Ha ha! So I set out to write a post on how I try to fit art and blogging into my daily life… and both kids got sick and needed my full attention, leaving me no time to blog or art!
Which reminded me I forgot one important tip in part 2… go with the flow! :/
Ain’t life fun?!?!
Anyway, here goes:
Keep the journal out all day:
When Kirby was newborn and I could only fit in a minute or two to myself all day, I kept the journal open on the breakfast bar at all times, so I didn’t have to waste time taking it out, opening it up to the right page, or what have you. Then when I had a minute, even if it was just waiting for the kettle to boil, I could add a little something to the page. It made me feel like I still had some me-time, even though I was knee-deep in caring for a newborn.
Kirby is (thankfully) a much better sleeper now, but I still keep my journal open all day when I’m working on a page. It’s ready to go whenever I am.
If you have somewhere safe to leave your art out so you can add to it during the day, I highly recommend it.
Keep an art supply kit:
If you’ve been around a while you know I have worked from a shoe box full of supplies at the kitchen breakfast bar since before Kirby was born, and just change out the contents when I get bored of them or use them up.
I love having an art kit because it means I have everything ready to go, and it challenges me to make the most of whatever is in it. It can be as big or as small as you want/ need.
I recently admitted to myself (and to Alan, who has had to put up with the mess for the past couple of years) that the shoe box format isn’t working (for us). It’s too big and bulky, not sturdy enough, and far too tempting for little fingers. It has to sit out on the breakfast bar, so the breakfast bar is never tidy. It’s driving us both crazy. So I am going back to the drawing board. I still want and need a kit, but it has to fit my needs better. I was thinking of converting Alan’s old briefcase, but I’d have the same problem with storage, so I’m now thinking I might just hang a tote on the back of the door. You can’t see it when you come into the kitchen, but it is still within easy reach.
I’ll do a separate post on what I keep in my kit(s) at some point .
Use supplies suitable to the circumstances:
When Kirby was little, he would only sleep on me (in a carrier/ sling, or in my arms), see picture in the first fitting it all in post, so I pretty much only used WS crayons, coloured pencils, and glue sticks for a while, because I didn’t want to risk touching him when my hands were messy.
Now he’s older I still leave messy stuff till he’s asleep, and do cleaner stuff (like sketching) when he’s around. I fit in a lot more art in my day that way.
Make art with the kids:
Okay, so not all kids are as obsessed with drawing and painting as Aoife, but in my experience as a parent, and former nanny and au pair, most kids like it well enough that you get a few minutes to work on something while they’re working on their own little masterpiece.
As you know, I try not to go on the computer when the kids are around, but I often think of ideas for blogging when it is off, so I write the ideas down in my catch-all journal and come back to them later. If I have an idea when I’m out and about, I either write it in my phone or use the voice recording app that came with it to keep them safe until I get time on the computer. When I have computer time, I’m ready to go.
Ha! I know some of you are cringing right now, but you know I love them. I use them for everything, including blogging.
Download/ edit photos often:
I download the photos from the point-and-shoot and the dslr pretty much every day. I only do the phone pictures once a week, because I don’t use them on the blog as often. I try to edit as I go, so I don’t have a massive job on my hands later, but often use nights when Alan is out to catch up. That way, when I need a photo for a post I just need to resize it and sharpen it.
Speed it up:
I’m terrible at this, but am trying to get better. Don’t worry over every word and sentence, just write. Then leave it, if you can, for a bit before coming back to edit before posting. Much quicker, and much more natural. But, ahem, I’m still getting to grips with that one myself. Instead of just writing, I tie myself in knots wondering if I’m using the “right” words or if I’m using Swedish grammar instead of English grammar (yes, after 20 years in the UK, I still get confused!) , until I have completely over-edited the post. Working on it, folks! Working on it!
So that’s just some quick pointers to how I try to fit in some art and blog time into my days. Hope they’ve been of some help to someone. If you have any other tips that I have missed, please write them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ways.