One thing that I have been struggling with this semester is how to find those long chunks of time to dedicate to making that are so important to making good artwork. Far too often things feel rushed when I'm in the studio. No sooner do I get settled down and into a rhythm, once I get home to my studio after dropping off the kids in the morning, then it's time for lunch and walking the dogs. My husband works at home so he's always there reminding me that it's time for a break. By the time this is done it's generally after one and then I have less than two hours to work again until it's time to leave to get the kids again. In addition to this I also teach on Mondays and work at the community college two mornings a week. It makes it hard to get much “on my own, alone, creating” time. I have been working really hard at making sure that I have at least two days a week where I only work in the studio; no grocery shopping, no volunteering at school, no running errands, but that doesn't always happen. I keep reminding myself that I need to treat making art as though it were a job (because it is, really) and to give it that kind of priority, rather than trying to sneak creative time in at night after dinner.
Another thing that Blackmon talks about is how, once a photograph has been shot, her galleries treat her personal work as a commodity, placing orders for prints that they want ASAP. She said it's hard for her to see her work treated this way since it's so personal to her. I think this must be the classic conflict of being an artist because what you are selling really is yourself. Thus far in my career, I have not done much selling but I do wonder what it must be like to have galleries and customers expecting you to produce a large amount of, essentially, the same work over and over. How do you keep yourself from simply becoming a ceramic factory rather than an artist? I guess that's just part of making a living as an artist, but I can see how taking a break from the madness and allowing yourself some time to just create, without worrying about orders and housework and kids is truly important to keep your art fresh and new. I think the take away on this for me is allowing myself the time that I need to be creative without letting the “mommy guilt” get in the way.