Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Balance



 It feels so good to be designing again. I took some time out of the studio- about seven months-  trying to decide what I wanted to do "next." I had worked myself into a place where the joy started to wane and I hit a block.  For years I've struggled trying to finding that perfect balance among work, home and relationships.  I've made resolutions. I've written about it. I've talked it through with friends.  The creative stuff always wins.  And eventually, I burn out.

So in May, I happily closed my Etsy store, thinking that it was time to move on.  I didn't participate in or host the usual array of seasonal shows.  I enjoyed a sense of freedom that I hadn't felt in a while.  In the summer I gardened.  During the holidays I enjoyed having extra time for family and friends.  It really felt good to take back control of my life.

But then I found myself spending more time in the studio....considering new ideas, feeling the creative process taking a new form.  What I'm beginning to understand is that I always had control.  Deciding how much time to spend designing, working outside, or being with my family was always an option.  The fact remains that I am happiest in the studio.  Ideas hatch. Time flies. Things happen.

So I'm experiencing all of this again as I get back to work.  Getting my head around the idea that I can spend as much or as little time in the studio is a paradigm shift.  Realizing that I can step back and regroup, and allow my creative energy to ebb and flow is something I'm trying on for size.  I wonder whether my yoga practice will help me re-navigate the process?

I'm curious how you create balance in your life. How do you find that harmony and parity? Is it something you've learned over time, does it come naturally to you?


7 comments:

  1. Still searching for that balance. I think that if we artist types could find that elusive balance we would not be able to create effective art. Or at least we'd have a heck of a battle trying to get our point across rather than the sometimes challenging and always fruitful (though not always the fruit we expected!) process we all adore...
    I am starting to wake up after a long sleep (almost 2 years of not regularly creating) and I think that break was helpful in recreating that lust for inspiration and drive to create that I once had. Perhaps this time though, I will be able to find some balance so I don't burn out. (HA! I doubt it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so happy to hear you are back designing your gorgeous pieces again. Balance...I quit my life as I knew it 5 years ago in search of balance. Still searching, without regret.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bek- I really appreciate your comment. I know how much thought you put into both your creative and family lives. You are a continuous inspiration to me.

    Cat- Thank you! It feels so good to be back in the studio. The search goes on...happy to be sharing it with you. XO

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Lori...I'm so glad I found you! I can totally relate to this. After working for 10 years in the fashion industry I was completely disillusioned and burned out. Now I'm back to to my original passion, art, and it's great. I am struggling with the balance thing too...big time. I get overwhelmed when I try to do art, think commercially, think business-like, then have a life on top of it. I find it very hard to do art for the sake of doing art...my brain is so hard-wired to think commercially because it's how I earn my living. I have found that the only way I can restore some kind of balance in my creative/non-creative life is to allocate times for everything in my diary and stick to it. I make time for fun art, then I make time for commercial art, then I make time to exercise, then I make time to research (for the business), and I make sure I make time to stop and go to the kitchen and prepare healthy meals (so I don't live off of toast and snacks!). It's so hard, but I have to be so militant about it or else I slip into chaos and that is never good for a control freak like me LOL. I'm still learning how to let go and chill when it comes to my work. I also find it helpful to not look at too many other artist's blogs/websites/Etsy...simply because I start to compare and then it triggers some anxiety about my own work and progress, which is never helpful.
    It's a work in progress that's for sure...but I am getting there, slowly but surely! Thanks for your post and thanks for listening to me ramble! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Gina- Thanks for stopping in. I can relate to every single word you wrote. Fun vs commercial...everything has to be a business! That's just the way I am. We are all works in progress and hopefully, always will be.

    ReplyDelete
  6. happy to find that there are others like me out there lol i am always creating and when i'm not creating i'm thinking of what i want to be creating...hehe i have a love hate relationship with having my own biz...sometimes i hate taking the time to do the business part because it's not fun and it gets stressfull but i've realized that if i wasn't selling my stuff online, at other boutiques and at my lil boutique space here in vegas then i'd prob have way too much of my creations around my house because i'm always wanting to create regardless if i have a biz or not... <3 for me i think it's realizing that i'm just a one woman operation and not a huge corporation so i can take a chill pill on trying to do too much boring biz stuff ;) hope you enjoy your return to creating in your studio!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Susan-
    I think once we realize we're creative people, we realize we will always create. I was surprised by how much I missed sewing. I thought I would be able to fill the void with other creative projects...for I time, I did. I understand the whole art/business thing, too. Thanks for posting a comment!

    ReplyDelete