Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is it selfish to be an artist?

I always feel a little selfish as I walk back to my studio - because I literally have to leave the house, and everyone in that house, to go out and work. This can definitely run against one's natural instincts to want to be there for others.  I go in, spend time on the computer, process film - somehow these things aren't too troublesome. But what about the larger (and essential) tasks, such as scheduling a day to go shooting - this has occasionally made me worry that I was being selfish...especially when my son was young.  

A few weeks ago I became interested in how the light would look at the end of the day on the coast. I had done an earlier image that I liked a lot and I was also interested in photographing the water from different directions. So those were a couple of the goals that had been bouncing around in my brain for a week or so. The problem was when I would go out to the coast with family or friends, we'd be doing other activities and I just didn't feel I could take that time for myself. As an artist, we often need a lot of internal space to really ruminate about an idea - and that can get awkward when you're with others. 

So, this week I decide to get past all those worries and make a commitment to making art without guilt! I decided to reserve a day on the calendar just for me - something that was easy when I worked commercially because I could justify it by the lovely fact that a client would be showing up and paying a bunch of $$ for the experience. Unfortunately too often when it's your own work, whether as a fine artist or what ever kind of creative work you do, it's harder to give yourself  that credibility. But the fact is, it's okay to take yourself seriously, in fact, if you want to accomplish anything, it's a necessity. Today, take out your calendar and schedule some time for the activity that makes you know who you are!

p.s. Please join me starting Friday, February 1st for an entire month - 28 days of creativity. I'll be doing a daily post with creative exercises and prompts to help jumpstart 2013 as your year of living dangerously! 

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