August 25, 2011
I get a lot of questions about time management and living a creative life and making a living in art. And I've given out lots of advice in the past (like this post on priorities). However I decided that it might be fun to keep track of what I do in a typical day and maybe that would give you an idea of what my life is like right now. However I kept putting it off because there was never a day that felt "typical." And then I realized that that is typical of my life! No two days are alike. So I decided to give you forty-eight hours of atypical typical.
This is Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24:
7:00 am | Vaguely conscious of my husband leaving for the office and saying something to me.
8:00 am | Wake up. Check e-mail on my iphone. Go back to sleep.
9:45 am | Wake up. Check e-mail and read tweets on my iphone while lying in bed.
9:58 am | Brush teeth and sit down at computer to get the day started. Tasks include: importing photos from Maine trip, answering e-mail, booking hotel reservations for CHA Winter 2012, answering e-mails, answering blog comments, answering e-mail...and did I mention answering e-mail?
11:06 am | Stand up. Stretch. Drink a glass of water and eat a banana. And then back to the computer. So many more e-mails to answer.
11:16 am | Skype chat with my friend Nathalie Kalbach. Lots to discuss about our Mixed Media Circus event, some potential new sponsorship, and the usual industry ponderings.
12:00 pm | Hop onto conference call. Wait for ten minutes. I have the time wrong. Ooops.
12:12 pm | Order lunch from Seamless Web. Vietnamese Food. Yum!
12:13 pm | Continue to answer e-mail. Find out that my four-day Soy Wax Batik Class with Melanie Testa up at Hudson River Valley has been cancelled. Call City Quilter to sign up for their one-day Soy Wax Batik Class with Melanie Testa. It's sold out. Sigh.
12:30 pm | Conference call. My lunch arrives in the middle. I eat and talk and listen. And I sort of poke through Google Reader too.
12:54 pm | I start going through a week's worth of physical mail and play last night's Design Star in the background. Among the things in my mail: My copy of May Flaum's Scrapbook Workshop and the return of my layouts, the return of a layout and my comp copy of Scrapbooks Etc., a replacement punch from Fiskars (my punch broke and they replaced it free of charge - how's that for awesome customer service?!), and my Cocoa Daisy kit! I put them in a pile. I'll have to put them away at some point.
1: 54 pm | My floor is shaking. Earthquake! I call my Mom, turn on the news, and start checking twitter.
2:29 pm | Check prices for travel to/from Toronto for upcoming classes at BizzyB in Toronto!
2:55 pm | Sick of answering e-mails. So I work on a blog post for my new little fun blog on eating out.
3:54 pm | Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Need to create some room on my desk so that I can work on a class sample.
4:37 pm | Put together a few kits for students who are last minute sign-ups at CREATE.
5:12 pm | Splash around in my art journal, working on the sample for tonight's class at The Ink Pad.
6:15 pm | Realize the time and scramble to get dressed and pack for class!
6:40 pm | Run out the door, stop by the pharmacy, hop in a cab and head for the West Village.
7:05pm | Grab a soda and a bottle of water and head into The Ink Pad.
7:15pm | Art Journaling Club. I love this class. And the students are awesome. I always leave class feeling excited and inspired. They really make me happy.
9:30pm | Do a little unnecessary shopping at The Ink Pad: StazOn Cleaner, polka dot tape, and a cool alphabet-in-a-circle stamp. But I touch every stamp in the store and knock down a few along the way. Ooops!
10:20 pm| Arrive home. Chat with the husband, who is on his way to bed. This is my favorite time of the day.
11:22 pm | Try to decide whether to have dinner or just head into the studio and get some work done. Check my e-mail while I'm thinking.
11:42 pm | Decide I am hungry. Time to boil water for some midnight pasta. Edit photos for blog post while water is boiling. Also talking on the phone with my Mother. Speaker phone is a fantastic invention.
12:25 am | Finished eating. Back at the computer, working on a half finished blog post for tomorrow.
12:43 am | Feel tired, but there's so much to do! I leave for Chicago on Thursday morning and I haven't unpacked from Maine yet! Fiddle around with stuff. Edit photos. Clean some stamps. Too tired.
1:18 am | Carve a rubber stamp because cleaning the stamps makes me want to carve stamps. I want to see if I can carve script. I've never tried.
1:44 am | I've got a thousand and one ideas running through my head! But I'm kind of scattered and all over the place and don't actually get much done.
2:45 am | My head hits the pillow and I'm out like a light.
