Time to fill up my sketchbook. It has been 75% complete for months now and neglected. Not sure why I stopped the habit of drawing everyday but now is a great time to start again and finish it by drawing every morning this vacation week when there is nowhere to be for hours. Nothing is more important to an artistic life than keeping an active sketchbook. And drawing in the sunlight with a cup of coffee and some refrigerator oatmeal is a pretty awesome way to start the day. Healthy, easy and productive. Awesome!
For the past year or two I have been on a slow journey with minimalism. My free time is very limited so it can be difficult to have big purges but I do what I can whenever I have a free moment along the way. Just getting rid of a few items a week on a regular basis can make a huge difference over time. Then I spend less time cleaning and organizing and more time working and having fun with my family. Our main focus with minimalism is to not accumulate more items without careful consideration. Slowing down the consumption and going without has made a big difference. For our family it is all about finding what each member likes best and uses most and focusing on those items and getting rid of and avoiding the rest.
This philosophy of finding out what I enjoy working with as an artist and getting rid of the extra can be challenging to implement. Living a life of minimalism as an artist offers some special challenges. It is all too easy to collect and hoard various art supplies and justify it saying that it could be just what I need for some later project so I have to keep it around. My small studio starts to fill up with junk rather quickly and then when I need to do work I find it challenging. Now I purge supplies and donate them to my daughter's school on a regular basis. I figure they can put the random art supplies that I have collected over the years to better use than I can. And I still have plenty of materials to draw inspiration from and use in various projects, but without the clutter. Messy does not work very well in a small space.
Sewing machine I am looking at you and giving you the stink eye.
Scanning or photographing each piece I made and saving it on my computer and eventually a back up hard drive used to be something that I did without fail with every piece I made. That way when it sold I would always have a graphic of it. But lately I have been selling more work in person where a graphic is not needed for the sale and I often don't digitize the work at all or very well. Most of these digital copies are buried somewhere on an external hard drive or on the cloud but I would be hard pressed to pull them up quickly. Seems like all that work making things digital was pretty pointless without a solid storage plan.
Now I am making art again on a regular basis and not always getting great digital versions of the pieces and honestly I am okay with this change. I have changed and how I best use the limited time I have has also changed. This piece is available online so I have a great digital image of it. But this is not the case for every piece I make, especially if the piece is difficult to photograph or scan for some reason. My three dimensional mounted pieces are great examples of pieces that I love that I have let pass through my hands without keeping a perfect photograph because they just don't scan very well. Scanning used to be my default for lovely digital versions. So here I am figuring out new ways of photographing my work.