Thursday, July 17, 2014

How I stay focused on art when I am very busy

I have been busy and while enrolled in an MBA and my life has been very business-focused, so I try whenever possible to keep art in my mind. Even when I do not have the time to make art, I try to keep inspired in the little free time that I have. In an attempt to remind myself that the purpose that I am attending business school is for the business of art, because art is my real passion. Truly, I would like to integrate business and art together in my life. When I first finished art school and was attempting to figure out what to do, I found few resources relating business and art or addressing the business side of art. I think I would like to communicate the business skills from my MBA to other artists, to help them as well.

This summer has been hectic for me, but here are some of the ways I have been keeping art in my head.

1. Reading about art. 

Art & Physics: Parallel Vision in Space, Time and Light
by Leonard Shlain

I feel that reading about art really keeps me focused. The work of other artists can be really inspiring, and get you motivated and excited to express your own thoughts and ideas. I often like to read about art from different viewpoints, and I have always taken great interest with physics, so I picked up this book. I take many issues with this book, the author many time forces his theory and I feel he also manipulates the concept of some of the artwork to mean what he wants it to mean. Also, the author often leaves out important advances in physics in the book because they do not contribute to his theory. However, at 437 pages I think this book is a great overview of art and physics and I enjoyed the ability to compare the timeline of the two together. If nothing else, Shlain demonstrates how changes often occur in both fields at the same time because of the shift of perspective of everyone in society. I also enjoyed having the inspiration that comes with reading about many of my favourite artists again, and sometimes getting perspectives on their artwork that I hadn't been exposed to before. 

2. Listening to podcasts

I have the luck of working from home for my internship, so when I am doing more visual work (formatting documents, etc) I can listen to podcasts. One of the few great resources I have found for business and art is Alyson Stanfield's blog and podcasts. Her website,, has some great resources and if you search for her podcasts, she has a ton that covers all of the topics you could imagine encountering as an artist. It keeps me motivated and informed. 

3. Drawing and painting small things

I don't have the time to work on big paintings, therefore I try to do small sketches and small paintings whenever possible. Even if the paintings have no conceptual meaning to me, sometimes it's just nice to have a tool in my hand and move a medium around on a surface. Here is a small painting I did this summer (unfinished at this point, some shoulders went in later). 

Acrylic on canvas

The fight of my life since I finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts has been finding the time to keep up with my artwork. I do not come from a family that can support me while I don't work, and it is difficult to find a good paying job these days. I keep reminding myself that I am doing an MBA to free up more time and have access to more resources when I do find a good job, and using these techniques to keep myself focused on art helps me along the way.

<3 Lenore