Hobby (No money): <7 Hours
Hobby (No money): 7-15 Hours
Hobby (No money): 15+ Hours
Part Time (Supplemental/Petty Income) <10 Hours
Part Time (Supplemental/Petty Income) 10-30 Hours
Part Time (Supplemental/Petty Income) 30+ Hours
Full Time (Primary/Only Income) ~40 Hours
Full Time (Primary/Only Income) 50-60+ Hours
.... Since my last thread here in art discussion gave me some GREAT responses, I was wondering how you guys would suggest I structure my 'art workouts' for maximum efficiency. See the problem is with a 40 hour a week job (that takes a solid 45-50 hours of free time each week), I am severely limited for time on the weekdays. I have been working out 3 times a week for a quite a few weeks now and have really enjoyed it. Of course that's another 3+ hours gone per week. With dinner and errands I would say I could reasonably devote 2-2.5 hours every weekday to art making, and more on the weekend. What balance of studies, finished work, light sketches, reading/background/collecting reference would be best? Also, I don't have to do it as a single block, I could split it up, since staying focused for over an hour and a half is usually difficult for most people. Something I have learned from adding a workout routine to my schedule is that for me to sick with it, it really requires more emphasis on the time commitment "I WILL go for a two mile run after work TODAY" rather than a specific goals that can easily be missed "I will run FIVE MILES after work today." Still, what is a good "art workout schedule?" I could ramble some more, but if you are reading this I do believe I have made you suffer enough by this point
You know I'm an all in kinda guy. Its not for everyone, but I think you get what you want faster. So you have to work, that's a given, but then no tv video games or any other distractions, nothing else except art practice. When I worked I would come home, no tv and didn't live with anyone including the girlfriends and painted until 1 am. Did this until I became a full time artist which took about five years from the time I decided to do it. Balance is for pussies. I say go A type, obsessive compulsive, focus on what you want, sleep when you're dead. Anyway it works for me.
was not expecting that, possibly good advice, but did you suffer burnout from a lack of balance? I asked my question since I know that having a strict, limited schedule for fitness has really helped keep me more consistent longer than ever before... I'm up to basically 3 miles of running 3 times a week and still going farther, faster. I know I couldn't have done that if I was obsessive about it. Art is different, so your advice may be relevant, but I want a routine I can stick to, through thick and thin. The obsession would come from supplementing that plan.
For me the best way is to work a couple of months in a country with better economy than comeback to my homeland - since at last food is slightly cheaper here.
Like 4-6 months of work, than back to home and just paint for the rest of year.
Cannot imagine to have full time work, and do art just in free time. As long as you don't need to, because of family etc. better avoid it.
Casual girls usually don't bother much since they don't like stone-broke guys But these one also interested in art will be always around - likeness connects other likeness.
Anyway most important i think is to focus on what you want to achieve, and avoid whatever distract you.
Well yeah, like you said art is different. The routine isn't as important as pushing yourself to be better and working to eliminate weaknesses in your art. Your art is only as strong as the weakest chain. You can draw awesome figures, but if your hands look like shit then people will notice it. The thing about making a routine, imo, is that you'll have to change it every week because if you're really working productively then every week you will be a different artist with different strengths and weaknesses(this is more true when you're on the lower scale of skill level; someone like me whose ability hops around like a jackrabbit on steroids). I think it's also important to have a sketchbook as well for feedback. Other people can notice flaws in your work, see improvements, etc. Sometimes you'll change your schedule around to focus on some of the things they recommend; but don't mindlessly follow what they say. Look to understand why they say what they did, and whether they were correct or not. At some point you might have to move backwards because you are missing important mastery of fundamentals. http://www.drawspace.com/. You can't jump 2 steps at a time like when running up stairs. You miss a step in drawing fundamentals, and it can bite you later in the ass when your subject matter increases in complexity.
It's also important that you believe in what you are practicing; and have a combination of logos, pathos, and ethos(logical thinking, passion, and credibility). You can find credibility everywhere; just look at all the sketchbooks, look at the improvement in them. Then you find out the "why" of that practice, why does that thing make you a better artist, why does it work?! Then you get fired up for that thing; you get passionate and you do that thing! "If those artists could do it, I can do it too! Maybe I'll take longer or maybe I'll take less, but I can learn like them, too!" Dpaint is an example of someone who's passionate about art; being willing to put in tons of work for art pretty much equals passion. If you want to be successful in art, why the hell not go all out? You'll have to put in more work(effort x time) than others to become more successful than them anyways, so why not. I mean, look at the Olympic athletes. Do you see balance in their lifestyles? They spend at least 5 hours a damn day practicing their sport; and they become extremely freaking good at their sport because of it. If you want to become extremely freaking good at art, then it shouldn't be any different, should it?
