being and artist and a mother need not be impossible

This is a followup from my post last week. This is what I commented on the original post, tidied up a bit and expanded for this.

Being the obsessive sort that I am I started considering these issues when I decided that I wanted a family. Liam and I discussed them from the beginning and we planned out how to ensure that I had enough time in the studio and how to make it a safe environment.

The thing to bear in mind is that this is your career and if you are serious about it, then it needs to be treated with all the seriousness of any other career. I work from my home studio and fit my work, both studio time and the business side, around her naps and feeds- I actually use them to structure my day! I find that since having a baby my career has become more structured and disciplined. I have to set aside time to achieve my tasks, so I don’t waste it as much as I used to. my goals have coalesced more as well, I’m more inspired to create and more inspired to succeed because I want the best for my little girl!

a few notes.

  • I don’t know what paint you are using, but I find that the water miscible oils are wonderful and fume free, I took to using them before I started trying to get pregnant and find them a great way to keep a safe environment at home- they work just as well. they also clean up very fast- great when time is an issue! I don’t use heavy metal pigments either, I don’t want to risk transferring anything through my breastmilk.
  • pick techniques that you can fit around his schedule – small, bite sized chunks of work you can easily digest. that goes for your to-do list too! if you keep tasks to 15 minute blocks you can get so much done in very little time! (this works for cleaning too 🙂
  • have a list of goals for your art, your marketing and keep them in mind. make sure they are achievable and excite you. set particular goals for each year. this year I am focussing on creating works and marketing online, I have stepped back on exhibiting, but I am getting my gallery list together and starting to plan my calendar for next year.
  • keep a sketchbook with you for quick ideas and sketches. no matter what you are doing there is always time for thinking about art!
  • I find it’s sometimes hard to get myself into the studio, I talk myself out of it, there is so much more I feel I should be doing. the 15 minute rule works well here too.
  • getting up one hour earlier can work wonders.
  • expressed breastmilk can help for long studio jags or when you are out at openings. knowing you don’t *have* to stop painting to go feed really helps.
  • My husband is very supportive of my career, he knows it is my passion and makes sure I have time. enlist help to ensure you get the time you need!

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