Artists - do you work too much? Or not enough?

I recently read an article about creative minds and the conflict of managing time. Creative People say No  hits the nail on the head in my opinion. I've often struggled with having all these wonderful opportunities - outing, trips, dinners, etc. surrounding me  but feeling the pull of fleeting time and not enough of it available to create. 

"Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes". -Ashton

 Now be honest - do you have some artist friends who seem anti social at times? Are they painters, sculptors, musicians, or writers? 

“No” makes us aloof, boring, impolite, unfriendly, selfish, anti-social, uncaring, lonely and an arsenal of other insults. But “no” is the button that keeps us on." -Ashton


This is a constant battle in my own life. I think friendships, outings and activities are essential to my creative mind and life in general, but it has to be harnessed. If you don't learn how to say "no" and put in the time and hard work, your demeanor as a creative mind will suffer along with your production. I am a career artist and I treat it like any other person would treat their career. I have a work schedule and hours that I am at work, even if that means I work out of my home studio. Doing this has helped me greatly to balance artist life with social life. And sometimes when I am hanging out with friends at museums, art shows, painting trips, they cross over and are both work and play at the same time. 

So to all my creative friends and colleagues, be aware of your creative time and the importance it plays in your life. The inspiration is already there, you just have to give yourself the quite environment for it to percolate. To everyone else engaging with creatives, give them a hug next time you see them and thank them for the beauty and inspiration they bring into the world.

 "Creative People Say No" is written by Kevin Ashton - you can click here to read his article.