Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Balancing Act

Most artists need to have an alternative source of income, literally a second job. Mine is translation.

When I’m buried in a book project, I find it difficult to get into the studio. It’s a combination of anxiety about having bread and butter work to do, and feeling art and translation are two different parts of the brain.

The right way to balance activities isn’t clear to me yet. All I know is the guilt is high when I don’t go into the studio.

I’m a firm believer in routine, and think the creative act is in fact a muscle to be built. Art takes time to gestate. But, you have to give it that time in the right space. And sitting in front of a computer translating coffee table books about luxury hotels, or poker, or interior design, is not the kind of time or space I'm talking about. I’ve always thought it’s better for art work to sit in the studio doing nothing, than to be “productive” with something else.

But, as a friend reminded me. Everyone has their own way. Jack Kerouac would sniff entire bottles of nasal decongestant.

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