Lately, I've been getting emails from people telling me it is difficult for them to find time to paint. The older we grow, the less time we seem to have. With all the chores and errand we need to take care every day, this can certainly be a challenge to face. My wife is a full-time mom which I argue is one of the most difficult job in the world. To alleviate her stress, I help her to get my kids to bed during the evening. After that, I am facing dirty dishes in the sink while trash piling up waiting for me to take them out. All of these while that white piece paper on my easel is waiting for me to turn it into a painting.
It seems impossible to escape from our responsibility and paint. However, I still manage to paint at least once a week. People often ask me how do I have time to paint while working on a full-time job, raising three kid, creating video content for my YouTube channel and running a business. I usually answer their question with another question:
How do you not have time for something you love?
I don't want to discredit anyone's hardship. The struggle is real. My wife often feels bad for me because she knows I could've done so much more without them. But they are the reason why I push forward in the first place. To juggle with all these and figure out a time for painting is my responsibility. It may be true that my day job and my family took a big chunk of my time away. However, if I'm being honest with myself, I know I still have plenty of time to do the things that are important to me. Every day I have to make a choice between painting or being a couch potato. I write my blog and work on my YouTube video instead of playing video games. I even have to say NO to friends' hang out and party sometime. So it's safe to say if you want to have time to paint, some sacrifice might need to make. I have mentioned this three things before, but I think they are worth repeating:
- Set a time to paint weekly - Here's the fact, if something is important enough for you, you WILL manage the time to do it. And the only way to get good at something is to do it consistently, not once in a while. Set a time to paint weekly, NOT when you feel like it and NOT "when you have time". Set that time apart, if something is conflicted with your schedule to paint, reschedule that thing, not your painting time. For me, the best time is early in the morning. I try to sleep early so I can wake up early (as early as 5 am). Early morning is a wonderful time to paint because there is very little distraction. Unless it's something you absolutely have to attend, you should always respect your own painting time.
- Break it into different sessions - I often do an underdrawing before I go to bed. I then wake up early to start painting. Sometimes I do the drawing and first wash the night before, and I finish it the next day since I need to wait for the wash to dry anyways. The point is, you don't have to pressure yourself to finish a painting in one go. If your time is tight, you can be a bit more flexible on this. Plus when you take a little time to do a drawing first, it will motivate you to finish it whenever you look at it!
- Accountability partner -I love the idea to have a painting buddy, where you meet up with your fellow artist and paint together. I personally don't really have a painting buddy right now. But my website and YouTUbe are acting as my accountability partner. If I slack off I will have nothing to share with you, so in other words - You are my accountability partner!
This is my challenge to you. If you really do have that many things in your life that hinder you from painting. Maybe it is time to delegate those. Or simply give up on things that don't have a long-term reward for you. Everyone has 24 hours a day. While there are things that we need to take care of every day, you might be surprised that we still have some time left each day.
New Bookmark set!
Many has been enjoy my bookmark set. So I am making a new set. I choose some lighter work for this set. A minor improvement on these is that I change all the logos on top so they will look good when you have them in the closing book in the book shelf.