Fierce and original

Posted on July 3, 2008

“Be steady and well ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.” Flaubert

I take this phrase to mean a tidy, organized work space; a regular working time; as few distractions as possible.

But what about my 5 and 3-year-old distractions? Whilst it can be a lot of fun being a Mom, young kids do not sit easily with creating over the long, summer months. Getting up early to create left me exhausted and totally out of phase with my night-owl husband so I have (voluntarily) lost my regular working time in favor of additional patience.

I’m left musing on how I can use this advice in my real world. I thought finding time to create would be easy once I was at home with kids. Now I realize it’s never easy – you really do need to be “steady and well-ordered in your life”.

So first I listed where I am, right now. This includes:

  • My most important role right now is to enjoy this time with the kids and try to gently teach them reading, writing, life skills (like tidying their room)
  • I’m about to be on the road for 3 weeks
  • I need the help of the people around me to get uninterrupted studio time

    Then I thought of solutions that accept the world as it is:

  • I could work on projects with the kids. I’ll be interrupted (constantly) but I’ll have to deal with that.
  • I can draw more, drawing the kids as they play for instance
  • I can work small and in the kitchen, so no more acrylic medium experiments for now, they take too long to dry
  • I can get up early next week – it’s preparation for jet lag and I can survive 3 early mornings I think

    I’ll be going back to that quotation of Flaubert’s in a future post. Blogs and books I’ve been reading recently have led me to a series of realizations that are going to change how I approach, well, my whole life.

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