I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked what it’s like to live as a full-time artist. Having spent a good amount of time discussing my daily rituals with students and collectors, I felt it was appropriate to share my routine with you. It’s tough to get things done in a distracted world but I do my best to make every single day count. Want to find out what my typical day is like? Then keep on reading!
My Typical Day (These Days) As A Full-Time Oil Painting Artist
I won’t waste a second more of your time than necessary. Take a look at below and step in the shoes of an older man working as an artist today.
Here goes nothing…
It’s no longer jumping out of bed, grabbing a shower, shave, and hitting the bricks. It’s more like 10 minutes in bed having a motivational talk with myself and convincing myself to start getting out of bed. Then it’s 15 minutes to wait for my feet and legs to operate properly, and then making it to the coffee pot as soon as possible. It’s imperative that I fuel my body with coffee!
Next task is spending the next 20 minutes medicating. That means checking my blood sugar, taking my shots, taking pills for blood pressure etc. You know, all those things that keep me ticking. I then take time to think for 15 minutes while drinking coffee as to whether or not to stroll into the shower for the day.
Decision number three, should I dress for comfort, for looks, for weather, or at all? It’s a fashion struggle that we all hate to deal with but the daily gods demand it.
I the drive to the coffee shop and meet my cronies. That’s how we start the day in “the office.” Sure, we try and save the world with a bit of political rhetoric and a cathartic amount of time bitching about any number of things, as well as some motivational optimistic thoughts. This is my therapy for the day and it’s a must have for me.
Go to my studio and feed my two cats Mr. Kitty, and baby kitty. They’re not shy when it comes to telling me “who runs things” around the studio. They’re hungry and get on the schtick. Clean the litter boxes for the first time of the day. It’s all part of the glam of being an artist.
Next, I create a to-do list while having second coffee. I do some Morning meditation and have another self-motivational speech as to the meaning of life and hanging in there. LOL, it works and I recommend trying it some time.
Decide whether or not it’s going to be a day of making custom knives or creating something fresh and new at the easel, reminding myself I am as good as my last painting.
Decide whether to spend the morning doing schlep stuff. You know, like running errands, taking care of the car, picking up and dropping off stuff, a trip to Lowes, order supplies, blah blah blah. All that exciting stuff.
I then prepare the studio and set up tables / easels for my oil painting class that evening. Supplies need to be replenished so I make sure paper towels and supplies ready for the students, and think of something interesting to paint that evening in class that may appeal to everyone.
The next step is a tough one. I must face a blank canvas on the easel and try to imagine what to pull out of the canvas for my next creation. It seems the longer I paint (which is been 63 years), it seems to get more difficult as time goes on. Reason being, you expect more from yourself as an artist and the only unforgivable sin for an artist is to remain stagnant. Artists cannot remain in the same place doing the same paintings over and over.
By this time, I’m finally awake enough to start things like taking inventory, paying bills, and doing anything that requires semi-clear creative thinking.
I can’t forget to check my blood levels and take my second shot of the day. All before thinking about grabbing a lunch. Glancing in the mirror, and trying to convince myself lunch must be healthy and I need to lose 30 pounds. My nephew and I talk about working out a lot. While we both admit we need to get in better shape, we love a nice piece of cake. Must be hereditary.
After lunch I tidy the studio up for the occasional 1 o’clock appointment with a client. I try to look and act professional as possible. Easier said than done.
I spend some time as they say “putting out fires” and taking care of various business obligations, as well as talking myself into a better mood, and telling myself “You can do this, hell you’re only 69 years old!”
Next up, I teach a class which typically consists of about 8 or 10 students of all different levels. I put great effort into tuning into each student and their individual needs and wants. This is a part of the day that I am thankful for, and truly enjoy.
Well, that about sums up the typical day in the life. If you have any interest in painting, purchasing artwork or simply grabbing a cup of coffee to shoot the breeze, email me. We’ll set something up. In the meantime, check out some of the newest abstracts I’ve created. If that’s not your thing, then you might like the Livingston Collection which is more traditional.