Today is the last of seven full days that I set aside just for art.
Just for art.
Because my working life is usually balanced between my consultancy business and my creative practice but... I have a tendency to set aside more of my daytime working hours for consultancy work. Always. Because, there's a better bet I'll get paid for the hours I put in. And I have three kids to keep a roof over - at least that's my excuse. And I like having money for food and stuff. You know.
The problem is, as my consultancy gets busier, despite the fact that I would really love for art to be my one full-time thing at some point in the future, I keep saying yes to consultancy work because I don't want to lose any clients and ... income.
Which leaves me with an inconsistency between my short- and long-term goals.
I know. Should I even be admitting this!?
Some major art deadlines on the horizon - an exhibition and a launch both in November - have instigated the push to put art at the top of my list these last two weeks. And its been an eye-opener as to how my time management habits have trained me over the last few years!
If you're following my art page or my instagram (or both), you might see that I am producing a fair amount of artwork. Occasionally people accuse me of being prolific. But in truth, I am always staying up past my bedtime to paint, and wishing there was more hours in a day. If there was, I would be spending those hours with a paintbrush in my hand (or a pencil, or a scrapertool, or...). But perhaps I actually need to be more scrupulously dividing my time.
Because last Monday I kept looking up from my pots of paint and my scratchtools and thinking "Right! I must get back to..." and then remembering that art was my "something important". And by this week it had improved significantly, but only because I had slipped somewhat into "holiday mode" - a mindset that there is nothing "important" to do, so I can create to my heart's content.
After a few years of putting it out there, I am quite comfortable introducing myself as an artist. I see it as a valid vocation, it is unquestionably my passion, and I have enough "going on" in that space to keep me quite busy. So how have I managed to be working at the "business of art" for two and a half years now and still not allocate it as "important"?
The truth is, I don't really know. Is it because I have too much fun doing it? Because I "fit it in" regardless? Is it because it is still the lesser part of my income?
As I write this I'm hoping this quandry might be something other artists will relate to. When do you step it up? Am I just overthinking it? Will it just happen at some point?
Perhaps I should just smile more widely that I want to be full-time doing something I love so much it doesn't feel like a job at all - and that I'm already, partly, on my way... I just have some time management skills to master.
Tamworth's "Light Up the Night" launches on 9 and 10 of November and my exhibition "Unmeasured Moments" opens in the St Leonards' ME Art Space on 17 November.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!