable process you will lose the people who don't understand by attrition and attract the people who are supportive.
    I always think of my art as the power to an elctromagnet (me) when I live my art the power of it attracts the right people and pushes away the others. I don't have to be mean or anything, I just don't compromise my art. I still have plenty of friends, someone who loves me the way I am and I get paid to do what I want.
    I spent a lot of time trying to help people who didn't know what they wanted from life until I decided it wasn't my job to rescue them from themselves while they stayed comfortably numb.
    Art is hard and it takes a long time to get good at it for most people. All choices have consequences, many times they have unforseeable ones and many people make bad choices they can't escape in life but you dont have to sink with them. Do what you want to the exclusion of everything else if thats what it takes and maybe that will inspire others to do the same. I think in the end that is better for everyone.
    For about two years I did do this, but I neglected everything else, and I mean absolutely everything: My family, my school, my health and hygiene, in favor of twenty hour drawing marathons. Or I would cycle through soundtracks, just envisioning ideas. It was awesome, but that's my raw passion. I feel like I'm at a point where I have to take that passion and squeeze it into a workable career to become someone respectable. Maybe it's just a transitional phase while I get a handle on adult life. I fear losing my artistic drive, but I also fear not being able to promote myself and learn properly.

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