Recently I received some wise advice from some awesome new friends working very hard to help artists of various sorts go “full-time” with their art by which I’m pretty sure they mean no more waiting tables unless you really love it.
The advice in question, as I understood it, had to do with the notion of establishing routines in life to make generous space and support for art. Not new advice, but well shared from folks who are walking the talk.
Somehow, though, my life just doesn’t seem to work that way.
I have, in a “normal” week, Monday-Wednesday-Friday days and Tuesday-Thursday days and then, of course, there are the weekends.
I have an extroverted Legendary Husband who lives in a random universe with a totally different time zone than mine, which is predictable only in that it is not. When he’s not traveling for business, he works mostly in the basement, wandering through the kitchen and studio now and then, wondering what I’m up to. He has not yet mastered the fine art of tip-toeing. He also loves me and fetches big canvases when called upon!
I work one on one with painting clients in my home studio, write, and hold workshops for Intentional Creativity students.
Bill and I are adoptive parents to three Newfoundland rescue dogs. That’s pushing 360# of dog, one of whom is blind and came from a severely traumatic background.
They’re great! They love their jobs as studio angels and the girls do a great job as security sisters for Luther.
They also need to go in and out the door, go for walks, and eat, you know, regularly. Grooming, while time-consuming, is an excellent aerobic workout. One of them, who shall remain nameless, enjoys barking at the traffic early in the morning and late at night which I tend to discourage by being very quiet.
Then there was the recent water in the basement episode which messed up more days worth of even perceived routine than you want to know about.
Oh, and then there are my generally manageable but sometimes challenging pain and mobility issues, and a whole bunch of new learning things going on. And, maybe, more even than that.
It’s all good. (Well, almost.) But “routine”. Not so much.
So what do I do with this meant-to-be-helpful question?
Well, I made a nice cup of tea and reminded myself that it was just remotely possible that I’m not doing it wrong. I’m just creating.
And then I started doodling. What looked rather like EKG tracings at first turned out to be a string of W’s. Eventually four of them. After a bit, I had a new list of essentials with no illusions that they’ll happen the same way every day. And, miraculously, a sense that I can live with them!
Water… Walking… Work (read that Art)… and Words.
I am a storyteller. A teacher. One who often doesn’t sleep for the stories rolling through my nighttime brain.
With my granddaughters, friends, clients, readers, collard greens in the front yard, and the soup in my bowl, it’s all stories. Even the images are stories, most of them in context.
The dogs are kind enough to listen, too, though I think they prefer paint music. And treats.
Here’s what I know for sure. Fighting my truly blessed life to make it routine isn’t going to work. The four W’s, on the other hand, feel hopeful. Helpful.
I am, indeed, grateful for the question. I’ll keep you posted!