Carving out Time

Last month Carve Out Time For Art (a website community for artist inspiration and encouragement through story telling) had a 5 day hashtag challenge. I was excited because one of my new instagram buddies, Krista McCurdy, had posted a photo of herself with an introduction that really grabbed me. She said that it was for the COTFA challenge. (Just a quick note: if you don't follow Krista on instagram (@kristamccurdy) or subscribe to her newsletter, do it - she's awesome!)

Day one of the challenge was 'introduce yourself'. #cotfaintroductions.

Day two was 'show something you are working on'. #tadatuesday

Day three was 'explain how you carve out time for art'. #howicotfa. 

Day four was 'show us your space'. #showusyourspace

Day five was 'a promise'. #creativepinkieswear

During that week I realized that I had more to say about my life as an artist than I thought. It was some of the better writing I have created in my life to date and it made me think differently about how I make things and why. I wanted to write them all out here for you to read in one post. I added just a few extra details from what I had originally posted on instagram. 

1. Introduce yourself! Hello! I'm Sarah and I am a photographer and a printmaker with a particular love for alternative process photography. I started my cyanotype design business this year after many years of thinking about it. I am so excited and proud to have made this step. My work centers around specimens from nature often interweaving words, graph paper, and fabric into my images. I am inspired by this amazing, natural world every day - usually while walking my dog, Tallie. 

2. What am I working on? #wetcyan! I discovered this amazing community of people on instagram one of them being Krista, who I mentioned above, and she had been posting about getting cyanotypes wet. I was so excited by them from the start but then she invited her followers to join the fun and post what they came up with using the hashtag #wetcyan. So I have been working on them a lot lately. I can't get enough. The results are always different. I love the mystery and the surprise each time. 

3. How do I carve out time for art? I have always wished I were more consistent with my art ... and my exercise and my eating habits, even my moods ... everything. But life isn't like that. Things come up. Sometimes I make art for days and weeks at a time and then sometimes it kind of dries up. But as I have gotten older I realize that those dry times are just as important because there is always something brewing. I might not make art everyday but I am an artist and it is all part of this grand picture I like to call my life. Letting go of what I think I should be doing has helped me be more present to myself and my work. 

4. Show us your space! Here is my beloved studio complete with my very loyal studiomate, Tigger. Someone back in college told me "Don't let a lack of space keep you from making art" and as much as I wholeheartedly agree with that statement I am a "space girl." Space is critical to me. I believe that the spaces we live, work, sleep and create in play a huge role in how we feel and what we do. This studio isn't the most workable but it is charming. And when combined with the bathroom, the backyard and the basement, I have what I need to keep creating! 

 my beloved studio - I painted the floor before moving in

my beloved studio - I painted the floor before moving in

5. A promise. It's simple. Keep walking. Since getting Tallie I have walked nearly everyday in the woods for an hour or more. It is something that I cherished before becoming a dog mom but never created the space for in any consistent way. Now I just have to do it. It's not about me. But it sure feeds me. With more walks came a business plan, daily agendas, problem-solving issues of starting a business, daily doses of inspiration that I would literally take home and make something with and eventually my business! I don't think I'd be where I am right now if I hadn't walked. It's so true what "they" say about walking, meditating, or however you reflect: it is important - make time for it.  

That's all for now. I think I'll elaborate on some of these topics in future posts - stay tuned! 

xoxo Sarah

Sarah Bourne Rafferty