I love hearing how other artists work and what they believe helps them.
Sharing is caring, so I’m more than happy to share the things that seem to work for me in my own artistic practice.
Simple, yet effective, these points either make my artistic life easier, more efficient, or more effective – plus some things that just make me feel good about myself and help me work better.
Now, these may not work for you, or they may be a jumping board for you to change and include in your own work practice, or maybe it’s something you haven’t even thought of before.
The point is to encourage better work practices and to look after ourselves so we can keep producing the best textile art possible.
So, here I go:
- Routine: I have a dedicated daily stitching routine. But to do that I must first finish all my chores, plan lunch and dinner, and exercise. I’m a firm believer in the cook once, eat two or three times methodology.
- Dedicated Work Space: Easy to say, I know, but having a dedicated workspace supports my art practice. It’s uplifting, engaging and so full I can hardly fit in, but, I do and I love it.
- Problem-Solving: I break down problems into doable chunks because I know if I look at them as a whole, they’re overwhelming.
- Problem Benefits: I know this is hard to get your head around, but I find that if I look at a problem as a stepping stone to success, it seems to lessen the scope of the problem.
- Make Every Day Count: Tiny steps really do count and accumulate quickly.
- Planning: I like to plan each day, with an eye on the week, months, and entire year. Obviously, things may change, but I have a list of exhibitions I’d like to enter, research I need to do, as well as maintaining a podcast, this blog, as well as my FB and IG pages. I have to take a holistic approach.
- Focus: This is one thing I never compromise – I am dedicated to tasks and have no hesitation saying ‘no’ when necessary.
- Curiosity: Am I odd that I’m curious about so many different things? I hope not. All I know is that I go down a lot of very, very interesting rabbit holes – plus I’m willing to use my time to do that.
- Technique: Strong, sound technique is something I firmly believe in. If I do something, I do it to the best of my abilities, and if I don’t know something, I research and teach myself.
- Morning Person: My mind is clearest and most productive in the mornings, so that’s the time for challenging, creative work. Afternoons tend to be repetitive work that soothes my soul.
- Nurture: ‘Me time’ and exercise are important in my life. Exercise because stitching is such a sedentary occupation and I’m not getting any younger, plus ironically, exercise extends the amount of time I can sit and stitch. ‘Me time’ is just the icing on the cake that makes life worthwhile – sometimes it’s just having a break.
- Goals: Setting a few slightly out-of-reach goals helps push me to strive, so I give myself permission to dream big. Who knows, they may just come off.
- My Inner Circle: I’ve learned to surround myself with people who are uplifting and want to see me evolve and grow – and I reciprocate that ethos. We all need an inner circle, but not if it wages war on your self-worth.
I think that pretty much encapsulates the unseen tools I use on a daily basis.
None of them are unusual or complicated, just common-sense ways to help me achieve and look after myself too.
Use them and improve upon them to suit your own needs.