I haven't made art for at least a month. I feel half-dead and withered inside.
As of today I finished a dayjob report. It's a fairly simple one but I struggled nonetheless. Normally it would have taken me two days (i.e. at least eight hours a day packed tightly with serious work minutes). But now it took me five half-days, no matter how I tried to push myself to get it done as soon as possible.
The physical manifestations of resistance have become stronger and more debilitating. And the environment of my studio where I try to do the work conspires with my inner self to throw upon my dayjob self every distraction and taunting and haunting.
This morning it occurred to me to revive an old idea I had earlier this year (before the dayjob projects dried up for more than six months). My thought then, coming from the last dayjob project I did in December, that it seemed best to totally separate the space where I make money and where I make art. The ultimate goal, of course, is to have both in the same place, meaning that I make the money from my art. But right now that is not the case.
There is a collaborative office space in the neighbourhood where I can rent a desk for the duration of a project. All dayjob-related tasks will be done there. Whatever it costs me cash-wise will be made up for by the efficiency I expect will result. In that space (and I've used it before), I have the ambiance for the kind of work I need to do. It's cozy but also office-y, but much nicer than an office where one might be employed because I can work to the fullest of my productivity quirks. I will only bring in with me what I need to get the tasks done, and I will be discouraged from distraction and dawdling because it will be a bit of a walk in the hot tropical sun or too-wet tropical rain to indulge in any "breaks" outside of the office space. It will be cool (air-conditioned), quiet, just the right amount of white noise, wifi, free-flowing brewed coffee. Everyone else will be working. Everyone else will be moving and talking in a hushed manner, careful not to disturb or distract.
I think the important part here also is the fact that I can leave all the dayjob things and thoughts behind when I leave that space. Hence when I come home, to the studio, perhaps I can finally allow myself to engage in art projects simultaneous with the dayjob project. Because there will be a literal demarcation of space. Dayjob is out there, outside. Art-making is here, in the heart of where I live, in my studio. So I must make sure that no dayjob will cross the threshold, it must all be finished in that rented space.
It's worth experimenting with.
It will cost extra cash though. I can charge for it for every project, but not by much. A portion will still come out of my earnings, and I must factor in the light snacks and lunches just as if I am indeed going into an office.
Still, I think it might work. I've never done it consistently before, only for the few times that the internet was not working at home. But it might work if I make it the structure of Things. It will be worth it, the extra expense and the extra effort to take myself away. Much more, even, if this total separation will mean I can make art again.
And then the time will come when I won't even have to go out to do my work because my art will take care of everything. And my studio will be the at the heart of my day's work.
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I am an artist-in-progress. I started my creative journey in 2012 and have never stopped taking steps since. Always one step at a time. Always moving forward. It has been an increasingly tough and occasionally rewarding road.
Models & Mentors
Emily W. Martin
That Curious Love of Green
The Dainty Squid
The School Of Life
Crafty Fun Kids by Sinead
David Beaver Art
Head Graffiti Studio
News From The Hill
Pretty Odd Peach
The Fiery Redhead
Upward Facing Blog
View From Zany Mountain
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