I spend my early mornings to myself. I wake up around 5am and the house is quiet and still. I only have my hot dog Oscar to take care of. I make some coffee and plan my day.
Today it is hard to get to the design work I have on my plate. Most of it is administrative, pricing materials, adding square footage, negotiating shipping and freight. The life of a designer is about 10% creative design work, 80% administrative work and another 40% business development. Not sure that adds up but that’s what it feels like.
This morning I finished a book and moved on to Instagram. I picked up an old hobby of carving linoleum and make block prints. I am obsessed with it currently. I have built a Shopify site to peddle my wares a bit and make sure I don’t spend more than I make off my art work. That is the goal for now. It is also a platform for the whole family to present what they create. My husband is a photographer, my son has a surf brand of t-shirts and my daughter makes soaps and lotion bars. Needless to say we are a family of Makers. I might pursue a gallery or a show later when I have more of a body of work.
Instagram offers a treasure trove of inspiration. I found a number of print artists that had techniques I need to try as soon as possible. On top of that they introduced me to new materials and equipment I think I can’t live without. I currently have an enormous shopping cart on Blick Art supply website.
Being a consummate creative means pushing the boundaries of my life. Prioritizing what makes me feel like a contributing human being and a good parent and a good designer. I read a ton of personal growth books to try and keep me focused on what matters most.
Something I have learned to practice is to put my energy into what I want to build early in the day since that is when I have the most mental energy. I also have time in my schedule to do creative things like the block printing and building the Shopify site. Today is one of the scheduled days.
I find if I don’t put time in to what feeds my soul creatively I get less creative in other areas, like the design work. I am less able to find solutions for problems that arise on the job sites, I have less patience for contractors and home owners and I get burned out faster.
What I want to share with you is if you feel any piece of creativity in your soul, make sure you find time – not just shoe horn it in. You need to actually put it in your schedule, making real time allotted to work on what you want to try, what you want to create.
My Por La Casa days are Wednesday and Sunday. I block 3 to 5 hours for this endeavor. It takes me 30 minutes to wrap my head around what I want to do. I don’t schedule it in the evenings because that is when I have time with my family and I am typically mentally exhausted by 6pm. I keep a journal of ideas to come back to when its time. I constantly think of thing to work on during that time. Ideas come when I’m in the shower, when I’m on my bike on a long ride, when I listen to podcasts.
When I have creative time, I have goals set, a list of what I want to accomplish each week. Even if I get half of it done, I feel so energized and ready to work creatively in my job again.
So to work better is it to create better is to work better. Set aside time for what feeds your soul. Put it in your schedule, day, time x to time y and make sure you set as repeat weekly. This way you wont be tempted to schedule anything else during that time. No doctors appointments, no lunch dates, no taxes or kids stuff. That is your time.