Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Sometimes I Forget I’m an Artist

Ashley Saunders

 

This is a graphite drawing I did of myself as a study for a larger painting.

 

Sometimes when you’re an artist, or at least would like to consider yourself an artist, it is incredibly hard to make art—not for lack of ability or ideas (which can also be a problem) but because of the way you’ve prioritized your time. I’ve found myself in this place, and I’m not too happy about it.

I know this is a problem that many creative people who work full-time—or who go to school, or basically do anything other than focus entirely on their art—struggle with, and it can be incredibly frustrating. Every time I find myself in this dry spell, I make promises to myself that when I just get through x, y, and z, I’m going to make a ton of mind blowingly amazing art. Then x, y, and z are over, and I’ve got a whole new set of tasks to prioritize. I might crap out one sketch in that time. Nice job, Ashley.

I feel like I’ve tried everything too. Even when I’m busy, I try to write down things that inspire me before I forget about them. I doodle on everything.  I have an inspiration sketchbook of ideas. I realize that my problem isn’t inspiration. It’s time in the day. I spend so much time as an art educator trying to come up with ways to get students to create artwork that is meaningful to them, but I somehow fall short when it comes to my personal art practice.

Disclaimer: this blog is not about to turn into a step-by-step tutorial on how to make time in your life for making more art, because I totally have not figured that out. If you have, please leave a detailed comment below. Instead, I’m hoping that this post is something that’s relatable to anyone who does anything creative. And, I’m asking you busy people: How do you make time for your art? I know some people who are way busier than I am but still manage to create. What do you do?

I’m typically pretty protective of my work and where I put it on the internet, mostly because I’m suspicious of things regarding who owns the rights to my images once they’re out of my hands. I rarely put up a finished piece on Facebook. I have a private blog that I let select people know about when I want them to see my full portfolio. I’m a weirdo. I say all of that to let you know that this is sort of a personal blog post for me. Here are a few samples of my work. I hope you enjoy.

 

Sometimes I Forget I’m an Artist

    Sometimes when you’re an artist, or at least would like to consider yourself an artist, it is incredibly hard to make art—not for lack of ability or ideas (which …

Art Education (K-12) MAT Ashley Saunders, ashley.saunders@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience