Time, time, time. How in the world can people work a day job, maintain family and friendships and get artwork done? How is it that some people are more productive than others? I must admit that I get jealous when it looks like someone is far more productive than I am. The jealousy comes from the assumption that they have more time, resource or ability than I do. But I have found that being creative and productive have little to do with time, resource or, especially, ability.
Alright, I lied.
Creativity and productivity have everything to do with resource. But not the resource you would think. Funny note: The Beatles Can't Buy Me Love is playing while I write this. Like love, money can't buy you creativity or productivity. So what is involved in being creative or productive? How do you make time to make art?
Find Satisfaction in Creating
I must first mention the most important aspect needed to be productive and creative: you must find internal satisfaction in the act of creating.
Many people do not find satisfaction in being creative. They try to make art because it was their field of study in school, because they are great art appreciators, someone they admire was an artist or someone told them they have talent. Many people do have talent but can't make a commitment to making art or being creative. If you are not deriving deep satisfaction from making art rethink why you make art. It just might change your life and make you happier. There have been times in my life when I have doubted my desire to be an artist. I have stopped making art for periods of time. But, after a time, I can't help but make something. I can't stop myself from drawing, painting, videoing, etc. It just makes me happy to make something and share it with others. My curse is that I don't like to make practical things, I want to make things that talk about ideas or feelings, not how to decorate your house or how to eat off of attractive plates.
Use Your Creative Energy NOW
Second, if you are creative, if you want to make art, be open to using your creative energy right where you are at - in the present moment. Do not pigeon-hole yourself into being an artist that only paints from 7pm - 10pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Do not be an artist that is creative after everything else is done. If you approach it that way, your time will continually be eaten up by the things we must do. A young co-worker of mine shared a life motto with me the other day:
You can always sleep when you are dead.
In other words, do what you want now.
In response I have acquired a new life motto myself:
You can always clean your house when you are dead.
Not quite as useful, but it makes me feel good saying it. The deeper meaning of both mottoes is to keep your creative energy at the front of your brain and on the tip of your tongue. Get over the idea of scarcity (where my jealousy comes from) and share yourself and your creativity whenever you can. You will find, if you are always sharing and being in the moment with your creativity, you will get more art done. It takes awhile to get to this point in life. You have to be willing to stumble. But once you are there, you can take time to do the other things in life because you know that your creativity, your ability to make art, is just a moment away. In essence, shift from a project mentality to a creative lifestyle. Give it a shot.
How do you make time to make art? You don't. You make art to mark your time.