For me, my studio is a sacred space where I can concentrate and focus solely on making art. It is a place where my creativity can flow allowing my ideas to formulate. I would like to share with you what my typical day in the studio might look like, but first, I want to tell you that I have learnt to divide my arts practice into two streams - the making and the managing - this is necessary as I cannot do both at the same time - it is either right brain or left brain activity.
Studio Days: are solely that, completely focussed on art making.
Administration: I fit the business activities in during my week when I have a couple of hours free where I can focus on responding to emails, managing my diary, updating my website or social media, future planning for exhibitions or doing some research for a new project.
First up, I like to start my day with a cup of coffee, taking a moment to be present and mentally prepare for my painting session or other related activities that need attention.
1. Assessment: At the beginning of every session, I spend time reviewing and reflecting on the current work - this is part of my editing process.
- I ask myself what I do like, and why?
- I ask myself what I don't like, and why?
2. The studio notebook, is one of my most valuable tools. So after the assessment, I write my intentions for the session concentrating on what I want to achieve, for example:
- Use a large brush - one large stroke
- Line differences - long, short, fat, thin
- Shapes: three dominant shapes
- Be Bold, You have got this.
- Then I close the notebook and the session begins...
3. Must have music. Music gets me out of my head and catapults me into that space all artists call "the zone", then I dive right into painting.
4. How long do I paint. I find I am the most effective painting for 2 hours - any longer, then I start to labour over my painting and nothing seems to work. In the past I have painted 10 paintings in one! Over a very long session and totally overcooked it. I don't do this anymore, because I have learnt the importance of knowing when to stop. When I return the next day or next week, I see with fresh eyes and I am not so critical realising that I do like what I have produced. Distancing myself is now a part of my arts practice.
This is Leo, who has the most unique personality of any dog I have known and he is my most loyal studio companion.
5. Cleaning up. The final stage of my studio ritual is to clean up after every session. This could involve organising materials, cleaning brushes and tools, or tidying up any mess made during the session and finally, taking photos of the works in progress so I can incubate ideas by using the edit function on my phone at night.
In conclusion, a typical day in the studio for me and probably most artists is a balance of creativity, focus, and self-care. From the initial morning routine to the final clean-up, every aspect of the day is designed to support my work and allow my creativity to flourish.