The trouble with having a life while also attempting to maintain and even improve skills needed to be an artist, or really anything that’s skill intensive, comes in many ways. Really, I should say troubles, plural, since even now I realize the things that go into what I’m talking about are multi-fold. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned so far is that there is no one thing you can say for certain especially when it comes to the human condition. The first thing that came to mind was the expectation of friends and family, that special someone if you’re so blessed, to participate in whatever goings-on have been planned, from the occasional movie to the impromptu late night computer lesson. All of this takes time away from you and your educational efforts, and if you’re as selfish as I am, you spend the whole time at the movies or being shown the intimate parts of the inside of a computer thinking about what you could be working on: figure drawing, composition, landscape drawing, sequential art thumb-nailing, portraiture.
You know this is a good thing, being focused on your passion, though you also know others won’t understand, having tried multiple times to explain it to your significant other or your sibling, only to such responses as, “You have plenty of time to draw after work.” Not since you workout three days week, effectively eliminating the time between 5:00 and 8:30, which includes workout time, dinner time, and shower time. That leaves about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, before you need to start winding down for bed time. While you know you can get a lot done in an hour to an hour and a half, it’s never enough time to get to any final draft level artwork.
Also, you hear, “Well, the weekends are a perfect time to do all that stuff.” Right! The weekend is a perfect time to do “all that stuff,” but you know what it’s also a perfect time for? Other plans by all your friends for movies and car rides and ghost hunts. So, while you know hunting ghosts in an abandoned school while your friend videos you on her Iphone would be fun, you also know the skills you need to acquire require hours of consistent, deliberate practice.
Along with being selfish much of the time, you’re also plagued with an overwhelming politeness that never allows you easily to say no, so you spend more time than you’d like doing other things that while enjoyable, you know still take time away from your art.
So, with all that, I’d like to say that the “you” in this post is obviously in fact me. I don’t mean this to sound like a rant, though I’m sure it seems like one. I just find it hard to balance a personal life with being a beginner artist who wants to become much more proficient. It wouldn’t be much of a problem if either it didn’t take so long to get good at art or if I just didn’t care as much about it, though as it stands becoming an artist is something that means a lot to me.