Art practice and time

Did you know that 95 % of artists struggle with time and that this struggle causes much anxiety for us? For a lot of people, our relationship to time has been really warped during the pandemic. I first talked about this last year as I felt we were holding our collective breath waiting to resume what we considered “normal life”, the one before March 2020. It has not started yet.

“Impermanence” ©Suzanne Belair Oil on Canvas 12 X 24 -SOLD

Those of you who have been following me already know that I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. Guilt takes over my mind when I think about all the extra time I feel I should use to create but don’t. I am working on this… The reality is that we ARE in a pandemic and we are disturbed and stressed out even if we don’t realise it and seem to be coping well, so we might have more time but the QUALITY of the time we have is compromised.

In a pandemic, the goal is survival, our own and that of our family. So we shouldn’t have false expectations because of the extra time we have.

Artists need renewal to create, input from other artists and museums, lunches with friends, interesting visits in galleries or gardens, in person conversations where you see a complete face. All these things that inspire us have mostly been taken away. Yes we can do visits with Zoom and other virtual means but the tangible aspect does not come through, something is missing…

The other thing is that we need time to rest without guilt, to take at least one day a week to enjoy something else besides work and art practice of our art. Even artists that derive most of their income from their art should take a day off each week, let the brain relax without going on Social media to promote or catching up with invoicing. This has become very difficult in our connected world.

Artists must create art because it is the way they understand how to be alive. So set natural boundaries with your paying job whether it is art related or not and protect your practice from being all about money. Create and experiment just for the sake of it.

Let go of perfectionism, go for a B instead of an A+, and don’t be afraid to create bad art. What you might consider “Bad art” should be reframed as “PRACTICE”. We all need to practice to learn and become better at everything same as dancers or musicians. It is with practice that we move forward.

Thanks for reading and Take care

Suzanne XX

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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair


  1. This is so true, Suzanne. It’s a relief to read these ideas that have been buzzing around in my head – don’t feel guilty, remember to experiment in art, cut yourself some slack. Thank you!

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