Remember a couple days ago Ryan challenged us to think about our environment and determine what we need to let the creative juices flow. Some people need a chaotic work space, while others need something more organized and pristine. A place for everything and everything in it's place.
Today Ryan is challenging us to make a change to our environment to make the process of art making easier. He mentions removing obstacles that slow you down or keeps you from working. The example he uses is to always have a palette with paint ready at all times so it's easily accessible. Setting up your paints no longer becomes a obstacle that can stop you from working altogether.
Pictured above is my current set-up. On the left I have a office/studio room where I have my computer and easel. I don't work off my easel quite yet though. Next weekend, and by the time you see this post, I'll be getting and little mobile cart/table thing. Something like this.
The image on the right is the kitchen table. This is where I work most of the time off of a table top easel. I love table space and I wish I had more. Now that I'm thinking about it, in addition to the little table thing, I'm going to get a nice fold-able table to put in my studio. That way I can keep my table space and finally free up the kitchen table for things like eating dinner at.
EDIT: Got that thing I was talking about. Not the same one I linked to at the top, but it's so much better. Got it at Ikea! It's called Algot. This is is wonderful! It provides so much needed storage space and everything is right there for when I need it.
This thing works fantastic! It provides so much storage that I needed and it's partners really well with my easel set up. On top I have my palette full of paint ready to go whenever I'm ready. The top bin has paper towels, brushes, and mediums. Anything that I might want on hand. The second one has my oil paints, the third has my acrylics. The last has misc stuff. Some small canvases and panels. And it's on wheels which make it even better!
So the exercise presented to us to day is called "Nonsense Writing." I guess it's a tactic used in creative writing to help loosen up the mind and let word flow out of you. You know that moment when you're stuck in a game of improv and you just can't think of anything to say or do no matter how random you try to be? I imagine this would help with that.
The way it is explained is that you start of with random keywords. In Ryan's case he uses "mother, father, brother" or some combination of the words. Then after those words he lets other words flow from. You don't have to use mother, father, brother. Use whatever works for you, but is you can't think of anything feel free to use them.
Here's my short attempt. I'll probably try a few more of these in the future.
Today's challenge is about "time management," but not in the sense you're thinking of. Today it's more about tracking your emotional state during the day and figure out your rhythm. Ryan say's he did it for a week, but we don't have to. I think I'm going to try and do it for 2 or three days. Mostly because today is a Friday and I have to go to work. I don't really want to record one day, that day being at work. So I'll do Saturday, which is partially a busy day. Going to life drawing. Then Sunday which is chore day.
Three days later...nothing. It's really hard to keep on top of this task. I keep forgetting to start it.
So the following Monday I remembered to keep track of everything! Google calendar was super helpful for me with this. Check it out below.
In this exercise Ryan asks you to describe your typical morning, afternoon, and evening. So I guess I'll do that.
My mornings usually start between 6:30 to 7:30. Usually I take a shower and get dressed for work first thing. Next I will normally log onto my computer and I work on my website or any social media stuff. This usually entails adding new pieces to my website or writing and scheduling future blog posts. I work on that up until 8:30 then I leave for work. When I show up for work I say hi to a few people and chat a little and then I head to my desk and organize my goals for the day. Then I get to work! At 11 I take a 15 minute break which I use for sketching.
I take lunch at 1-1:30. Most of lunch is spent eating and socializing, but I try to work in some sketching time too. Sometimes that'll run a little late. Usually after that I re-evaluate my goals for the day and adjust for any work priorities. Then at 4 I take another break to sketch some more. 5:30 I leave for home.
I get home at around 6.Whether or not its my turn to cook dinner I either start dinner or I take a seat and work on what ever piece of art I'm working on at the moment. But it's a very relaxed situation. I not giving the work my full attention. I work on it here and there as I watch TV or do chores.When dinner is ready my boyfriend and I will sit in the living room, eat, and watch some more TV. When dinner is finished I either continue working on what I'm working on or I'll go work on a painting or study. Eventually I'll stop and clean the kitchen then either go back to painting or relax and wind down for the evening. Eventually I'll find myself in bed going to sleep.
Challenge 19 is about scheduling you ideal day. How do you want you days to look like? In addition to scheduling your ideal day he want you to pair it with how you want to feel at that time. In this case I'm going to imagine my ideal day is where I'm doing art full-time.
So how would I like my day to go?
Excited! I would like to start the morning with an excited perspective and "ready to start the day" attitude. I would like to feel well rested. Should be feeling cheery as I cook myself a good breakfast to start the morning right. By 9 or 10 am I should be in the studio looking over what I want to work on for the day. I'd to sort out some priorities and goals. To start off I'd like to get on the computer and do any social media, blogging, or website stuff. Also I'd like to do some logistical work as well, getting things ready to ship and whatever that entails. Later in the morning I'd work on some pencil work. Whatever I have in the works, thumbnails, studies, pencils to prep a piece for painting, planning new pieces.
By the afternoon I've moved onto a larger painting, a longer term project. Here I'm in my Zen. I'm not happy, I'm not sad, I'm not feeling much of anything other than determination to bring this painting to life. Probably around 1 I'll break for lunch, feeling accomplished and happy that the day is going well. I have lunch with a friend. Maybe run and do and afternoon chore. Take any recently sold painting to the Post Office. Maybe I'll feel a tad bit sad that I'm sending off a painting that I worked hard on. But I'll remember how happy it makes me to to send it off to an excited buyer. Then I'll return home and work on the next exciting work, rocking out to music, and snacking on snacks as I work away into the evening.
Somewhere between 5:30-6:30 I step away from the studio to cook dinner. When dinner is ready I sit down in the living room and watch any TV shows we have recorded. Maybe I'll sketch a bit after dinner, just small thumbnails. At this point I'm winding down and relaxing with my boyfriend. Maybe I'll revisit my painting a little bit in the even, but the bulk of the work is done for the day. I spend the rest of the night reading whatever I'm reading at the moment. Most likely a novel where I draw inspiration from.
Death bed exercise? Today's challenged turned morbid. Essentially the task is to pretend you're on your deathbed and you are looking back on your life. I've done this before, unintentionally. Me thinking morbid thoughts, I guess.
Here's what came to my mind:
My husband has just past and I know that I am soon to follow, but before I go I start one last painting. This painting will be an omage to or life together. I reflect upon our lives. The first time we met. Our wedding day and every other significant moment we spend together. I think about all the good times I've had with the people I love. Upon finishing my last painting I pass away the in the night. Quietly and peacefully.
I don't know those are the type of things I imagine. =/
How do you balance out your day? What drains you of energy and what replenishes it? These are the questions posed to us on day 21. Ryan has focus in on our emotions and think of them at calories or food that we consume. Which emotions give us energy and which have a negative effect.
Some of the emotions that definitely zap the energy from me is worry, anxiety, fear. The basics, I guess you could call them. The type of things that everyone experience. I'm not sure what you would categories this next one, but when I'm surrounded by too many people for too long. Like I dislike having a busy weekend seeing people, going to events or parties. That completely zaps me, but I guess it makes me desperately want to go back home and work on something.
What energizes me? If I come up with a concept that excites me, that'll give me so much energy. Other than than I'm not sure. Usually when I'm at home I just do it. My easel and paints are always ready to go. I feel like when I don't get to work I become antsy. I just need art. I need to work on art. I need to get better. It feels like it's the only thing I have in life. Its the only thing that could possibly give me a future. Yet I'm not any good at it. Or at least I'm not good enough YET. Time and hard work will tell.
Join me in Ryan's 30-Day Art Challenge by clicking here or the link below!