Saturday, February 23, 2013


A thought that's been growing lately... That I must give up my hobbies in order to become a 'real' artist.

It's an uncomfortable thought, I like the little things in my life to add diversity.  Running, biking, hiking, rock climbing. (I've really missed my speedbag, lately.) Curling up with a book to read, sitting down with a notebook to jot thoughts and ideas. I like to cook. And to plunk around on the guitar.

(All this plus the essentials of being a partner and a parent.)

In several conversations with fellow artists recently I've asked them what they do in their free time when they are not making art and overwhelmingly the response has been along the lines of 'oh, I had to give up hobbies when I started my art career.'

Recently a friend posted this, the writing rules of Henry Miller. Number 11 jumps out at me:
 "Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards."
(Of course, the other rules did allow for for friends, recommending against being a draught-horse.) 

Anyhow, just time-management and balance on my mind as it frequently is.

Meanwhile, here's an illustration I did for Abyssus Abyssum Invocate, written by Genevieve Valentine. 


  1. I'm sure that as your career settles into place, you will have more free time. Don't give up on your full life, G! I used to feel the same way when I worked on the magazine, but I find that now that I work *less* and screw around *more* I am far more productive.

    Picasso certainly found plenty of time to watch bull-fighting and score chicks!

  2. bless you wendy <3

    let's go make some mischief together sometime, eh?

  3. I can relate to this and I think your work is great so maybe you shouldn't change your schedule at all.

    Speaking from my own experience, if I feel like I need to really focus and learn something or spend more time on a painting that concern will literally bother me for years until I take a step to do something about it. No amount of consolation can quell the aggravating intuition that says I should learn something or that I need more time to make a piece better.

    One of the best but difficult lessons I had to swallow was working on my first big video game job. I had a week to do something that really should take two weeks. I worked hard on it, probably did 40 or 50 hours. But the client wasn't happy and said it was minimally meeting the requirements but it was not there yet. I knew he was right. From that experience I knew I had to give into the work, it was a scary place, because I would be doing 12 to 15 hour days at least. Part of this lesson is negotiating the right deadline but even bigger is the importance of using all possible available time if you need it. I could have pulled 15 hour days and rocked that job, instead it was a huge opportunity missed. It would have been tough but worth it.

    I also have to say hardcore focus and pushing my work to a new level is tiring and lately painful. In someways a nerdy artist is no different from an athlete. Persistence and practice are so important. Breaks are good too. And if there's something you want to achieve it won't take forever, it might just take a couple months.

    Wendy has a good point. The amount of time art requires is up to you. I think this is part of the great genius of Picasso, Dali, and Warhol. You are already a real artist and a good artist. Getting the final result you want is most important, not how much time you clocked on a piece.