Welcome to a series where we will meet some of the Gentle Warrior community and see how they go about combining being a creative person with having a day job and other responsibilities.
First up is Liane Tancock who is an artist specialising in ink and watercolour. Liane’s other responsibilities include her job as a cleaner and walking her dog and hairy studio assistant, Mr Jake! Liane has always been fascinated by nature, a love instilled in her by her grandmother. More recently she has begun to see the natural world through whimsical goggles as you can see by some of her pictures. She has a fine art degree from UWIC, Cardiff.
Over to Liane…
Currently my day job is as a cleaner. I like the short sharp shifts. It is a physical job but it does allow me to make sure that my mental focus is on my art. I have previously worked in care, but found the combination of both physical and mental work to be so draining. At the end of each shift I found I had nothing left of myself or for my art.
I combine my day job with being an artist. I have always been drawn to nature and recently I have started taking a more imaginative and whimsical look at nature. I work in ink and watercolours and produce originals, cards and prints.
How much time in a day or a week do you spend creating? How do you go about your creative practice?
The amount of time I spend on my art varies day to day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t do some element of creative work, but that idea of having large stretches of creative time is unpractical. There are always things in our lives that come up unexpectedly. Instead I work with the time I have, if you wait for the ideal circumstances nothing would ever get done. So within the time I have I can sketch out ideas, work on paintings or work on publishing my cards and prints. I tailor the work to the time I have available.
How do you manage your time and energy, so that you have enough left for creative activities?
I find structure and routine to be really important. It’s so easy to lose time dashing about trying to do multiple things without any plan. My art is structured around the times I walk my dog, times to eat meals and when I go to my day job. Another thing that is important to me is getting enough sleep, it’s such an easy thing to neglect, and if sleep is neglected for too long it has a massive effect on my health and work.
In order to protect and commit to my art, I have found that it’s important to say “NO” (it’s in capitals as it’s so important). You can find yourself saying yes to lots of different demands on your time and energy. Saying yes to everything leads to feeling burnt out. So saying “NO” to things that I feel will drain me or take time away from my art and saying “YES” to my art is an important part of my artistic tool kit!
How do you motivate yourself to create when you don’t feel like it or your creative work isn’t going well?
If you wait for inspiration to hit, you will be waiting for a very long time. Ideas can just come to you but they are often a product of work and experimenting. Keeping a sketchbook to hand and drawing and writing out the different ideas you have give you a massive resource to draw upon. Some days you are just not on point and doing simple sketches without it being the pressure of being a “finished” work of art, can lead to greater motivation to expand on your ideas.
I often have that feeling of “Oh my god I’ve lost the ability to paint and draw!” The key is not to dwell on this idea, but to keep working and realizing that not everything you do is fantastic and that is ok to do something that is “crap”. You take the elements that you like and look at what you don’t like and move forward with this knowledge. It’s all part of the rollercoaster of creative work.
How do you cope with criticism and rejection?
Criticism and rejection of something you have worked hard on and invested a lot of time and effort in is hard. I always allocate myself a day of swearing and anger and after that it’s done and I move on with my work, I can’t create with resentment and anger so it has its time and then it is let go. There are elements of criticism you can take on board to move you forward and develop your work, but at the end of the day I paint and create for myself first and If I feel that im moving in the direction that im happy with then that’s enough for me.
If you lived in an ideal world where all the money you need was taken care of how would you like to be creative?
I love my art. If I lived in a world where all my financial needs were taken care of I would still be creative in the same way, just for longer periods at a time without having to leave for my day job. I’m very lucky to have found something that I love to do and that other people enjoy as well.
Find out more about Liane
You can find out more about Liane and see more of her fabulous work by liking her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lianetancockartist
What did you think about Liane’s story? Did anything resonate with you? Please share a comment and let us know how you combine a day job and a creative practice?
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