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Five Ways to Make Time for Art

Nobody has "free time."  But we all can make time for art.  Here are five ways that I make time for art:

1. Let the crock pot do the cooking.

Crock pot cooking is my favorite!  Throw the ingredients in and six hours later you've got a hot meal ready to go.  I especially love that in the summer I can have a hot meal without the apartment getting overheated!  I've had good luck with the recipes from this site.

2. Set limits for computer time.  

I know myself.  I can sit down at the computer "just to look something up" and then it's an hour later.  I find the internet completely addictive.  And it's endless -- like the ocean it seems to stretch to infinity.  I have done a few things to help myself streamline computer time:

  • I use social media helpers like Flipboard and Tweet Deck to maximize my Twitter time.
  • Google Reader helps me keep track of the blogs I like and I'm pretty ruthless about kicking blogs out of my feed.  If I read 2-3 posts in a row that don't resonate for me, I unsubscribe.  Why?  Because my time is limited and would I rather spend those five minutes reading something that doesn't excite me or making art?  I'm always going to choose making art.
  • I try to check Pinterest no more than once twice a day.

And even with all that streamlining, I still need to set a timer for myself (love the free Alinof timer app for my computer).  I allow myself some computer time, but I don't let myself fall down the proverbial rabbit hole.

Just this week I took it a step further and moved my computer out of my studio!  Only time will tell whether this will help me limit my computer time and increase my creative time.  I'm thinking it will, though.  From now on, when I'm in the studio I'm arting, not computing.

3. Carry a notebook.

When I'm on the subway I practice my people drawing skills using the commuters around me as models.  Standing in line at the bank I draw sketches for scrapbook pages.  I try to reclaim all of that otherwise "lost" waiting time by doing something artistic.  

Remember, it doesn't have to be a notebook.  The notebook can also be seen as a metaphor.  I always have a project packed and ready for an excursion -- either out into the world or simply into the living room.  For instance, now that it's football season, I've been doing a lot of embroidery in front of the television.  I know that lots of folks knit or stitch on car rides.  There are lots of possibilities!  

4. I make art in the morning.

Truth be told, I'm most creative late late late at night -- sometime after midnight.  But waiting until then has too many negative life consequences (like turning day into night).  But the biggest issue is that I'm tired and I'm carrying the weight of the day with me.  So I make an effort to make art in the morning before I can start to feel guilty about the dishes in the sink or the phone starts ringing or I get sucked into a vortex of e-mail.  I do still conduct some late night sessions, but it is much easier to make time in the morning than it is to make time as the day wanes on.

It's not dissimilar from the theory of exercising in the morning.  You have to do it before you have time to make excuses for why you're not doing it!

5. Phone time = Art time

Speaker phone is a truly awesome invention that leaves you two hands for creating.  My Mom complains about the heat gun or the sewing machine, so I try to stick to quieter crafting while I'm on the phone with her -- like painting and collaging.  (Although, she does claim she can hear the paintbrush clanging around the water jar.)

How about you?  What are the ways that you make time for art?