A Day in the Life
What Do Artists Do All Day?
What’s a day in the life of an artist like? What do we do all day? Do we just hunker down in our studios drawing, painting, and sculpting all day? I think if you ask what a day in the life of an artist is like of one hundred different artists, you’ll get one hundred different answers.
For me however, the answer varies. Since I make most of my living by having a regular 9-5 office job, which takes up a huge chunk of my day, I have to resort to using my free time for my art. So, Monday through Friday is pretty structured for me. I wake up at 4:00 a.m. and get to the gym by 5:00. Then I’m at work by 7:00. The department I work in is pretty laid back for the most part, which is great. Because sometimes, if work is slow I can work on a project at my desk or work on a blog post like I’m doing now.
After work I head straight home, wash my breakfast, snack, and lunch containers, and repack them for the next day. Then I’ll finally start working on my current project. I have an art table, but it can sometimes be a little claustrophobic for me as it’s on the bottom level of my home. And lately, the weather’s been so nice and the days are so much longer, that often times I’ll take my project out to the patio table and get a few hours in until I lose the light. That’s when I’ll work in dinner, reading, and meditation right before bed.
Weekends are a bit different and not nearly as structured. I still do try to maintain a schedule though or it seems like half of what I wanted to accomplish just doesn’t get done. I’ll wake up around 7:30 and have breakfast in bed while I schedule posts for my Facebook fitness page and check my email. I’ll also create banners and edit photos for my blog posts, Instagram, and Pinterest. By about 9:30 or 10:00 (still from the comfort of my bed) I’ll start working on an online writing class that I’m taking. And then by noon I’ll get up and start drawing.
When I work, I work in blocks of time…45 minutes to an hour each. Then I’ll take 15 minute breaks to read, get a snack, or peruse social media. After two to three hours of drawing, I’ll switch to writing. I’ll crank out a blog post or two or whatever I can manage in about an hour. Then it’s back to drawing in blocks of time again until I lose the light for the day.
Weekend evenings consist of little odds and ends. I have a number of different projects I’m working on. It’s a list that seems to keep growing. There are things like practicing drawing human bodies (I prefer drawing animals), learning to draw digitally (it’s a lot harder than I thought), creating video classes for Skillshare, video editing, and writing and creating a personal graphic novel. So I’ll basically pick whichever one I have a deadline for or whichever happens to float my boat at the time. This weekend I’ll probably be outlining a new class for Skillshare on one point perspective.
I’ll finish this post by answering two of the questions I get most often. 1) What am I currently working on? Well, I’ve got three projects on my table now. One is a personal project, which I will have a hard time parting with, but I will put up for sale when completed. It’s another tiger. I’ve posted some progress shots of, but I’ll post again for you here…
I had to put the tiger on hold briefly for a father’s day gift of a very handsome cat (possibly a Maine Coon). It shouldn’t take too much longer to complete. Here are some progress pics of Socks…
And the third is a birthday gift, which I’ve yet to start. I have a month to finish this one. And yes, it’s another cat. I will post progress pics once it’s underway. Stay tuned!
2) What’s on your playlist while you work? Honestly, half the time I don’t listen to anything. I am content and comfortable with silence. Plus, if I’m out on the patio, the sounds of nature are just awesome. I live in the foothills so there is a lot of bird and squirrel activity, not to mention lizards and deer. The next door neighbor has an aquarium or fountain or something on their patio that creates the sound of running water. We are also surrounded by trees, so any little breeze stirs up the leaves and I couldn’t be happier just hearing that sound. But if I do listen to something on my iPod, I have a playlist with electronic/trance type music that’s a little more on the mellow side. I need something that just serves as background noise. That list has artists like Kaskade, Banks, Late Night Alumni, Alina Baraz & Galimatias, Poe, Praful, and Massive Attack, to name a few. I rarely play music that I actually know the lyrics to. Sometimes I’ll just play ambient music, nature sounds (the kind you’d generally use for meditation or sleep), or Celtic or Native American music with no lyrics at all. Every once in awhile, I’ll set up my laptop to play a documentary about other artists, or how-to videos by artists (even if their art is completely different than mine). Those interest me, but are not so demanding that it distracts me from my own work. And in fact, they serve as inspiration. I love hearing other artists’ experiences, techniques, etc. I find most of these on YouTube. They include the channels of Scott Robertson (who I took a class from while I was at Art Center), Mark Crilley, CGMasterAcademy CGMA , and ArtDocumentaries – What Do Artists Do All Day. And more recently Creative Live put on a month long series of interviews with creative geniuses and entrepreneurs called 30 Days of Genius. Again, highly inspirational and motivational and something I don’t actively have to watch.
And that’s it, guys! A basic day in the life for me. If I’m not at the gym and not at my 9-5, then I’m doing artwork. As I should be!