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Do You Eat, Sleep and Breathe Art?

October 6, 2010

artist lifeIf not, it’s okay!

I used to feel a lot of pressure to make my whole life about art. Certainly, this was the message I got in art school.

An artist should make art, read about art, write about art, attend art openings, socialize with other artists, and essentially immerse themselves in their own art and the art world in general.


Honestly, if I did all of these things all of the time, I would have no time for anything else!

Add to that blog about art, tweet about art, read other artist’s blogs and art forums and it gets even more ridiculous.

Being an artist doesn’t mean you have to be an artist all the time. Artists are parents, siblings, children; they are wives and husbands; they are employees and employers; they may be golfers, or runners, or campers, or travelers, or readers, or volunteers. In short, they are human!

Artists, just like anyone, need a well-rounded, balanced life. This is good for your general state of well-being, but also good for your art practice. The things that go on in your life outside of your art are the things that inform your work.

It wasn’t until my last year at art school that one of my profs openly acknowledged this, and not until recently that I was able to generalize his advice. I was planning my course schedule and considering taking my electives during the summer so that I could fully concentrate on my studio classes during the semester. He recommended that I take both at the same time, so that my experiences in non-art classes could inform my work in the studio.

I took my electives in the summer anyways, which was the best choice for me in the end, but the lesson remains the same.

No matter where you are in your art career, it’s important to have a full, satisfying life. Spend time with your friends and family, participate in your hobbies, indulge in some down time. Your art will benefit from it!

  1. Miranda, this is another wonderful “learn to art” post, a great reminder of how things work, I think that if we forgot that life encompasses everything, including pauses where you just do nothing, then there would be no art….Have a great weekend, your posts are always good to read!

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