(Not) Coming in Dead Last


Because you are creative, creating is a critical part of taking care of yourself, as much as exercising, meditating or eating right.

And yet, it’s so easy to put your artmaking and creativity dead last–certainly after your obligations at work and meeting the needs of your family–two giant parts of life that are pretty compelling–but even after exercising, meditating, and eating right.

The thing is, “last” usually means “not at all” because we run out of time, energy or both.

And while it’s certainly it’s not a zero sum game–for instance, eating right and finding time for your creativity aren’t mutually exclusive–it’s worth considering why certain areas of your life get so much time and attention, and other areas so little.

Simple Changes/Big Symbolism

Let’s start with the “eating right’ thing.

I mean, sure, you and your family need to eat right, but is there a way to make it less time consuming? Can you pick a night that you order in and set aside that meal prep time for your artmaking instead?

Making this kind of simple change rarely affects just you, so it probably also includes having a conversation about it with your spouse/significant other.

Which is why you may unconsciously avoid it. But it’s also why you should really do it.

Because such a conversation can be a wonderful game changer for two reasons:

1. You’re saying out loud to the other important creator/maintainer of your current routine that you want to make a change in the current family system in order to carve out time for your creativity, which is a big step toward actually doing that–making the intention “public” if you will.

2. It’s a hugely symbolic, habit-shifting, mind-changing statement, because you’re also declaring out loud that your creativity is a priority to you.

So much so that you’re willing to have a conversation about re-arranging a family pattern to do it.

Even if this information surprises them. Even if you’re rusty, or it’s been a while. Even if it means that you’ll continue to have angst about your art during your desired, requested, routine-shaking newly carved out time.

Powerful stuff.

Don’t Wait Until Your “Serious”

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait until you’re “ready” to have this kind of conversation or make this kind of change.

You don’t have to “prove” anything to anyone once you do change your routine and make time for your creative endeavors by being super productive or making “great art.”

Even if other peoples’ routines have been affected.

This can be hard, uncomfortable, even scary–you might feel exposed or like your family is now expecting/waiting to see what fabulousness you going to start cranking out now that you’ve shaken things up.

You did not, however, make a promise, you declared an intention.

You’re simply making space for your creativity. To let it evolve and grow. It doesn’t mean all your mixed feelings go away. It doesn’t mean you’re suddenly freed up from all your angst and self doubt.

It just means you’re willing to be on your own side. To make a place for this essential part of you. That it matters as much as anything else.

I think that’s good. What do you think?

Creative Breakthroughs Collage Tele-Class

If such a thing tempts you, but you’re not sure how you’d actually use time set aside weekly for your creativity, why not sign up for a Creative Breakthroughs Collage Tele-Class?

It’s an affordable, EASY way to be creative every week, and you don’t have to self-motivate–just call in and we make art together–no matter how not-creative you’re feeling and no matter what’s hectic-ness has been happening.

You also get to you connect with other like minded artists from the comfort of your own home. What could be better?

Click here to sign up.

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  1. Let me tell you one thing I love that helps give me extra time; thank heavens for whoever invented the crockpot! I can put real, good nutritious food in before I hit the studio (or for folks working outside the house, same thing) put it on low, and I am in the studio. Then when dinner comes,a tossed salad, a vegetable sauteed, BINGO! The best of both worlds!
    It really helps especially when I am in the throes of a BIG project that requires lots of work time….and I don’t feel like health is being put aside.
    Little investment, big payback.
    Trust me!


  2. I like what you said about intent. It is difficult for lots of people to rationalize taking the time to be creative, especially when trying to care for a family or career.
    If you have little ones, the best thing to do is to put something creative in their hands. Let them have some time and supplies. I always keep a kid box with things they can use. It’s grandkids for me, now.
    Someone once asked me how you know if your work is good enough. I say if you want to make it, it is good enough. The process is so important to creativity that giving in to the desire is the first step.
    You can do your exploration in private, if you need to. If you don’t like the result, throw it away. When there is no required result or judgement, you are most likely to create your most intuitive and “best” work.
    Being judged seems to be a good reason not to make art. There will be a piece you’ll want to throw away, just like a burned meatloaf or flat angel food cake. Just make sure you know why you are throwing it out. Making mistakes is some of the best education you can get.
    If you can’t make art at home for whatever reason, consider a class. It is a way to find out if you will like the medium without investing in all the supplies. Many community centers offer art classes at reasonable rates. If you know an artist, ask if they teach.
    Go out and see art. Ask yourself why you are attracted to it and what can be taken away from the experience. Was it the color, the composition, a feeling it inspired in you, the mystery or simplicity of the medium? How would you handle those things? Maybe you see a painting in earthy tones but you want to work in fiber. It is a fun challenge to interpret color from one medium to another.
    Trust yourself. If you want to make art, make it. If you used to make art and pine for the days, pine no more. Make contact with your creative self.

  3. Cathie Gottlieb says:

    I agree with Anne on the crock-pot…best thing ever invented! I was just talking the other day to a co-worker with small children about using one to give herself more time. I think for me the everything comes first is a self-imposed thing…I am a neat freak and feel bad when things are not done. My husband does not impose anything on me. I think it always boils down to am I good enough artist that I am not wasting my time and I know I know I know…that doesn’t’s just the process of creating that makes me feel good…like I said…all self imposed :-)

  4. Sarah says:

    Anne–love that–what are your favorite crock pot recipes?

  5. [...] week, in my blog post (Not) Coming in Dead Last, I talked about simple changes you can make to move your art or creativity higher up on your to-do [...]

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