Friday, April 04, 2008
In "Letters to a Young Artist", artist Gregory Amenoff advises a fictional 'young artist' to "let the studio be your sanctuary". That statement particularly resonated with me this month. Between pulling together the two shows, "Missing Time" and "Follow Through", and working two part time day jobs, I've really missed my sanctuary. But my sanctuary is something I need. On a regular day, it's difficult fitting it in, and I have to give up a lot of other things in order to do it. I rely heavily on routine. Every morning I wake up, grab a latte from one of the local coffee shops, and sketch. Off to work. During lunch breaks, I buy supplies, take photos, or listen to podcasts about blogging. Sometimes, I make notes. When I get home, I answer e-mails, surf the web, and then around eight pm I start working on my art. I might break for dinner, but usually I work until one in the morning. I might do some minor tasks after that (ex: making more postcards), but then I punch out for the night. The cycle repeats the next morning. My rule of thumb for my routine: it has to be comfortable. Something that isn't too big for me to accomplish in the time I have. It's also like body-building, or jogging. You start with easy weights, and then build up from there. I used to fit in a half-hour of morning sketching, but now I can manage an hour. My routine helps me preserve my studio time, my sanctuary. I don't have to think about what needs to be done, because it's there, it's a habit. It feels weird NOT to do it. It's also the one time of the day that no one but me, the artist, controls. That's why Amenoff referred to time in the studio as the artist's "sanctuary".