Last week, my creative work was a series of short bursts, distractions and irritations. Spring break meant juggling parenting along with the usual part-time job, art business tasks, and studio time. The week was full of social obligations, such as family gatherings, birthdays, play dates and meetings. I cooked meals, watched countless handstand attempts (my daughter’s latest obsession), fed cats, drove here, drove there, made gifts, and hid eggs. Like a fool I tried to sneak in some art making time, but just as I would settle into the studio, there would be a hungry kid or a hungry cat or a phone call pulling me away.
By the weekend, a heavy case of crabbiness had set in. I could feel the space between my eyebrows contract. A squinty-eyed frown took over my face. My temper shortened. My tongue sharpened. I recognized the signs and warned my family – “Beware of Artist Interrupted”.
In my foul mood I daydreamed about an entire week of just being an artist. Making work. No distractions. No obligations except the studio. No people. No cats.
Then, Monday arrived. My schedule returned to normal. My sweet, happy daughter went back to school, my husband went to work, and I climbed the stairs to the studio.
I sat down at my work table and immediately felt guilty.
I am spoiled. I have a beautiful studio in a brand new house. My part-time job is only two mornings a week. I usually have 2 full days and 3 half days a week to work on my art life. The social outings that pared down my work time last week are a sign that I am surrounded by family and friends. I have my husband’s support and my daughter’s love.
The truth is, if I had a whole week by myself with no interruptions, I would probably be bored and burned out after 2 days. I would waste time because I could. I would have more time to distract myself with unimportant things, such as organizing my sock drawer and scrubbing the studio sink. Knowing my time in the studio is limited forces me to focus.
My life as a whole feeds my creative work. I base my drawings and collages on my experiences as a mother, wife and community member. Without the interruptions, I would have nothing to make art about.
I really should be giving thanks for all the annoying distractions.
So please, interrupt me,
but don’t say I didn’t warn you.