As a communications specialist in the arts, my job relies heavily on my writing skills and on constantly engaging in arts activities. As a result, finding work/life balance can be challenging, and my creative expression often suffers.
For artists, fashioning a balanced life is delicate business; for many, their work is their life, so the lines can become blurred. For lots of us humans, when our internal compass is off, it can feel a little scary. When that happens, it’s hard to figure out what went wrong.
I am fortunate to be involved with an amazing circle of creative women — all of whom are juggling some combination of work, relationships and art. They happily agreed to share their experiences with me. Collectively, they shared a treasure trove of thoughts and wisdom on everything from scheduling creative time and sticking to it, to gratitude, spiritual growth, color-coding, routines, journaling, flexibility, focus, love and a whole lot more.
While these women all have different approaches to finding balance and different ideas about what balance means to them, they all agree that balance is tricky and it’s something they need to constantly keep an eye on it so they don’t lose themselves.
For artist Michelle Detering, balance includes time outside the studio. “It refreshes me and makes me more creative. So when I’m not working on art, I like to be out doing things.”
For Melissa Eggleston, artist and owner of Eggleston Gallery and Studios, managing her time is most important to her. “Sometimes, I have to say “no” to myself. [I have] to choose the projects that are most important and not get distracted by others, even if they’re equally awesome.”
Other women agree, saying that the secret to balance is to schedule time for the studio or their own creative practice rather than squeezing it in when there’s time. “Studio time has to happen for me—it’s a must,” said Laura Gajewski. “It keeps me whole and full and my best self.”
Photographer, Jane Kramer, designates a few hours every day for work and sets daily goals to keep her on track. She even finds ways for her son to be involved in her creative process.
While some find solace in making creative time and space a priority, others feel that balance ebbs and flows with life’s timeline. Jenny Schu, a bead worker and weaving artist, says that flexibility is key and she tries not to be too hard on herself when or if she needs to shift her focus.
Another way of achieving natural balance is by viewing the creative process as a never ending one, and according to textile artist and manager of Grove Gallery Deb Cholewicki, her attitude toward the work helps foster her faith in what she’s doing.
“I know my creative energy will be restored,” said Cholewicki. “And it always is.”
All of these women are passionate and gifted in creative fields and naturally, they love what they do no matter how difficult and time consuming it may be. They remain grateful for having the opportunity every day to do what brings them so much joy.
No matter what your path, finding and maintaining balance is important to health and happiness and living a creative life.
Thanks to these amazing female artists for sharing their words. Please google them all and check out their art and offerings!