La Theorie Des Cordes by Andre Fromont. Photograph.
It’s important to take a step back sometimes.
Put your art on the back burner.
Give yourself a break.
I learned this in an intense way recently. In the hype of getting my website live and raising a new puppy, while keeping my day job, I became overwhelmed. And one night, as I expressed this extreme overwhelm to my boyfriend, Wesley, I broke down into tears. I’m not a superhero. No one is. But for some reason our culture pushes us, especially women, to be and do everything. Well, I can’t be a (pet) mom, a business owner, a fulltime employee, and a homemaker all at the same time…. all to the absolute best standards. Sometimes you have to reassess and realize that doing a couple things to their fullest is much better than doing everything halfway.
“I’m not a superhero. No one is.”
And that’s what I decided. Take a step back and put my business on the back burner.
And that’s often true for artists. They get so excited about the prospect of prospering from their artistic passion that they forget to nurture the other areas of their lives. And that can hurt their relationships and their emotions. It’s a wonderful thing when I see a client take a step back and decide to focus on fewer life pursuits at a time. There’s no shame in putting something (whether it be your art, your marketing, your housework, your free time, etc) on the back burner. The key is to not ignore it completely. Give yourself a small amount of time each week or each month to pay attention to the back burner.
And let me just say, I’ve made that mistake with my art. I’ve put it on the back burner – and then never tended to it for months and months.
That’s no solution! A loose schedule will help you to not lose site of important aspects of your life. It may seem odd, but even scheduling family time can be helpful. Just remind yourself that every night from dinner until the kiddos’ bedtime, you’ll be all about your family. Then follow through. Shut the studio door, leave the laptop closed, and don’t even bring your sketchbook or any materials in the livingroom with you. Keep it focused on your family. These sorts of techniques give you the freedom to let go for a while and fully immerse yourself in what’s important at that very moment. Apply the same principle to any area of your life you may be putting on the back burner for the day, the week, the month, or even the year.
If you’re having trouble, I’m here for you. Share your Back Burner struggles and successes in the comments below!