Do you ever feel like you are constantly going back and forth (wherever those 2 places are)? For me, my studio to the stove (to make tea) and back to my studio, with and occasional, to-the-bathroom-and-back.
Yes, I will argue with most saying that I have the best job in the world (freelance illustrator/artist), free to live anywhere–in the magical forests of Northern New Mexico or in India even–because, ‘I can work from anywhere.’
Once our neighbor came for a visit with her son, and she was showing him how I paint pictures for my job. He looked at me kinda funny but smiled, perhaps wondering if I really was a grown-up after all. I told him, “Yeah, it’s like being in Kindergarden—I just color all day.”
There are, however, some challenges to my profession. Since my studio is in my home, and well, according to my mom we live in a closet (750 sq ft), I am always at work. And since I love what I do, I don’t mind rolling out of bed into a cup of chai and a painting. Or a sketch. Or a list. Or email, etc. My dog Oso does seem to keep a close eye on me and gets me to stop for a walk, a treat, back scratch, but still, I feel like I’m always working. (If it wasn’t for Patrick and the tv show Lost, i’d work a lot more–note: we don’t actually own a TV, but we download that one show via iTunes.)
To be truthful, and I think this dates back to my Hallmark days in the Fresh Ink studio, I’m vulnerable to distractions. I could probably get much more done in the day and in a lot less time if I simply didn’t get so distracted. I mean, I can focus when I need to, but I’m also an artist, and I think by nature, most artists are good at finding other (albeit creative) distractions: calling friends, reading blogs, looking at books, visiting artist neighbors, walking in the woods, etc. Not that these things aren’t contributing to my creative soul, but honestly, some days fly by, and I don’t know where they went and or what I did. Or, I end up working late into the night to make up for the day.
Which brings me to the topic for discussion: TIME MANAGEMENT for the freelance illustrator (artist, writer, etc) who works from home.
Personally, I’ve tried making lists (which I do daily, oh how I love lists and crossing things off of lists), and I’ve tried making myself a schedule (you know, like a highschool class schedule with blocks of time for everything I need and want to do: write, paint, read, draw, brainstorm ideas, email, yoga, play, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes that works, for a few days anyway. (okay, perhaps I need to work on discipline!)
Maybe I should try rolling out of bed and into the shower first thing so my morning starts faster.
Lately, I’ve fallen out of any schedule all together, and I’m looking to try again. I know this will help me keep my sanity as well as make me oh-so much more productive. And yes, I just cleaned/reorganized my entire studio, so I’m ready.
So, I’d love it if y’all shared your wisdom of how you go about your days and lists and juggling … And, post your comments (or fun distractions) below so we can all benefit!