Ep 122 Featured Image Podcast

How to Balance Your Art and Life – Ep 122 

February 21, 2024


Do you feel like every waking moment has to be dedicated to your art or thinking about your art? When you finally have the time to create, are you already exhausted? When I’m talking about balance, I’m talking about setting up your energy. You have to curate your life so that you’re energized when it’s time to create. In this episode of the Art2Life Podcast, I share 10 ways I strive to balance my life and my art.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Establish a schedule [2:44]
  • Define boundaries [5:12]
  • Prioritize self-care [7:48]
  • Let planning be a creative exercise [10:49]
  • Learn to say “no” to say “yes” [14:03]
  • Delegate work to free up your time [16:03]
  • Created a dedicated workspace [18:34]
  • Practice mindfulness [22:12]
  • Regularly assess and adjust [26:30]
  • Focus on non-artistic endeavors [27:32]

Let planning be a creative exercise

Planning is the #1 stress-reducer in my life. Planning gives me energy. I get to decide where my intention and energy flows. Once you have a plan, you can figure out the tools, resources, and people that will help you pull it off. I designate certain times of the day and week to my art.

How do you want to set up your life so you can be fired up, energized, and be excited to be in the studio? When is the best time to set aside a couple of hours for art? Give a bit of thought to your weekly schedule.

Create a structure that includes dedicated time for both artistic endeavors and personal activities. Curate a week that you’re excited about. Defend that time.

You can use planning tools—calendars or project management apps—to organize deadlines and art-related tasks. Planning ahead helps reduce stress and allows for a more balanced approach to work.

Define boundaries between your work and personal life

I used to worry about my art 24/7. I thought I always had to have it on my mind to make my best art. But I was always exhausted. I made the conscious decision to stop thinking about art unless I was making it. Once you’re making your art, it’s a different experience altogether. That one simple move eliminates stress.

Designate specific hours for creating art and then make a conscious effort to “clock out” and focus on personal time without letting work spillover. When you show up unencumbered, it makes the best art.

You also need to define boundaries in your personal life. Saying no is hard but what if you reframed it? “If I say no to—insert thing here—what is the opportunity that I could take advantage of with that extra time?”

It’s all about moving toward what energizes you. Maybe you were invited to a party. What if you declined the invite and instead threw a dinner party for your closest friends who always inspire you? Prioritize what makes you feel alive.

Create a dedicated workspace

The entire Bay Area lost power last night because of a storm. When I arrived at my studio, the power was out. So I came back home to record this podcast. I have a small studio here with art supplies, sketchbooks, paintbrushes, etc. I keep my things out and ready to go because it fires me up. The possibilities are at my fingertips. When I see my tools organized, I get energized.

We kept a giant ream of paper and a jar of sharpened pencils on our kitchen table. I can’t tell you the hours of incredible art-making memories that I shared with my kids because it was available to them. Create islands for you to see your materials and drop in easily. You need the visual reminder.

Focus on non-artistic endeavors

How do you get your juice going? What matters to you? I absolutely love eating oranges in a hot tub. When my daughters were little, we’d sit in the hot tub eating oranges. I still do it to this day. There’s a tangerine tree on my property that produces a lot of fruit. It’s right off my patio. So I grab a handful of them to eat in my hot tub.

It’s something that’s unique to me that lights me up. What lights you up? Hold on to the activities you love to fuel your art, whatever they may be. They’ll broaden your interests, inspire you, and contribute to a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life

Get the Free COLOR TIPS PDF here

Subscribe to Art2Life on
Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts

Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

new image for vlog sidebar