I’m an artist - I don’t have time to make art!

I’m an artist - I don’t have time to make art!

Recently, I’ve arrived at a place where I realise I don’t have time for everything. I’ve pushed the envelope for decades but found that even with extreme willpower and good intentions, I still get just 24 hours in a day.

So how do I – we - cram in the things that matter the most? Like creating art and being with others who do the same; how can we find time to nurture our practice and spend it in the studio generating our precious creative ambitions? 

Honestly, is it actually possible with bills to pay and unavoidable responsibilities needing immediate attention?

I say YES!

I tell the artists who attend my professional development workshops and mentoring sessions that they must – MUST – silo 15 minutes a day for themselves.

It’s done by shutting the door and establishing very strong ‘Do Not Interrupt Or Else’ boundaries.

These boundaries for your art making must be yours alone. (That’s two words, People. Yours. Alone).

15 minutes a day aggregates to 1.75 hours in one week. In a year, its 91 uninterrupted hours or …drum roll… two and a half weeks of continuous focus on your artistic priorities. 

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With that tiny daily allocation, you can create a fantastic work for a commission, prize or award; develop a new technique, or explore new art materials. You can project manage your annual event - let’s say your Open Studio. Or maybe do a really snazzy business plan or budget for that artist-in-residency or biennale you’ve just scored. You can write a killer grant application (or send out that blog, Paula Silbert!).

So, start with the basic daily dose of 15 minutes a day. You might find that, pretty soon you’re doing 30 minutes without even feeling it. (And that’s five weeks of art time per year that’s entirely yours). 

Look. You deserve this. You have the talent and – well we kinda deserve to see your artwork, again.

You didn’t have the time before and we get that. Today is different.

At this very moment – you can allocate 15 minutes that no-one else can touch. (5.30 to 5.45am? 9.30pm with the door closed? During lunch break? On the train?).

Good luck, and let’s know about your progress.

P.S. If this helped, keep your eyes peeled for my next blog about my Art Coffee and Conversation sessions.  Sign up on paulasilbert.com to receive the announcements and booking details.

© Paula Silbert Arts Consultancy 2019


The unmistakable style of photorealistic mural artist, Guido van Helten on the 7 storey fly tower of the David Williamson Theatre off Mechanics Lane, Windsor, Victoria. It’s located near Deaf Connect and the Victorian College of the Deaf offices and depicts the celebrated dancer and doer, Anna Seymour who is deaf. Photo by Paula Silbert