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Gearing Up for the Summer Studio

Written by Erika b Hess

This article was originally published in Issue 6 of New Visionary Magazine.




Enjoy the Summer Without the Studio Guilt


As artists, we understand the importance of maintaining a consistent studio practice. But let’s face it, during the summer months; it can be a challenge to balance our creative work with the diversion of sunshine and family commitments. Summer is a favorite season for many who want to enjoy the weather but also get work done. Also, for many teaching artists,  summer can be a time to get significant work done in the studio. The break from work means they can dive into their practice in a way they can’t during the academic year. Overall, there are a lot of factors that impact your studio from June to August.




When you add the summer factors of wanting to take advantage of a season in the sun and needing to make work, it can be the perfect storm of studio guilt. Have you felt this way? You want to enjoy the summer, and your family, while getting year-long projects completed in just a few months. It is a lot of pressure, so how does an artist navigate it?


Rather than viewing these factors as obstacles to our productivity, I encourage you to embrace them as sources of inspiration. By engaging with the world around us, we can enrich our creative practice and find new avenues of expression. Experiences enrich your practice, and some experiences can only happen when kids and teachers are out of school and sunscreen is being layered on. As a way to mindfully tie enjoying life in the summer with your practice, here are some suggestions:


1-Make a goal to create one five-minute sketch a day! Break out your sketchbook and draw while hiking, on a walk, or at a BBQ or pool! At the end of the summer, you will have a wealth of new imagery! 


2-Jumping in a lake? Write about what that feels like and quickly sketch the feeling and experience!


3-Enjoy a summer morning by walking through the city. Write about what you hear and see, and make a sketch about it in your sketchbook!  


4- Explore a new location that encompasses a summer activity you love. Someplace you’ve never been to before. Draw the space. 


5- Read a book, any book, and enjoy it!







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