One of my not-calling-it-a-resolution-but-it's-resolutions for this year is to make more time for art. I know, what a weird statement from someone who makes their living making art, right? But over the last couple of years, I've found that more and more the business aspects of my job have taken more and more of my time, leaving less time for the creative part that I love so much. This past year was actually a really great year for me, creatively, but if I wasn't on a deadline, I was letting myself get lost in social networking, answering emails, shipping orders and the general day to day workings of a business.
I wasn't spending enough time just drawing for fun or working on new pieces for my portfolio. And I wasn't working on the ideas I've had for children's books or for web comics or for a new shop or for anything else really.
So even though I was busy making art and busy running a business and having fun the whole time, I felt like I wasn't really looking to the future and working towards the big goals that were dancing around in the back of my mind: writing and illustrating children's books of my own, growing the licensing portion of my career into something really viable, launching a new blog and shop as a side project, writing and illustrating a funny little web comic about a 10 year old witch that I've been thinking about for a year now.
Somehow these things got pushed aside as I just focused on whatever it was I was working on at the moment, which was usually packing orders or wasting time looking at puppy pictures on the internet, if I'm begin honest. Because that's what this really turned into, my realizing that I'd turned into a time wasting, procrastinating fool who was never going to be anything other than a small time artist. Which as it turns out was the kick in the pants that I needed to start rearranging things and get back on track with my big dreams.
So last week, I decided that I was putting Art First and business second. Just to see if I could do it and just to see if I could still stay on top of things. I started off each day checking my emails, reading blogs, social networking and drinking tea just like always but at 8am, I shut down my emails and disconnected my internet and then spent several blissful hours just drawing, illustrating and making patterns, sometimes on paper, sometimes with paints but mostly in Photoshop. At 3pm, I'd stop to do my daily workout, then I'd spend a couple of hours working on the business stuff: emails, packing and shipping orders, or whatever else needed to be done.
And guess what? It worked! I made a lot of art, good art, and that made me feel so happy and so creatively blissful. But I also still managed to keep up with shipping orders and answering emails too. I didn't feel stressed about any of it and I didn't feel guilty for making art most of the day instead of doing the boring business stuff.
So I think that putting Art First is going to be the way around here from now on and that there are great things lingering on the horizon for this little artist.
But on a less serious note, let's look at these awesomely cute dinosaurs I drew last week!