Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet on social media these last two months. I promise I didn’t quit painting! I have been spending time resting. Our little guy was born on September 27 and while I had already planned to spend the month of October soaking in my newborn, an emergency C-section (hello, 10lb baby with a very large head) made rest even more important. With each baby there is a transition period of both recovery and adjusting to another little person. While I knew it would take time adjusting to 5 children, I wanted to make sure work wasn’t completely off of my mind. I’ve learned from experience that it’s easy to get so completely immersed in motherhood that creating doesn’t happen. So here are some things I did to keep my mind on my art while getting the rest I needed.
- Spent time collecting images. Part of being an artist is finding inspiration. Every time I was out and saw something that caught my eye, I would take a picture. I filled a wall in my studio with color swatches, images, magazine pages, sketches and dried flowers. I also used all my collected inspiration to make mood boards for painting ideas.
- Listened to creative podcasts. I started listening to podcasts last year and now I’m hooked. When I was nursing a baby or had some down time I would listen to a podcast that would inspire me to get back in the studio.
- Kept a notebook for ideas. Sometimes while listening to podcasts I would jot down notes of things I wanted to remember at the end of the month. I also would write down any ideas I had. Having ideas on hand made jumping back into work much easier.
- Worked in a sketchbook. I have to be honest, I’m terrible about keeping a sketchbook. BUT, since I wasn’t painting it was nice to sketch ideas and experiment with colors. A sketchbook is a perfect place to work when I only have a few minutes to create.
- Cleaned my studio. This may be the most important thing I did. When my studio is a mess I’m more likely to put off painting. Once I started feeling better I took some time each week to clean and organize my space. The day before I went back to work I added plants and fresh flowers knowing it would make me excited to get back in my space and get work done.
At one of my shows this past summer, a sweet woman bought one of my larger paintings. She said she wanted to buy a piece now because she was afraid I wouldn’t make any more art after the baby. And while I have no intention to quit selling my work, I totally get what she was saying. After I had my first baby, I stopped making art for an entire year. Motherhood is hard. Finding time to create is even harder when you are exhausted. If you are in that stage or maybe it’s been years since you have done anything creative, can I encourage you to get back to it? Let’s tackle this together! Because finding time for yourself and creativity is always important.