Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stopped Making Art? Kicking an Artistic Hiatus

Returning to the office after maternity leave from the birth my second child, I admit a preoccupation with feeling like I am behind. For one, I haven’t written for this blog in a while and hope you will forgive me. I have seen a similar anxiety in many artists when they haven’t been able to make as much artwork for one reason or another. 

I requested stories from our members and have been amazed at the response. From sudden illness to post-graduation doldrums, many complications slow artists’ studio practice. Many artists already overly fixate about quantity of work produced and a hiatus really frustrates them. In the following series, artists will share how they kick started their studio practice again. 
Stuart Asprey with his twin babies 
Stuart Asprey, Norman 
Many things, both unexpected and planned for, often creep up in one’s life that cause momentary occasions (or long periods) of non-art producing phases. I find these times to be both frustrating and motivating. The trials and tribulations of life force one to evaluate what is truly worthwhile, and hopefully for you (since you are reading this) one of those is making art.  

My best advice, (coming from a dad of twins) is to take every opportunity to get to the studio, even if it is only for 30 minutes every couple of days. Don’t pile your excuses on top of your reasons for not getting to the studio. You have to tap into that creative period at the drop of a hat, no room or time to procrastinate when you only have a small window of opportunity. Time in the studio will add up and eventually there will be more time.

It helps to have easy access to your studio, even if it is a temporary one.  Driving 5 minutes just to get there is not worth it when time is precious.  My studio is in my garage, allowing for quick access between feedings, burpings, changings, play time, and that thing called sleep. This truly enables work to be consistently produced, albeit at a slow pace.

Another solution could possibly lie in changing the medium, if you work with a labor-intensive, process-oriented medium then perhaps a simpler, quicker approach to art-making is the answer. That being said, if you truly love your medium (say porcelain clay for instance) then you will do anything to preserve your relationship with it and somehow find the time.

Asprey loves porcelain clay and also draws. He is also a professor at Oklahoma City University. See more of his work here

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