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Thread: Balancing an art life and family
March 11th, 2013 #1
Balancing an art life and family
I was just curious how those of you who have children find the time to balance your life as an artist (which is definitely very time-consuming) and your life as a parent. I don't have any children myself, but I definitely do want to be able to be a mother and give my children enough love and attention while still working as an artist... any thoughts on the subject?
Hide this ad by registering as a memberMarch 11th, 2013 #2
Sorry I am no use to your question, but I have been asking a similar question like this to myself. I know how you feel.
On my journey of improvement (taking classes, drawing /all/ the time, practice, etc), I was wondering how people balance relationships and art? I have a boyfriend who is very understanding but I do not know how it's going to be when I really start getting serious (this summer) and take some intense drawing and figure drawing classes. ;( I already have trouble balancing the two and just don't know how it's going to be once I start a career as well!
March 12th, 2013 #3
I already struggle with this and all I have is a girlfriend :/
March 12th, 2013 #4
Haha, So I guess its hopeless?
I too am in a relationship and find that there are many times when my boyfriend would like more attention then I can give. But, we are able to work it out because we live together, so even if I can't always be there then we can perhaps cuddle watching a movie before bed, or if I wake up early enough then I'll cook him a nice breakfast. the thing is, love relationships and the relationship with a child is completely different. A child isn't readily able to understand that s/he can't have your attention all the time, especially because you are doing something like drawing. And there's school plays/events, there's sick days, all these things that I think a parent MUST put aside time for if they want to do a good job. I guess it's a little early to be worrying about this, but It is a real concern...
March 12th, 2013 #5
I'm not an artist, but work full time with 3 kids. I used childminders when they were little. Being a working mother will always be a juggle.
March 12th, 2013 #6
I'm working fulltime as an illustrator. My boyfriend is working fulltime as an illustrator. problem solved <D
On the other hand, we have no kids, I honestly don't know how it would be that way but it is do-able. Many of the professional illustrators I know have kids.
March 12th, 2013 #7
Yeah I accept any distractions my girlfriend provides.. "Let's go to my friend's friend's art/fragrance/music exhibition!" It stresses me out sometimes if I'm in the middle of a funk, or in the middle of a growth spurt, to spend time away from art. I tell myself it's good practice for when I have kids.
March 12th, 2013 #8
I have a full time dayjob, freelance illustration gigs with (usually) really tight deadlines, a girlfriend and three cats... and also a serious training regime and classes.
If you squeeze the day enough, you have time for almost everything, but there are always sacrifices to be made. Usually, my girlfriend gets the worse end. I hate that, so I'm trying to change it so we have more quality time, but it is really a juggle.
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March 12th, 2013 #9
Live life to the fullest. It is the only way. Observe and learn from the past, plan for the future but live in the moment with your partners and children.
If the children want to be involved and have a go at painting, sculpture or whatever you are doing then let them, even if they can only just walk, make a space for them, teach them your skills, share with them your failures and your successes as they grow up. If nothing else this will impart wonderful knowledge to them and in time they will surpass you anyway. And yes that will take 15 or more years. That's all a part of being a parent.
You cannot 'make time' for children. You must not create 'quality time'. That is a nasty deeply selfish way of thinking. They are of you. Love them, cherish them, involve them, answer all their questions, learn about those things that you don't have an answer for with them, create boundaries for them so they know that they are safe and watch them blossom. Yes they will consume all the time that they can take from you but that is OK. All too soon you will be taking them off to University and they will be off adventuring in their own lives. Then and only then can you go back to being totally consumed by your art.
My partner and I have two children now 20 & 18. Both enormously good at their own art and they have been surrounded by us doing ours since conception. They have seen the good the bad and the bloody marvelous. But you see we have an advantage in that we do our art from our home. Yes our 'home' is really cool being in the country with space all around us allowing us to be ourselves.
And be smart. We had our children when we were both in our thirties. There is no need to rush. Get all the things that you need to get done before you have children. And if you never have children, well as far as I am concerned that is just fine as well. If you can't make the commitment then don't do it until you can. Shitty parents create monsters far worse then anything you can imagine in art.
We are remembered only by what we leave behind.
March 12th, 2013 #10
I figured, Ive got 2 hetero sisters to carry on the blood line, theres 7 billion people in the world and 900million more on top of that every 10 years (for reals), Ill just opt out.
Cos you cant be a skint artist with kids, you have to forget being a selfish fuck and work hard to provide for them. And I like being a selfish fuck!
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March 12th, 2013 #11
SSJ I've been wondering about all that too, I'm in my mid 30's now and I'm well aware that time is running out, but then again it's only now I'm feeling like i'm getting to grips with the beginnings of a career and that is taking up most of my spare time, luckily my partner is usually occupied with his own obsessions so it works out. I like what Waipunga says, that is the dream.
March 12th, 2013 #12
Waipung, very wise words!
Again, I fall in the boat of those above.
20's with a partner.
I study go to uni 3 days a week to study, work 2 days a week in hospitality, have to study at home for my course, freelance animate which uses a hell of a lot of my time and also try and manage seeing my parents/siblings along with spend time with my partner.
Some weeks are good, some are bad.... Like this one where I'm on my third night of getting 3 hours sleep. (freelance animation deadline pulled forward 4 days, thus no sleep).
Anyway, it's a struggle as it is now with an average to 4-6 days sleep each night and a 4 hour commute each day. Not the most pleasant.
I'll figure it out eventually, for now; I can live with the organised chaos.
Ever just woken up and gone "shit, does the world around me exist"?
March 12th, 2013 #13