How Do You Find the Time?

flourish, photograph

“If I don’t practice for one day, I know it; if I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it; if I don’t practice for three days, the audience knows it.”

– Ignace Paderewski

Do you find that as an artist you need to limber up – you know, flex your creative muscles before undertaking any serious work? Or do you dive right in? Is there a specific ritual that gets you warmed up?

What happens to your work if you can’t do it for awhile? Does it feel like you have regressed or can you pick up where you left off? Has this ability changed as you have progressed in your own art career?

As a photographer, there are some constraints about when I can practice my art. It’s hard to do at night, for example (though there are some things one can do then). Add to that that I run a small business full time and have family duties and I find that my time to do photography usually comes in short randomly spaced bursts of time. I might have a couple of hours here and another hour there. Rarely is it even as much as a full day.

So I have to dive in and make the most of that time when it appears. I’m sure my work would be better if I could do it more regularly. One thing I miss about painting is that it was a little easier to do, since it all occurred in my studio and I could do it whenever I had a little time. There was less dependency on the external world being in a certain condition – perhaps that’s one reason I was drawn to do abstract painting (even less external dependency).

I have recently been trying to create more discipline in my photography by focusing on projects that are self-assigned. When I have a deadline, even a self-imposed one, I find I plan a little more and make more time.

What strategies do you use to get yourself to create more time in your schedule to make art? Maybe I can steal one or two…