Many times I have heard that to be a successful artist one must be locked away in his/her studio and make art nonstop. At times it sounds pretty laborious, and it is. I admit I only work few hours on Fridays on my art making and majority of other times committed to house chores and caring for my sick mother, and I cherish those few hours I get to myself for the week. But sometimes my brain just freezes midway through the paint or even yet, just as soon as I set my eyes down on the blank drawing board and I find myself dozing into the dreamland. I often scold myself for wasting the precious time and energy and wonder if I really do have what it takes to be a professional artist(I haven’t worked a decent job in years since ’10 and pretty much given up any prospects of me ever holding a real job).
But recently I read an article on the art magazine JUXTAPOZ titled “The Art of Not Making Art” and it states that it’s OK to not be making art 24/7 when one does not have the energy to do so, and sometimes a little R&R spent any way you wish is actually good for your body mind and soul. I find that quite assuring.
Yes, there were times on Fridays that I just don’t feel like lifting a pencil or getting down and dirty with the paint, and lately it’s just been too hot that I don’t want to move. I loathe hot weather, especially if it makes you sticky. Yuck.
So what do I do? How do I relieve myself of the stress piled up during the week and give my mind and body a reboot of fresh energy and rekindle my creative furnace? Oh, Let me count the ways…
1. Surf the web on my IPod Touch or laptop if I choose to bring it with me, hanging out at wifi-friendly places like McDonalds or Kinkos and enjoy the crisp air conditioned room especially on hot days
2. Drive down the road aimlessly until I see something cool and worth stopping and checking out for.
3. Think of some cool spot I’ve never been and be willing to fight through the traffic for it( as you can see from my Field Trip Day posts).
4. Go to a museum and browse the latest exhibition in town. I usually go to Bowers in Santa Ana since it’s closer to home. They often have pretty neat stuff.
5. Rack up points or blow away zombie heads at either D&B or Round One Bowling in Lakewood. This I’ve been doing a whole lot of, and I’ve accumulated over 35,000 points from both places. What I’ll do with them I’ll let you know later.
6. Window shop around nearby malls such as Cerritos or Lakewood or Buena Park. At times I’m almost tempted to go play dress up at Windsor Fashions or Nordstrom and the like. Afterwards I’d grab either a Wetzel Dog or pizza at the food court.
7. Once or twice I’ve gone to a beach and walked around barefoot on the hot sands and occasionally dip them in the salty waters. That was pretty relaxing.
8. Sit down and just doodle mindlessly on my notebook, either notes or thumbnails or cartoony figures.
9. I used to Netflix away watching all these movies and Tv shows (even some “really really bad” ones) but I’ve since cancelled the subscription as I was trying to cut down on my budget
10. Dabble in non-art related hobbies like picking weeds in the backyard or, the latest venture I’ve picked up, making some blings with beads and knots.
That about sums it up. And I will say, they do lead to unexpected discoveries and field my motivation to keep making art. And I’m also learning something new about myself every day, some good, some not so much.
Not making art is indeed an art…