Juggling an art career and your regular full-time job is hard.
There’s no way around it.
It is hard to find that work-art balance.
You’re stuck at the office and find yourself daydreaming about your latest art project. Yet, your full-time job gets in your way.
Day after day.
Tick tock it’s five o’clock.
Finally, free to go.
But, now your motivation to create is anything but sky high.
You’re tired and it’s hard to stay strong when your colleagues invite you for a post office drink.
If you’re anything like me, your heart’s priority is to find the time for your art career.
Yet, in your head, you’re aware of all the incoming bills.
As a result, the worries and real-life demand of a full-time job and family get in the way of your creative intent.
You get frustrated and overstretched.
But you can’t let that stop you.
It’s vital for artists to find that creative time.
It’s necessary. And possible.
You need to nurture and train your creative muscle.
Daily if possible.
Otherwise, you’ll accumulate a creative cognitive overload with nowhere to express it.
Besides, being preoccupied with the need to create will make you less effective at everything else you do.
So, give yourself the time and space to create.
I am too busy I hear you say.
I am a mother of 3 small kids. I am an artist. I work full time and do tons of freelance work on the side.
If I can find time for my passion so can you.
Here are some pointers that help you find a balance between your artistic career and your hectic day job. For some it might seem obsessive but call it being passionate about what you do.
Now let us get into it, shall we?
1. Find pockets of time
Being an artist and working in a full-time job takes approximately 35-80 hours a week. Add chores, sleep and commute, and you will realise that there is not a lot of time spare for other activities.
So, it calls for the need to plan ahead.
Use a weekly planner and create a clear distinction between work time and art time. This allows you to organise your time.
This can be particularly helpful if you work shifts because then you will be able to plan or your free time. Take advantage of apps in the market that are designed for functions such as this.
The main message here is don’t waste your time.
Your child’s nap time at the weekend can be time for you to work on your latest painting. Your lunch break can include a walk and some sketching for your next piece.
Whenever you find yourself with some time, use it well and let your creative juices flow.
In the evening before you go to bed make a list of the things you would like to achieve the following day.
This way you know exactly what you will be working on when time becomes available. Most important, you’re ready to go and don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do.
2. Turn a mammoth into a mouse
After a long day at the office, it can be tricky to find the motivation to pick up your brush and begin painting.
If you’re feeling too lazy to carve out art-time, then take it little by little.
Set yourself a 15 minutes challenge.
Don’t try to accomplish a huge mammoth task. Instead, split your project into tiny chunks of manageable tasks.
If you tell yourself that you will spend only 15 minutes on your project, you’re more likely to get started.
Fifteen minutes isn’t a huge commitment.
Yet, you might surprise yourself with how quick your motivation and energy increase. Before you know it, you’ll have spent several hours completing the entire piece of work.
As a result, you will feel a new awakening creativity.
Understand your schedule. and do your creative project in small portions. It does not matter how small it is because great dreams get accomplished with smalls steps.
3. Create, Sleep, Repeat
Try to spend about half an hour every day on your project.
This is much better than struggling to find a whole three hours once a week. Creating such short sessions for your art will prove much more effective in terms of consistency. Consistency is key.
It will ensure that you develop a good, daily habit and boost your motivation and creativity.
Also, being consistent keeps you in that artistic zone or vibe.
This makes it much easier for you to adjust form your day job to your art job.
Most important, consistent but short sessions keep you sane while juggling between your day job and artistic career.
4. Set crystal clear intentions and goals
Setting your goals and intentions is very important. It helps in balancing these two aspects of your life.
Write down your goals. This will activate your brain into recognising that small events can go a long way in helping you achieve your goal. These goals will help you set priorities in your life. Since your goals are personal to you, there is no wrong or bad way to go about it.
Understand where you are going and find ways to help you get there.
With time, you will be able to realise that setting clear and definite goals will be of benefit to you.
5. Activate your energy saving mode
Your day job can be draining. This makes it important that you find a way to take a break from everything and have sometime for yourself to recharge.
Prioritise eating healthy, sleeping and taking short breaks from time to time.
Do not push yourself at work despite how tough it may get for you.
Learn to let go of everything negative at work because it could be detrimental to your artistic side.
Silence and solitude are crucial.
Saving this energy will ensure that you have some time spared to invest on your art.
6. Create your creative space
Having your own creative space will help you to remove distractions.
If possible, choose a place in your house where you will work. Set it up as a studio, so that all your equipment is to hand. this will save you time by having everything ready and give you a protected creative space.
Tell everyone you are living with that they can’t disturb you when you are in your studio or creative space.
It needs to be your sanctuary.
7. Surround yourself with a support network
Make the most of your support network of friends and family around you.
Share your work with them.
The greatest gift they can give you is understanding that you need the time and space to create and giving it to you.
Let them know the importance of your creative time.
Use social media to extend your support network.
Connect with other creative people and artists in your local area or around the world. Seeing their posts and comments may give you the added motivation that you need.
You might think that you have to pick a side, but that is not the case because you can do both. Stop thinking that you need a whole lot of uninterrupted time to concentrate on your art project.
This is not the case.
You don’t need 8 hours a day to be a ‘real’ artist, although sometimes you may feel like it.
You need motivation, focus and drive to do what you are passionate about, in the time that you have available.
Start by looking at your schedule and create more time by making small changes.
What’s more important to you spending hours checking social media updates or working on your latest project?
Maybe it’s time get up earlier or to turn Netflix time into creative time?
Embrace your situation and celebrate small consistent steps toward your goal.