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I find the best time for me to work is in the evenings, after I’ve expended some of the antsy physical energy I have. Part of what helps get me in the mood to sit down and work is turning on the lamp next to my desk. I like a lot of light when I work, and the lamp makes me feel cozy when the sky outside is getting dark. I try to start during the day, but I can only work for a few hours at a time, and after lunch-time it’s almost impossible for me to concentrate. I don’t have a clear-cut ritual, but I like to turn on the radio to the classical station and I also like to listen to books on tape while working. Audio books are a good way for me to digest stories (I love being read to!) and give my mind something to rest on while my hands while away the hours. I tend to procrastinate and get distracted easily, something I’m working on combating. I want to get into the habit of not waiting to “feel like” working, because sometimes that doesn’t come until very late in the evening. So one trick I use is to tell myself I’m never going to feel like working, I just have to do it. Once my hands get busy, my anxiety goes away a bit and things flow better from there. I have a problem with becoming overwhelmed and anxious about what I need to work on, so I have to constantly tell myself “just start something” even if it’s just addressing envelopes to send out Etsy orders. I have two main kinds of “making” – planning/creating a new image (from my head or drawing from life), and doing the crafty aspects of my art that don’t require as much thought. If I don’t feel like thinking, I’ll try to switch to a project that involves repetitive tasks, such as collating and stapling my zines, or embroidering a repeating design. When I feel like working on a new piece, I whip out my drawing paper, start carving a linocut print, or start something else new. These kinds of work require a lot more concentration. I find switching between the modes helps keep my brain fresh. Also, I like to write, so there are some periods when I focus on writing poetry and stories. When I come back to visual art I feel much more balanced. Aijung Kim www.aijungkim.com www.sprouthead.etsy.com

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Good to Know #9: Rituals & Routines  

The Good to Know Project is full of advice + inspiration from artists/illustrators/designers on creativity, business and life. This issue ha...

Good to Know #9: Rituals & Routines  

The Good to Know Project is full of advice + inspiration from artists/illustrators/designers on creativity, business and life. This issue ha...

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