9:54 am | Check e-mail on my iphone while in bed. Sigh. So many tasks to begin the day with. Chat with the husband who is on his way to work.
10: 12 am | Get up and head to the computer. Build a triage list for the day. (1) Must unpack from Maine trip (2) Must pack for Chicago (3) Must finish class samples for BizzyB classes. Second tier to do's: (1) Stencil Hop information (2) Call Anna from Crafty Girls Workshop (3) Figure out Friday's Art Journal Every Day post.
10:45 am | Gathering all of the art supplies for Chicago. Printing supply lists and trying to sort it all out.
11:32 am | Call Anna at Crafty Girls Workshop to discuss the details of the workshop I'll be teaching there in October.
11:55 am | Working on the supply list for the Crafty Girls Workshop class.
12:02 pm | Lunch. Watching the news and they say that Hurricane Irene is coming and will hit NYC on Sunday. I'm supposed to fly from to Chicago to NYC on Sunday. Lovely.
12:40 pm | Must unpack. I clean the kitchen while I'm at it.
1:06 pm | Must pack. Making a packing list. What do I really need? I clean the living room while I think.
1:39 pm | Packing in earnest. Clothes get packed quick enough. Packing the art supplies and finishing up some last minute kits is arduous. Ick. I *hate* kitting classes. The best part of teaching in NYC is that no one ever expects a kit. Love, love, love that! Makes teaching such a supreme joy!
4:01 pm | Take a break to surf the internet.
4:12 pm | I reink my Distress Ink Pads before packing them. Supply maintenance is an important thing to do. It's easy to neglect, but keeping your paints, mists, inks, brushes, and so on in good shape makes for easier creating in the long run.
4:30 pm | Feeling hungry. Time for Microwave S'mores. Place a marshmallow on top of a L'Petit Ecolier cookie. Microwave for 15 seconds. The chocolate melts and the marshmallow expands. Yum!
5:14 pm | Prepping for CREATE continues. I'm shining up class samples and organizing my notes. I'm hunting for supplies. Need to finish packing!
5:39 pm | Mostly finished packing. Time to hop into the shower.
6:34 pm | Time to work on those class samples for BizzyB!
7:30 pm | Covered in paint and nothing is working. I feel so frustrated that I can hardly stand it! Aaaaargh! This is one of the problems with creating class samples. You have to strongly limit supplies and right now I'm also on a huge time crunch. Very frustrating combination. Total performance anxiety and nothing looks good to me!
8:30 pm | Time to leave for dinner. The reservation is at 9pm.
8:45 pm | I arrive at Mas Farmhouse and have a Diet Coke while I wait for my husband to arrive. I sketch some ideas out for the Canadian classes. Might as well use the time I have. That's why I always carry a little Moleskine sketch book in my purse.
9:10 pm | We're seated at a cozy table in the back. We have the chef's tasting menu and it is superb!
11:40 pm | We hail a cab to take us home.
12:23 am | I've still got packing to do and this blog post to finish. Need to edit photos and maybe I'll finish the packing in the morning. I'm exhausted right now.
12:50 am | I see my art journal just sitting on my desk and I flip it open for a few minutes of "me" time. I had done the background previously, so I mostly worked on the figure in the center. Not loving how it looks now, but it will come along with time. I have faith in that.
1:07 am | Back to finishing this blog post. Photograph what I've done in my art journal and finish this post.
1:20 am | Send a few more e-mails. Finish up "packaging" a class. Review this post for spelling mistakes.
1:54 am | Hit "publish." And I'm off to bed!
So what conclusions are there to draw from this account of forty-eight hours in my life?
- I see very little of my husband. Which is not a good thing, but it does mean I have the time to get a lot done.
- There is lots and lots of "not fun" stuff to do once art making becomes a business and not a hobby. You don't get to do just the fun stuff anymore. There's a lot of e-mail and paperwork and creating on demand. Most of my day is this kind of stuff, not the fun art making. I'd like to change that balance somehow.
- I pretty much work from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep.
- It is often on the busiest days that I am suddenly overtaken by the need to create "just for me." Witness the stamp that I carved after midnight last night and the art journal page I worked on tonight.
- I am a multi-tasker. I am often talking on the phone while cleaning. Or I try to find little moments to work -- like in the shower, or at the restaurant tonight while I was waiting.
- It's funny reading all this back because I feel like I didn't get any of the things done today that I wanted to. But when I look at how much I actually did, I feel kind of proud of myself for pushing it out.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my crazy crafty life. Does it look at all like forty-eight hours in your life?