Enlighten by George Woollard

Making Time For Art

Perhaps if we are lucky, we have lots of money and do not need to work. Or maybe we live alone and do not need to take care of anyone else. Maybe there is an ideal situation that is the perfect setup for making art. What would you do? Do you think inspiration would take you on a joy ride and you would be a great artist? The fact is art grows out of hardship and suffering. Sure, you may have all the time in the world but you would have nothing to say. This is the conundrum, either you are full of ideas and have no time or you have time and no ideas. So it is easy to let it pass because being a good artist is really, really hard.

Obviously, art does get made and many people derive great benefits from it. Making time for art is making time for yourself. And this is largely a question of need. How much do I need to do this? There will always be plenty of very good reasons to do somethings else and not many to make art. If art truly is your calling, you will make time, just like you make time tor brushing your  teeth or for finding something to eat. Chances are you will not have the luxury of getting up in morning and going to your beautiful studio and being inspired all day long. But maybe you can squeeze out an hour at 10 o’clock at night when you are dog tired and you cannot do anything else anyway.

If this is the kind of artist you are then it will make no difference what anyone else thinks about your work and you will have no difficulty in figuring our what to do with it. Art making then is a kind of obsession and for this reason you should not try to be reasonable about it. You do not really have a choice. For all of the rest of us, we just enjoy art when we get the chance and do not really go crazy about it. This is fine and the more art awareness there is in the world the better. Art work is definitely work. But unlike most jobs, art work can be fun too. This is where the passion really counts.  With enough drive, I can sustain many hours of creative work and hardly notice the time.

I tend to be my harshest critic and have a hard time allowing my work to just be. So when someone else finds fault with my work, I don’t like it but it does not affect me much. The inner voice that questions is the tough one. My best bet is to keep starting something new to just distract me long enough to let it go. Once I am onto a new track, I am OK.  To this end, I tend to have quite a number of things going on at the same time. It gives me time to get a little distance on my work and not overwork them. The idea is to always have something in the works so that I am never at a loss for what to do.

Inspiration is a gift that you need to prepare yourself for. It is magical, mystical and sublime. Being inspired is being full of spirit. In other words, be enthusiastic, get jazzed, be passionate. And share your passion with others. Although an artist needs solitude to be creative, he also depends on others to complete the link with an audience. All art is performance art, without someone seeing and participating in the thing made it is just noise in the wind. It takes others to be inspired. 

Enlighten by George Woollard

Enlighten / 10″x8″x8″ /cashew lacquer on Lychee wood