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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    do you have kid(s)? how do you manage time?

    as a fresh out dad I found myself struggling quite hard, I work full time professionally and still want to develop my won skill on spare time which is now nearly impossible, I've heard lots of great guys doing super while having kids, I dont doubt this forum's got quite a few, would you mind sharing some lights with me?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern California
    Thanked 4,921 Times in 2,548 Posts
    Hmmm....yeah, tough situation. I have three...all teens now though so the time thing is just different is all. But they were all infants and toddlers when I started painting. Worked 60+ hour weeks plus a hefty commute. I would paint at night almost every night and push to be efficient and as accurate as possible. Basically I set things up to be as close as possible to a plein air experience - I built a big rear-projection slide viewer that had doors to keep the screen from being influenced by any studio light. That way I could respond almost as if on location, often timing myself like you would when working from life. I would take my vacation time and spend it going to painting workshops with guys I liked.

    At that time I had already been a professional artist for 15 years or so in video game design/production. We would often have figure drawing sessions every week in the art dept. so that drawing when I took the train, while watching tv with family, etc. I took evening/weekend classes occasionally as well. When I couldn't do the art I was reading about it as well. Just tried to fit it in whenever I could.
    What would Caravaggio do?

    Plein Air
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanked 6,549 Times in 2,760 Posts
    Hmm, I've known very few successful artists that had kids before they established themselves professionally. I'm not saying it can't be done but I think its rare to do it that way. All the people I know secured their careers first and had kids second. This was doubly true for women I knew.

    And just to be clear I'd say 75% of the freelance artists I know (men and women) opted to not have children. That may be a generational thing, I'm in my late 50's and most of my friends are at least 35 or older. Younger people have completely different social mores than I do; its like they're from a different planet. I grew up in a generation with zero population as a goal and now people breed like rats and four kids are the norm before they are 30.
    Last edited by dpaint; April 23rd, 2012 at 11:08 PM.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Bundaberg, Australia
    Thanked 120 Times in 31 Posts
    I'm excessively far from professional, but in my situation with a 2-and-a-half year old monster, I tend to stay up after he and Mum go to bed and try to get 1-2 hours of 'stuff' done. This covers personal art and university (only doing one subject per semester), so I tend to alternate nights between the two (I've be able to spend more non-uni time lately due to the ease of the current subject).

    My gorgeous wife tries to get up earlier in the morning to get some writing done, her creative endeavour. As a Mother's Day present last year, I took her to the local annual writing festival, as well as the gift of one Saturday a month where "the kid's mine" and she can get to the writer's group meetings. I also make sure to steal him away when there's a competition deadline looming, or if there's an idea she just needs to get down. She's currently got a much better idea of her goal than I do, so trying to speed her journey closer to the stars first. @:-)

    We both work full-time, have our son to lavish attention on, coupled with my uni commitment (doing it almost purely for the piece of paper and it's associated pay rise), and somehow managing to tackle housework from time to time. It's possible, but it's still a hefty uphill journey.

    Congrats on becoming a Dad. As frustrating as it can get, it's pretty cool. @:-D
    Chris Bowden - Crawling back

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Thanked 567 Times in 343 Posts
    Being a parent is difficult. Being a parent and artist, especially an unestablished one, is like living life on hardcore mode.

    I am 29 and have two children, my eldest is 4 and my youngest 6 months. I'm lucky in that I currently teach Art at a secondary level. So, I spend the majority of my day demonstrating, correcting, and talking about art. However, to get any personal work or study done I have to have a very structured and regimented schedule. I spend my conference period and lunch studying, which is about an hour and a half. After school, I have tutorials and club meetings, which cuts into personal time as it's outside my normal working hours. When I get home, which is around 4:30p, my family comes first. Around 8p, my wife and I begin the bed-time rituals, baths, stories, etc. and by 9:30p they're sound asleep. That's when work begins. 9:30p-12a is my prime time, as little as it is. So that's about 4hrs on a regular day. Weekends, I get up at 5a and work until 10a. The rest of the day is spent with the family until 9:30p, after that I work until I drop. Despite all the scheduling, that's still at or under 30 hours a week. Not nearly enough.

    However, my kids have had a positive effect on my career so far. After I received my BFA, back in 2006, I kind of lost my way. I was finally becoming adept at painting and drawing, but for the life of me I couldn't answer the question "why?". Why Art? Why paint? Why realism? Why observation? It quickly snow-balled into a three year period of complete inactivity.

    It was the birth of my son that woke me up. It took two years, but I secured the teaching job that I now hold. It's been an uphill battle trying to not only regain my technical skills, but to also move past that point and see new growth.

    Now, with the birth of my daughter, I am taking the next step. I'll be working on my MA this Fall full-time. During the next two years I will be creating my own studio practice as well as building my commercial portfolio, alongside a teaching assistantship.

    All the trivial questions that held me down previously have completely melted away.


    Because I am an artist and father.
    Last edited by {CKL}; May 10th, 2012 at 12:32 PM.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    I have 3 kids my youngest is 4 and I work with acrylics because they dry fast so little fingers can't get paint everywhere. Painting time is squeezed into times when the youngest is asleep or at nursery and sometimes we paint together, I've probably got the only 4 year old that asks for an easel when they want to paint a picture
    For my older kids they have a new found respect for me since I started painting, one of them also draws and paints and the other draws and makes sculptures. I've found art to be a real bonding experience for my family and my children say I'm happier when I'm painting.
    I think your question was really for dads but I'm a mum and felt I wanted to reply.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    DuPont, WA
    Thanked 110 Times in 67 Posts
    It gets easier. The more they learn to do themselves the less they'll need your services every minute. CKlamb's bedtime is really important when it comes to keeping your sanity(yours and your small one's). I start her at seven and have her in bed by eight.

    That said, ever since dealing with post partum depression and going back to work full time I've fallen off the wagon.

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