Anyone else running a business based upon the results of their creativity will be able to relate when I say that I’m always trying find time to spend in the studio, doing the creative work, but there’s always so much other work to do, and long spans of time are pretty rare.
I’ve written a fair bit on this blog about what I’ve been getting up to on Making Friday, but I’m not sure I’ve ever properly explained the idea behind it. I’ve been a bit slack about my own Making Fridays lately, and need a bit of a reminder, so here it is::
Studio time is better than root canal
Some time in 2007 or 2008, I had some horrible dental work that needed doing (I’ve blocked the gory details from my memory), and despite my insane workload at the time, I found myself able to book myself off work for two solid mornings. It rather shocked me to realise that I was able to find time to do something I really, really didn’t want to do, when I was always complaining about never having any creative time in the studio due to my very demanding To Do List.
If I could find time for the dentist, I really should be able to find time for my creative work too.
Don’t find the time, make the time
The thing is, finding the time will always be tricky, so one has to MAKE the time, and that is what Making Friday is all about: The idea is to make an appointment with yourself in your studio that you consider important enough to keep.
The reason it is so important to keep this appointment is that unless you keep the creative side of the business going, you’re going to run our of juice, you’ll resent your work, and the whole endeavour will become a burden. It’ll be just a job, which is not really what the idea is, is it?
The other idea behind Making Friday is that you make the effort not to do things you’re supposed to do, but to do things that you want to do, even if they’re not important or useful. Making Friday is for off-the-menu stuff that does not contribute to your business productivity.
Turning your Making Friday studio time into something that’s useful or directed or generative is the perfect recipe for turning the creative taps off, because you’ll be thinking in a business way, which goes something like “How can I sell this / display it / replicate it / package it?” and those questions shut down the open-endedness that the creative endeavour requires.
It can be on any day of the week
These days, I start my week with a Monday morning ceramics class, which really is the epitome of Making Friday for me, as the work I do there has very, very little to do with my Skinny laMinx concerns. I make the oddest things, and the fact that they have no purpose (and very little function) means they fall into neither the success nor fail category. What a treat!
I’ve been spending my Sunday afternoons at the studio lately, and last week I got down to some seriously non-directed work, just chopping up old fabric blockprints and sticking them back together again with pins and/or glue. There was no plan, but I like what happened.
I’ll mention that this activity has set into motion some new ideas about exploring different ways of printing that I hadn’t thought of before and am looking forward to exploring, but actually, just the fact that I spent hours doing something that amounted to very little output, but involved just trusting my gut and not needing a purpose is enough, as it’s exactly what I need to do (and do more often), and exactly what Making Friday is all about.