‘How Can I Fit Art into My Already Busy Life?’
Though Artory has an extensive programme, including parties and classes for all occasions, there are many more subtle ways you can make your art practice as frequent and easy as breathing- by personalising the way you fit it into your life. If you’re struggling to figure where to start when it comes to expressing yourself, keep an open mind and think through each idea below. It could be that something you previously dismissed as ‘not your thing’ or ‘out of your reach’ strikes a chord when you really allow yourself to think about it.
Make a space to be creative in- take some time to arrange a place used only for creative acts, so when you enter it your brain knows to shift into ‘artist mode’. Keep in mind such elements as lighting, sound, storage, temperature, posture and comfort.
Estimated time: A couple of hours to source and arrange objects
Brainstorm a list of creative acts you enjoy. Then, see if you can combine them! This will encourage you to think about the mediums in different ways. Eg. Poetry on pottery, embroidered calligraphy, or turning lyrics into book cover illustrations. If you are completely unsure what you would enjoy, try the Artory ‘creative’ class.
Estimated time: One-off 15-minute session
Art journaling is probably a classic when it comes to getting started with casual art. You choose the framework that suits you best, such as blank notepads, notebooks (the kind so special that you feel something sacred about them), themed books (such as nature journaling), basic pad for work related sketches (ie. an idea jotter; good for designers, business owners, illustrators, and the like), a diary with room for illustrations, or highly structured prompt books.
Estimated time: 10 minutes a day
A sketch book is used specifically for more intentional, or at least mindful, sketching. The best approach to this practice is to take it everywhere you go. For convenience, you may want to tie a pencil/charcoal to it with ribbon or string. As you watch this ‘portfolio’ grow, you will become more and more confident with your ability, and steadily notice how you improve with each attempt.
Estimated time: 5-30 minutes a day
These have a mixed reputation as being either silly and trivial, or absolutely vital for busy adults needing a calm break from the day. You don’t have to limit yourself to coloured pencils and pens- use any medium you like, building off the outline to make your own masterpiece. This is a huge trend right now, so you should be able to find dozens of books to choose from, either online or in a stationery/book store. There has also been a rise in colouring books for lovers of fiction, such as this Game of Thrones collection.
Estimated time: Usually 10-60 minutes per session
Galleries and Museums
Make a list of exhibitions available near you, checking your town hall, library and community centre, as well as the usual galleries and museums. You can often sign up to receive notifications on upcoming events and displays, meaning that you won’t miss out on the one time your favourite artist’s work comes through your area (this has happened to me!). As an added bonus, some of these events are completely free, or offer additional talks and performances.
Estimated time: A couple of hours per visit
A large part of being able to create is having materials to hand that inspire you- why have great ideas if you can’t get them down? Shop in a craft store and pick up the supplies you are drawn to, not the ones you think you need- instead of the standard acrylics, think calligraphy ink, clay, copper wire and origami paper.
Estimated time: One hour each time, likely less than once every 2 months
A big part of being able to create yourself is gleaning ideas and inspiration from others. Alongside the inspiration you will get from the prints hung on your wall at home, you can collect some tomes to suit your taste, including inspirational books, coffee table books, and even portfolios of your own work. If you can’t afford the typical cost of a huge coffee table hardback, why not make your own? Find, print and store art that inspires you.
Estimated time: A couple of minutes whenever you need inspiration
Arrange your own work on a cork board, in frames, or even pasted over an entire wall. Seeing these every day will be the motivation and affirmation you need to carry on.
Estimated time: 20-60 minutes to set up, valuable for months if not years
The above was a list of small ways to start being creative. But the one thing I’d really like you to do is to start being spontaneous- make little choices that delight you, try something new, and pay attention to the little things. Living in this way will inspire every other creative endeavour and naturally lead to wonderful pieces from your heart. This is a pervasive ‘talent’ rather than a task aside from the mundane.
And as a final note: if your problem is never being able to find free time around the responsibilities of home, work and kids, why not send the latter off on a kids holiday workshop?