Monday, October 22, 2018

Productivity in the Studio Part 9


How to leave the studio

This one is hard for me!

Try to leave the studio for 24 hours one day a week!  Think of it as a Sabbath.  Do something different. Not research, not cleaning of the studio.  See friends, a movie, cook.... Trust me, you will come back fresher, clearer and better able to work.

Is getting into the studio is more of a problem than getting out of the studio?

1) Make sure you have a dedicated space that can be messy, even if it is just the corner of your room.  Having to put everything away each day is an impediment to productivity.

2) Schedule your studio time and stick to it.  Even if you are tired after your day job, show up!  Make a mark, make another mark.  Answer an email.  Write some ideas your studio, in your set aside space and time.

From time to time I mentor artists who have received grants.  We talk about fulfilling the requirements of the grant, creating timelines, keeping things in perspective.

One of the most important lessons for one artist I mentored was  scheduling studio time.  She worked full time outside the studio, as most artists do.  Just placing her body in her workspace on a regular schedule made a huge difference over time. From simply "showing up" she developed a new, complete body of work in time for her exhibition.

When bound by a day job, it is also useful to think of your studio time in a seasonal way. A sculptor friend, who works 40-50 hours a week in her day job, shows up to labor on her work but also, off hand mentioned one year, as we were all feverishly writing our grants, that is was "grant season." She accepts grant writing as part of the process and shows up for "grant season."  I found that helpful for me as well. Rather than thinking of it as taking away from studio time, re-frame it as a seasonal part of the studio rhythm.

3) Make studio time NON-NEGOTIABLE. It is yours. It is precious.  Do not squander it.

Thank you for reading!  I hope this has been helpful for you.

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