Eric Maisel says that we need to learn to do our art “in the middle of things.” What he means is that the busy-ness of life can shove art to the side, because we are raising children, working, trying to be all of the things that our culture asks of us. (Which is, by the way, impossible.)
So, what gets lost in all of that is the time to reach your inner self, carve out time for calm, and create things that have meaning for you. It is something that is easy to overlook in the bluster and chaos of every day. You recognize it when you get some of it, though. It is like a cozy sweatshirt out of the dryer, and you ask yourself why you haven’t been making room for this feeling.
Here is my suggestion: allow yourself this luxury. Even in the middle of things, that wonderful peace — when time stops and you lose yourself in the work of creating art, whatever your particular art flavor might be — can be found. And it will feel really good.
This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:
Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my blog. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)
…or something like this:
The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickies to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.
As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!
Switching back to illustration from fine art is not as comfortable as going in the other direction. There is so much structure and almost everything about drawing for a book is rules-driven. Color work is mostly predetermined, the lines must exactly match the previous line quality, and even brushwork must be done with an eye for disappearing (though not completely.) I love knowing what I have to do, but am so aware of the restrictions that it is hard to see where the creativity is.
Then I see that within all of that there is breadth and width in the slight curve of an eyebrow (which is why I get to do this work.) A tiny lift here and there that speaks to a child with humor, and the art gets noticed. Some awfully nice reviews have been written about my line, my palette and my expressive faces on grandly simplified chickens. So I come back to the drawing board with some sense that I belong here as much as at the easel. It just takes some time to remember it, and notice that it has to be done with enough of that energy that I was using last week on my seemingly more expressive oil landscapes.