Thursday, 25 October 2012

Making Time for Creativity

I've been down with a flu bug for the last few days.  I guess my body was tired and said, "That's enough. You need to rest girl!"  So it was lots of hot tea, cozied under a warm blanket on the couch, tv remote in hand.  The old brain didn't want to do any thinking whatsoever during this time.  Now I'm back with something to share.

The other day I was visiting my mother-in-law (I so lucked out in the mother-in-law department; she's an angel) and we got to talking about doing art.  I suggested that to be an artist one has to be a bit on the selfish in order to get the time to create.  It's hard to fit it in with all the other duties, interests, and fun stuff we deal with on a daily basis.  It's hard to say "no" to things, especially if it is important to the family or to the community.  She said she understood, then told me I had to realize that "the housework can wait; it will always be there tomorrow."  Isn't that sweet?

One way I found to help fit art into my life is to have several different projects on the go at the same time.  That normally would make me pull my hair out because I'd want to work on them all, but in this case, each project is vastly different and requires different set up and time requirements.   Example--this past week I have worked on my crazy quilt, a multi-media painting, and a collage project.  Here are my works-in-progress....

The crazy quilt is real basic, no thinking, pull out when I have a few minutes or want to veg out in front of the tv.  It requires virtually no setup (unless I need to cut more blocks), just a needle, thread, pins, thimble, and scissors, and is easy to put aside.


 The collage project I do in small chunks of time-sorting out papers, cutting or tearing them up, glueing them down.   All I need is a couple of tools and maybe a half hour to make some progress. 

For painting I need more time so I save it for those evenings my husband is working nights and my son is out at work or with friends.  The house is mine.  I can drag out all sorts of tools, spread them out over the kitchen table, and spend several hours in creative heaven. 

I'd like to have art in my life on a daily basis, but right now that's not possible.  With methods like these, I get it in my life way more often.  I keep reminding myself not to wait for that magical "perfect" time when everything falls into place and I have unlimited time.  That will never happen 'cause life is just not like that.  So we adapt, flex, make it work for the moment, and go on.  Baby steps in creating -- they add up and eventually, we look back and say "Wow!  I did all that!".   And it feels good.

Stay true.

-- Leah


  1. So true and a great strategy to overcome it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm sorry you've been ill but it sounds like you're on the mend!

    I also keep several projects going at once. I enjoy knitting and doodling in my journal in the evenings because I can do these things and still be involved with family conversation, etc. It sounds like you do a good job of balancing creative pursuits with your other responsibilities. Good for you!

  3. Thanks Leah for your sweet words on my blog! Great post, and I loved your bear story!!

  4. It's not selfish to take time to create :) It nurtures the soul! Doing the dishes NEVER nurtures my soul :) Good on you for trying to find that elusive balance... (and I had a wonderful mother-in-law too!)

  5. You table looks like mine Leah! Living alone has certain advantages . . . I don't have to clear up unless . . . the weather is such that we can't eat outside!