Summer is the most challenging time of the year for me in regards to finding time for making art. My two children are 10 and 7, so when the school year is over, I have 10 weeks to fill with activities to keep them from asking for the ipad. We go to the library, and to museums, and go swimming often, but at home it’s a constant challenge to keep them occupied. That means I have no time to make art until they go to bed, hopefully by 9pm!
Often I have the strong desire to create but just can’t, because of life happening around me and no time. How many people out there can say the same? Probably a very large group of people. So what do you do? Not create anything at all?
I explained in another post my journey with discovering collage art in the little spare time that I had as a new parent. Basically, even with as little as a few minutes a day, it is possible to create art and have the feeling of accomplishing something. So that’s the mindset I go with through the summer.
Putting the kids to work
My kids are welcome in my creative space if they are going to do something constructive. When my 10-year-old discovered she likes spin art, I pulled out my acrylic paints and invited her to use whatever she wanted. She started making some beautiful pieces.
She made so many (over 40), that she offered me several, and it got me thinking about what I could make with them. The color combinations are so lovely. I started with scraps on my work table, laying them down parallel and perpendicular, to see what I could create. Sometimes I had only a few minutes to lay one or two pieces down before I was called away. I left everything loose like this over a period of days, adding a few pieces here and there. I’d take a picture periodically just in case it got bumped around by one of the kids.
After several days I had enough to glue everything down. I’m happy with the results. Should I be disappointed that it took me 3 days to create when normally I could have realistically done it in less than an hour otherwise? No. I don’t measure success by how quickly and efficiently I can complete a collage. I measure success by creating something that I love, no matter how long it took to make it. By the way, having completed something at all can also be a measure of success.
Take the lesson and run with it
This idea of placing strips, a few at a time, day by day, worked well for me, so I decided I’d try it again but on a larger scale. I didn’t want to make one postcard this time, but create a large collage that I could cut down into smaller units. A 12″ x 12″ piece of pattern paper could be turned into 6 postcards at 4″ x 6″. Why postcards? Because I can use them for sending mail art to some of my pals.
So I started with a few pieces of spin art cut in half, and then added pieces of neutral colored paper when ever I had a few minutes to spare.
Here’s what it looked like after I had glued everything down.
After everything was glued down, I cut out the postcards. I didn’t use any varnish over the top, but I added a few postage stamps and some rubber stamping.
Here’s a close up of one:
Do you use small clusters of time to do something creative? What do you do? Have you been successful in finding ways to be creative? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions.