An Artist’s Dilemma: Finding Time to Create

finding time for art

An Artist’s Dilemma: Finding Time to Create

Do you have TIME for art?
In this chaotic world of hectic schedules, most of us don’t have time for much of anything. Most us do not have the luxury of just painting all day while bills pay themselves and the dishes take the initiative to fling themselves into the dishwasher.

If you are anything like me, you might struggle finding the time to create art. As I write this, I have five children: an eight year old, a six year old, a four year old, a two year old, and a newborn. And a house full of needed renovation projects. And a native species tree farm we are getting off the ground. And 15 chickens to feed and water. And I’m thinking we should expand to ducks and guineas because……why not?

I remember when my only responsibilities were a full time job and myself. Life has gotten more complicated since then.

Finding time for creating requires creativity. Let’s face it. Creativity doesn’t just happen. Sometimes you have to put a little work into it. You know, so you can be creatively creating in creating time to create. Say that again really quickly!

Sometimes being in that romantic role of “artist” is pretty unsexy. How do we merge creating art and existing in the hectic real world?


If I’m at my table working on something, I’m probably also using my foot to rock the baby’s bouncy chair until I have shin splints.

I might have just set lunch on the table knowing I can now sneak a quick 10 minutes in the studio.

I might go set up most of my equipment at 11pm if I know I can grab some painting time in the early morning.


Flexible with time. Sometimes 20 minutes is all you get. Sometimes 2am is all I get. Flexible with location.
Sometimes planning happens on the go. While a sketchbook is great for trying out ideas close to home, I actually type things out on my phone quite often. In the doctor waiting room, at the park, waiting for water to boil, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to spend “working on art” when you are not anywhere near your art.

Related  For the Love of Green in Art and Design


paint brushesCrazy amounts of planning. As a busy parent, I don’t have the ability to stare at a blank slate and wait for inspiration. Instead I’m documenting inspiration everywhere. Quick pics with my phone or jotting down notes. Sometimes I will get a piece stuck in my head, but it can be weeks or months before I can start making it. So I plan. I make an outline with everything I need material wise, what thought/feeling I want to invoke, what technique I’m going with, and maybe even a schedule for working on it. This sounds incredibly un-organic, but it is necessary. And we all know the piece will change several times in the creation process anyway. Just because the start isn’t organic, doesn’t mean the finish won’t be. Would we ever accomplish anything in this world if we only acted when it felt organic and naturally inspired?

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