I tend to view the process of creating as a “reward” or a leisure activity, because even when it’s challenging, difficult, or even frustrating, I love it so much. So I usually feel like I have to “earn” that time by making sure that my immediate chores are done (dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking) and all other demands are met before I can turn my full attention to the jewelry. By then it’s usually late in the day and even if I’m not physically exhausted, I’m not as alert and at my best. I end up working on something simple or organizing some workspace, and this makes me resent the other things in my life. Not good…
So, what to do? One of the things I’ve found helpful, and I know artists who do this consistently, is to schedule the time for creating as “work time”. I know we might not be used to thinking of work as something we love to do, would rather do than sleep or eat, but whether you make jewelry, melt glass, knit, paint, or write, you know how much of yourself you put into what you create, and you know how hard you work.
I’ve scheduled 3-4 hours this afternoon to work on putting together some jewelry designs that have been running around in my head. Then I’ll fix dinner, clean up, attend a studio Opening for a friend, and, if I’m not too spent afterward I will work a little more when I get home, until bed time. Scheduling the time might seem like a simple concept, but it has evaded me, and I find it helpful when I remember to do it.
Another good, and sometimes easier-for-me option, is to take advantage of “Open Studio” time. Many stores/suppliers, like Funky Hannah’s bead store in Racine, WI and Blue Buddha Boutique in Chicago, IL have free, Open Studio time in their calendars, where anyone can bring something to work on and spend a few hours with others, working on individual projects. These are not classes, and you shouldn’t expect an instructor to be teaching anything, but I’ve found that other artists are often very helpful if you get stuck or need some advice. It’s a great way to spend time working on what you like to do with other people who are doing the same. Another plus is that when you are at an Open Studio, it’s probable that nobody is going to interrupt you to ask if you know where they left their hat, or if there’s anything to eat.