This is a question that was recently asked in the forum of my Foundations course and it led to an interesting discussion amongst the group. Naturally, I started thinking about this topic as well and made an interesting discovery.
While I do try to have regular dedicated sketching outings (something that I can schedule into my workday as a full-time artist/teacher) most of my sketching is done during the in-between moments ie. in my personal downtime. And there are three regular occasions when I try to incorporate my sketching with another activity (what James Clear calls Habit Stacking).
These three are:
1. Tea/Coffee breaks
These are either at home or going out and getting a takeaway. At home, I nearly always pause when I drink a hot beverage. This gives me thinking time (an important part of my work as a teacher and business owner) and so I often use this time to sketch. If I can’t think of anything else I sketch my coffee/tea… or more recently my teapot. (see more about this here).
Most workdays I go out for a walk (either in the morning before the start of my workday or at lunchtime) to get a coffee from a cafe and do a sketch of my local area. I love sketching on location so much that it doesn’t matter at all to me that I sketch the same places over and over.
At the moment this involves walking in my local area and/or walking in the bush at Lane Cove National Park. I don’t always do a sketch when I do my local walks but I would like to change that and at least do a simple line drawing every time I go out.
3. Outings outside my local area
These outings can be appointments, meetings, or social occasions. Even if I only do a quick drawing from my car (often just before I drive home) I like to have some visual record of the outing.
This is a big topic and one that I love discussing… but one other thing that I do to motivate myself to spend more time creating art is simply to review the many hours per week (and sometimes per day!!!) that I waste on social media and consuming content.
As for my recent sketching….
I’ve just started a new sketchbook and after a few months using spiral-bound books it feels so amazing to be back to my favourite format – 8×10 softcover Alpha.
So here are the spreads from this week with a few comments about how I found time to do these sketches (and yes, I managed to get back to Lane Cove this week!)
Sketching my Foundations Cup (Mark II) during my morning tea break and then more Foundations homework during my afternoon tea break. For those of you who were part of Livestream 10 this week, I ended up doing a spontaneous version of the roofs rather than coming up with a designed composition. 🙂
Afternoon walk and then evening cuppa while finishing my pages. This week I suddenly realised that if I want to start doing some sketching in the evening all I have to do is sit at my desk when I drink my evening cup of herbal tea rather than drink it in my reclining chair while watching something on my ipad!
So there you have it – all of these sketches were associated with either tea/coffee or exercise. And this has been a great start to a new sketchbook!
I like to remind myself that we always make time for the things that are important to us.
So what about you? Do you find it a struggle to find time to sketch? Do you have any strategies in place to help you?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. (If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)