Lastly, finished works are applications of your knowledge gained from technical studies in order to make art. If you don't do the applications, then you aren't internalizing the technical studies as well as you could be. If you learn to draw arms through technical studies; well go make some damn finished works and apply what you learned! This also means that you should look back at old technical studies(if you haven't internalized them) if you're wanting to improve your finished works. Composition, color, lighting, anatomy, figure drawing, still-life, landscapes, etc.; you can make technical studies out of all of those subjects. You just gotta transfer those skills over so that they become second-nature, so that while in midst of drawing/painting your finished works you won't have to disrupt the creative process by looking up different ways to make, for example, a composition. And this transition isn't easy to make either. You will have to internalize them by just doing the paintings with intentions of finishing them and applying everything you've learned that applies. And you will make bad shit before you start making good shit. It's just natural to be bad at something before you're good at it. I'm bad at it too, but I plan on keeping at it, continuing to improve what I can do with my finished works until I can't make art anymore(maybe I'll lose my hands, maybe I'll go blind, or maybe I'll become paralyzed or something).
These are just my opinions. You can take them as a grain of salt. Best of luck to you.
I think working on your goals is better than not working. I still have a romantic relationship, have friends and do other things, but 90% of my life revolves around my art. I don't go on vacations without taking my paints, I don't go anywhere without a sketchbook in my car. Do I always use them, no, but most of the time I do. I paint a couple of hundred paintings a year, half of which no one will ever see because they don't make the cut but I still painted them and that muscle memory is worth its weight in gold for me. The thing is my friends know this about me and work their lives around my obsessions.
My wife doesn't really see much of me until the end of a contract. She's very supportive though.
But yeah, no socializing, no games...as Armand said, soon your friends and family will get used to it.
Still, take care of yourself though, it all depends on what you can fit in and still meet that deadline.
Having said that, my diet and exercise normally go for shit during contract time!
At the end of the day, you just have to experiment to find the schedule that works for you. Some people do better with structure, maybe going so far as to have a set place and time for doing work. Some people prefer to wing it. Personally, my life is sort of controlled chaos (right now I seem to be starting my productive day at, uh... 11:00pm? Sunday it was 6:00am to, um, 5:00am.) Sometimes I have dinner for breakfast. Or vice versa. Chaos works for me, but would probably not work for everybody.
Deadlines dictate how much time I spend on work-related art. If it's a tight deadline, that means all-day sessions (worst-case scenario, all-nighters too.) Otherwise I do about 4 - 8 hours a day on work-related art. But then my goofing off usually consists of working on my own art. Which I don't track. And which could easily fill up the rest of the day, aside from meals and exercise and sleep. So, total art time, I don't know?? All the time I can get?
I do try to get food and sleep and exercise on a fairly regular basis, though. Over the years I've found I'm way more productive if I at least maintain a physical balance. When my body goes out of whack, bad stuff happens, sometimes to the point where I can't do anything at all (or where I can't see, that's no fun.) So I try to stay in whack. So I can get more done.
Of course your metabolism may vary. (My schedule is built around my migraines, can't really do much about that.)
(Also, pro tip: brushing your teeth doesn't take as long as you think it will and is a really really really good idea. Dentists are friggin' expensive.) (Lessons learned the hard way...)
Last edited by QueenGwenevere; October 17th, 2012 at 12:29 AM.
I gotta say... I'm with Dpaint on this one. I work 4, 12 hour days in a row then get 4 days off, I do this so I get work out of the way so I can practice on my days off. Works a lot better for me then doing the normal 8 hour days 5 days a week. The only problem is on the days I work I can hardly get out a 20 minute sketch before I pass out. Its not uncommon to get 16 hours drawing in a day of though.. I wish I could keep it up but I normally fall between 8 and 12 hours a day. So for me its always been an all or nothing thing.
"The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint
Dont trust anything i say! I'm a noob.
My Noob Sketch Book
I work 8 hours per day and have classes every other weekend all weekend + shitloads of homework. On top of that there is the wife who is supportive, but needs some occaisional attention as well, I work out about 3 times a week and then there are housechores. So my schedule is packed even without me trying to fit in drawing/painting.
I would suggest you do whatever it is you need to during the day as quickly as possible and go to the drawing board as soon as you can and draw for as long as you can. Once you notice you aren't getting enough sleep, try moving that drawing block to earlier in the evening and see what you can sacrifice/move/do quicker that is preventing you from starting earlier.