Last week after my gallery opening for Sticks and Stones and Bits of Bones, I relaxed with a friend who is also an artist and is a retired art teacher. We compared notes about how to keep working when there are distractions and responsibilities that conflict with studio time. I shared that I make myself go into my studio and sit several times a week for a minimum of a half hour. I do this regardless of having something to work on or not. Once in a while I just sit there, do my time, and then go on about the rest of my life. In those cases it just gives me 30 minutes to reflect on possibilities for future work. Most of the time I find myself immediately pulled into a work, either in making the initial scans, building a model for a future scan, or correcting existing scans. There is usually something in progress that can be worked on and the half hour usually grows into several hours. I often get lost in the time. The main thing is that I put myself in the studio. Whether of not I'm productive depends, but the first step is always showing up.
One of my favorite painters is Chuck Close and I think he sums it up best. "The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case." - Chuck Close
Chuck is right. Inspiration or not, I will keeping working. What do you do to stay on track?