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A day in the life of an artist

Updated: Sep 26, 2023


I often dream about my work. Depending what stage I’m at with a painting or a project, I’ll have positive dreams where I am in the flow of working and I’m enjoying the process, (I’ve basically turned into Monet or Gerhard Richter) or more likely I’ll have anxiety dreams about how I might ever finish a piece or I accidentally destroy it in my dream. So there's art in my day before I've even woken up.


I drink a coffee whilst walking my slow old dog, which gives me time to gaze at rocks, moss, miniscule textures on leaves and the trunks of trees - all of which inform my work. I think the dog knows I enjoy this morning quiet time at a slow pace and he procrastinates and sniffs everything on purpose just to give me a chance to gather inspiration. Thanks Henri you insightful wee furchild.


A couple of times a day I’ll look on Instagram at all of the amazing art in the world and wonder about how successful they are and if I’ll ever be as good. I follow a lot of talented local artists and endeavour to see their shows whenever I can, or as many times as possible. My current favourite is David Ryan’s collection of stunning works at the Quiet Dog Gallery. His paintings are bewitching.


Which project shall I work on today? Most likely I’ll be drawn to the one that is the least urgent. Somehow though it is absolutely the most inspiring thing to do right at this moment. ‘Maybe just an hour’ I tell myself. I become so engrossed in what I’m doing that I don’t notice the time skimming by and the important thing I said I’d do / person I said I’d meet with, suddenly requires me to jump on my bike and cycle frantically into town.


Engagement in my work is a very high priority. I take notice when I am managing to ignore all the other distractions in my life and focus solely on what I’m doing for hours on end. Bottling that feeling to inspire me on another day when it isn’t so much the case and the noise of everyday life intrudes.


I usually plan to get lots of small creative tasks done in any free evening, but in reality, I need a rest. So if I manage to pick up my sketchbook and spend 5 minutes with it, or write brainspill notes on my ipad about a future project to be materialised in the next 5 years, then it’s a successfully creative evening. I relish those rare evenings when I can say YOLO and paint until gone midnight just because I feel like it.


It’s hard to describe how much I enjoy making art and how satisfying it is. Art making fills up my cup in a unique way. However, a creative path can also be a source of self-doubt and anxiety, requiring practice to tame those thoughts and remain positive and true to myself.


Drinking multiple cups of tea each day gives me the time it takes to boil the jug to pause and feel grateful that I get to enjoy this very good life following my creative passion.


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