Friday, May 20, 2011

Balancing work and family with studio time

Lets face it, as artists, we rarely get to spend as much time as we’d like in the studio. Between our day jobs, family life, and other commitments, it can be challenging finding time to create. To show how I meet this challenge, I’d like to go over a typical day in the life of Dan.
My day starts early, about 4:15, when I get up and help my wife prepare for work. At about 5:00, I see her off and spend about 20-30 minutes reading and relaxing with a cup of coffee. By 6:00 or 6:15, I’ve showered and am out in the studio (my garage). On workdays, I usually spend a good 2 hours painting and/or drawing. On days off, this time is increased to 5 or 6 hours, and sometimes even considerably longer than that.
Later in the day, when I‘m home from work and my wife and I have had dinner and spent some time together, I’m on my computer doing things related to marketing my art. Things like writing and answering emails, researching galleries and fellow artists, reading blogs, posting to my own, updating my mailing list and website, etc.
Doing what I’ve described above is simple but not always easy. I’ve decided that I want to paint and that I am committed to doing so on a regular basis. Furthermore, I want to put my work out there. I use the pockets of time before work to paint, and those after work to market. Simple. The part that’s not always easy is maintaining the discipline to do this without fail. I think I’ve done a pretty good job doing this by considering my studio time non negotiable, almost sacred time.
For me, it comes down to a simple question that each of us, as artists, must ask ourselves, “Am I passionate enough about my art to work on it each and every day?” If you can answer this question with an unequivocal “Yes”, then you can find time to do your art on a regular basis while maintaining a healthy family life and a productive work life.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Well, I've decided to start my own blog.  I first want to talk a bit about it's title, "The Gatekeeper".  Recently, I was explaining my artwork to a friend who was astounded as to where my imagry comes from.  I told her that these things are inside my head and they demand to be let out...I'm just the gatekeeper.  That's actually how I feel when I create my images, like I have only partial control over what I'm doing, that these things already exist in some sort of dream space and that I'm giving them concrete form through a combination of both conscious and unconscious means.  Here's an image of a recent piece, as yet untitled and perhaps not quite finished.