Behind the Scenes
Having your own business and being an artist is a strange concept for most people. They don’t know how to talk about what I do, once I say what my job is. For most people, the thought of not having a regular work schedule and paycheck is daunting, because how will they get anything done without a deadline? Yup, it is an interesting life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Because some people have been interested in my routine, how I get motivated to get creative every day, and how to deal with days where I am not feeling creative, I decided to let you in on a typical studio day. First of all, not all my work for my business happens in the studio, only maybe 40% of it does, actually. I wish it were more, but for now, that is the way it is.
Getting enough sleep is so important, and I need like 9 hours (unfortunately). I think all the time about how much more I would get done if I only needed 4. Being in the studio is also like a physical and mental workout. If I am not in the studio for a while, getting back into it is really hard. I can only go for an hour or two before being absolutely drained.
Ideally, I work out right when I wake up. I have a snack, workout, shower, make a larger breakfast with my tea, and then get to work. Lately, there has been a working out during lunch type of thing going on. For me, it really depends on my food intake. I forget to eat if I am really in the zone, so if I have been working and suddenly feel starving, I feel like I have to eat a lot, let it digest, then I can work out. It’s a tricky balance. Either way, I have to get it in. It is like a mental break. I have no choice but to focus on the workout, so by the time it is over, I have no more anxiety about anything, like my mind was rebooted.
I have to get my tea in. So that happens almost right away. The whole process is like half an hour of relaxing too, it takes 20 minutes or the tea to cool down enough anyways… But it is not really a caffeine thing for me, more like a routine I do every morning. It makes me feel like I can move on to the next things, rather than have everything fall out of order.
I put up a curtain between the living room and my studio (which is actually a foyer type area) so that I can dance around without anyone watching me. For some reason, I only do my best work if I can be left alone to focus. Some people definitely work better with others around, but that's not me.
The right music is a huge part of my process. I need to be able to bop around to it. Sometimes, though, I get into moods where I don’t need it at all. I am not sure if those are good or bad yet. We will see...
6. Enough materials.
I cant get bogged down with how much paint I am using. So keeping the studio fully stocked is important, and something I forget about every once and a while. Plus, there really isn’t a lot of room to put new stuff anyways…
Everything in the studio needs to be organized so I can just grab it and make a mark. I keep losing my tiny spray bottle lately, and it wastes so much time trying to find it. By then, I will have partially forgot what I was going to do next. And I am notorious for losing things that I just put down a second ago.
If it is too hot, I am sweating, if it is too cold, my body will be too stiff to move around in the way I need to. My paintings are a really a full body process. The ones that are 4x4 feet actually take my whole body to create one stroke. That is why I always say painting is like dancing.
Inspiration for me comes through in my color palettes. I never know what it is going to look like when it is done, and I never start with a plan, except for the color palette. I am always on the hunt for new color combinations to really create that wow factor, but it takes a lot of painting and a lot of combinations to find the right ones.
If I am having a high anxiety day, my work sucks. That is the one constant factor that I have found that effects my painting. If I am in my head, I end up overthinking it. In order to create the effect I need, I need to be able to see and react, see and react. That is what intuitive painting is all about. And it only comes out well if I have no mental limitations.
Normally I work for about 5 hours a day, with a break in the middle. Then there is another hour or so of photography, then cleanup, etc. Mostly, my time is determined by how well the piece is going and how inspired I am with it. Sometimes I can make one mark and have to come back to it, and sometimes I can make 5 before I need to put it away for the night and come back to it with fresh eyes. That is why I always have 2 giant paintings, 2 medium sized paintings, and 4 small ones going all at the same time. I don't think I could fit any more in my space at one time anyways.
Everything else takes place on the computer or on my phone unless I am doing finishing and packaging and shipping that weekend, which takes hours and hours (unfortunately).
So that is what my workday is like. Balancing which days are studio days and which days are computer days is another story though….
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Owner and CEO, kfons