I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are
Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.
The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.
This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross
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Monday, April 20, 2015
A Not So Typical Day in My Studio
A customary or regular course of procedure.
Commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity:
I was asked recently to describe a typical day in the studio. Its a simple enough question, but it got me to thinking what habits I have and what habits other artists might have.
I think I might be on the extreme side of what "typical" means. For me no day is typical, yet each shares a certain routine that I try (sometimes very unsuccessfully to stick to.
Let me preface the following account with the fact that I am a multi-tasker. No, not just a multi-tasker, more like a multi-tasker on crack! I pretty much do about 50 different things all at once. It is not unusual for me to be holding multiple conversations online while at the same time creating my art. I've honed multi-tasking into a science. So multiply everything I will say by ten.
I suppose the most important thing to say right up front is that "a day" for me is often 12-18 hours long. I don't sleep normally. For me the day starts around One in the afternoon. I am not one to usually lay around sleepily. Once I am awake the day starts by going through my email before I even get out of bed. I like to know what I missed during my sleep. I am usually up quickly after that and ravenous. The first meal of the day (which I can't with good conscientious call breakfast) is taken in front of the computer and thus begins the day.
The afternoon is errand and catch up time. Very little actual art occurs but a lot of setting the stage for later happens. I may write for the blog, review artists portfolios or comment and critic students work. This is also the time for those stupid nagging life chores like running to the store and cleaning the studio. Also as a side note I am a maniac for keeping up on the world. I have news feeds that come in constantly on a wide variety of subjects which I follow closely. A good portion of the afternoon is left to finding out whats going on around the world.
If all goes well by 5pm I've wrapped up and focusing for awhile on the social networks. I review and prepare for my Artist of the Day program and take perhaps a half hour or so off to relax.
At 7pm I try to promptly post the Artist of the Day on Twitter and my favorite song of the day post. I start to consider the nights art at this time also. I've already decided pretty much on what I want to accomplish (thats done just before the end of each day). So I look through and make sure I have everything I need for whatever project phase I am in. This changes so often. At the time of this writing I am still building crypts and tombs for a cemetery piece. This may last for weeks or months before I totally shift to a new sculpture and with it the paradigm of the studio also shifts.
So finally 9pm approaches and for me the night is just getting going. At 9pm everything halts for about an hour. This is dinner time and pill taking time and about the only solid regimental thing in my daily life. Everything else has a bit of flexibility except for this hour of the night.
By 10pm the art begins. Now its important to emphasize the phase of art I am currently in. This phase began about 8 months ago and continues until I am ready to go to different type of art. My sculptures are composed of many smaller sculptures. For example a piece completed several months ago has 84 individual components on it, each which took anywhere from 1-5 days to complete. Once the individual component is finished its then added to the whole. In the case of the current sculpture, each individual component is a crypt, tomb or mausoleum. Its planned, crafted and added to the larger canvas. As of tonight there are 21 individual components completed with probably that many more to be done.
So the night is a microcosm of the larger piece of art. The parts are compiled from my stock room, color schemes are chosen and the actual crafting of the piece begins. If I am lucky I complete the individual component that same night, but in most cases it may be a two or even three day process.
This goes on until 12:30am in which the second mandatory stop of the day occurs. We call this the...uhh...ummm "Family Guy break". It is in fact the only time where the television actually is turned on. Yes, the only thing that stops the art in this household is Seth McFarlane's sense of humor. An addiction my partner and I can't seem to break.
But as they say its the pause the refreshes.
From 1am on until at least 5-6am is pretty much all studio time. There may be a few small breaks and a snack or two, but that is the prime time for creating. By 5am we are usually ready to wrap it up. I often conclude the night with a final image of the complete sculpture to post online. It not only gives followers a chance to see what was accomplished, but gives me the opportunity to look over what I've gotten done.
The last phase of the night concludes with a brainstorming session where decisions are made on what I will want to accomplish the following day. This gives me the opportunity to make sure I have everything I need supply wise in advance.
Needed supplies change the end of the night a bit. If things are needed, 6am is usually the time to do it. Home Depot and Walmart open at 6am and the art store by 8am, so at least 2 or 3 times a week those last hours are art supply runs.
If we are lucky we are asleep by 9am and the whole cycle begins again. Late to bed days may mean sleeping an hour or so later into the afternoon.
There are of course a thousand small variations to this routine. But those are exceptions to the rule, not the norm. The nice thing about our schedule is we can also blow it off when we want to. There is no pressure of a 9-5 job routine or requesting days off for vacation. We work hard and we produce, but we are not slaves to someone elses job and that makes a huge difference in our moral and how much we are able to produce.
I can absolutely say that most days are a joy and far too short for everything I'd like to get accomplished.
I'd like to hear about your typical studio art days. I know that for many, the novelty of being able to devote all their time to their art is a rare thing. But what are your habits? Do you have to psych yourself up first to create or do you just jump right into it? How long is your typical session? Tell me about it and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put it up in the blog for others to read. Lets hear your stories!