Today is the second post in my new weekly segment, Artistic Answers. I chose the question below as my first one for all these talented ladies because it constantly seems to be happening to me. It saddened me to learn I wasn't alone in feeling all alone with this problem, and Tami's answer really hit home how important it is to let all of you know that it is a normal problem for artistic women that we all deal with at one time or another.
The first question is:
How do you handle and cope with creative deadlines when you suddenly have family or personal issues crop up? What advice would you give to other artists who find themselves in the same boat?
I seem to be the queen of having family issues come up or maybe everyone does. I think it's exacerbated by the fact that I don't have an office with set work hours, so everyone calls me when they need something. I've adapted by not answering the phone before 10:00am or after 8:00pm. I work on computer work in the early morning hours, and creative time is after everyone else goes to bed at night. That doesn't mean that I don't work during other times of the day, but those are my work hours. I sometimes sacrifice sleep, but it seems to be the easiest way to make it all work. There are still evenings I go out or mornings that I sleep in, but as a rule that's how I meet deadlines.
I sometimes get a late afternoon surge of creativity and try to go with it when it happens. Taking notes about ideas when I can't create helps, too. It helps that I have a teenager and a husband who also has crazy shift work hours, so I kind of work my schedule around theirs.
The biggest crisis issues for the past 4 years are surrounding my mom's health. She doesn't live with me, but I'm the one that gets called when she needs help. She has multiple medical problems. Texting with my sister for updates and information is a huge time saver for me. I will admit that I've burned the midnight oil more than once to meet deadlines when I've needed to be at the hospital or at her house to help. Thank goodness for instagram and my Iphone which really help me keep up with the online and social media aspects of my creative work.
Gosh, I hope that helps a bit. I feel like I'm always trying to balance it all. It's not easy and I have to say that keeping up my yoga practice and my newly found running regime really do help me stay focused and peaceful despite being pulled in so many directions.
My motto is: we can have it all in life, we just can't have it all at the same time.
If you missed yesterdays answers by Kim Geiser & Heather Bostic, you can find them here: question 1 - post 1
NOW GO MAKE ART!