Destinations Magazine

Down Time

By Agnes

I love working for long hours, with my phone turned off, the windows open and music playing.

But there inevitably comes a point, especially when working on the same piece for several days when I have to take a break, regardless of how close I am to being done. Step away from my world and do nothing for a few hours but disappear into real conversations with real people, in the real world. I can last for several days submerged in work, day in and day out before the need for a break manifests itself, but when it does I know better than not to yield to it. 




(For my old age I've morphed into such a sunscreen freak. I couldn't care less about wrinkles, in fact I love them, but for some reason I just find it next to impossible to 'embrace' sun damaged skin. Yes, vanity at its finest... whatever happened to those good old days at summer camp when no sunspot, no unwanted body hair, and no stupid vanity concern had the power of getting in the way of fun?)


Then when I return to work with a fresh pair of eyes, it's so easy to put the finishing touches on.  An hour or two and I am done. 

A few years ago I stumbled upon a website about various artist's daily routines. I am not sure why it fascinated me as much as it did, but it had such an effect on me. As did Steven Pressfield's account of his writing schedule and discipline. Work routines are just so endlessly interesting to me. 

Doing art is a lonely business in a sense (I imagine writing and making music must be the same?) in that only I can see the piece I'm working on, it's in my head and nowhere else. I've created it, in my mind, I authored its existence and now it's making me feel accountable for delivering it. I can always see the piece in my head, but since I am the only one who sees it, it can only be created by me alone. And that is the lonely part of it. It's not a sad type of loneliness. In fact I love the routine and this strong sense of self-discipline connected to it. And when I am done, there is this certain feeling of disconnection when the piece claims its own life and it no longer needs me or my head to live in. It's a bit hard to put this on words.

What is your work routine? Is it the same every day or does it depend on your work load?

Also, if you're musician, a writer, painter, photographer or any kind of visual artist (or any profession really) what do you do to keep yourself inspired? 

I would really like to know.



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