Why am I sharing my daily routine with you? Because I want to clear something up: being a creative does NOT mean we get to “do whatever we want”. We wear a lot of different hats, we juggle a lot of responsibilities, and we want to make a living. I’ve had strangers and even loved ones say ignorant things because this lifestyle is so foreign to them! Well let me take down the curtains for ya, love.
My average day starts at 5:00AM. *beepbeepbeep*
Everything is a shade of blue outside. Some annoying bird chirps at a pitch that makes anyone flinch. My dogs even thinks it’s too early. It’s time to get up, make some oatmeal, walk the dogs, and get ready for the day. Where’s my coffee?...
I’m always the last one ready! I hustle to grab my oatmeal with a tablespoon of fresh peanut butter globbed inside, grab my snack pack filled with lunch + fresh fruits + carrots with hummus, swing my backpack over my shoulder, give the pups a kiss, and walk out the door!
Cardio, weights, and core. I do some sort of cardio (pyraminds on the treadmill, stair master, or ellipticals) for 45 minutes. Weights include dumbbells, TRX, and a variety of machines in the gym. Core is bodyweight exercises and stretching in the end. We’re lucky that our gym has trainers that we can sign up with and learn new routines when we get stuck!
Most days there’s coffee, some days it’s black tea lemonade. Depends on my mood. Regardless, please do not talk to me until I have my drink in my hand. Thanks. While I sip on my drink, I open my iPadPro and get into emails right away. There’s organizing my commissions via Google Sheets, updating clients, invoicing, and replying to inquiries. There’s social media scheduling, brainstorming, and editng. There’s blog writing. All the behind the scenes logistical work is done here.
9:30 Get in the Groove
My earbuds are in and I’m either into a podcast (currently loving “Goal Digger”) or listening to my “Make It Work” playlist on Spotify. Paints are set up and watercolor/digital/pencil magic is happening. I juggle 3-6 commissions every day, on average. For each portrait, there’s a point where I stop to photograph and update my clients before I continue to ensure quality. I also work on 1-2 children’s books at this time.
12:30 Lunch Break
Lunch is usually last night’s leftovers or a sandwich made by the hubs in the morning! We try to plan so that we have leftovers for the next day. Recently we’ve been meal planning for two-three days and that’s been super easy!
1:00 Back to the Paints
At this point I’m pushing what needs to be pushed and also checking in with the hubs to see what kind of day he’s having at work. We share a car so I have to pick him up. If it’s a late day, I go home and take care of the dogs. If it’s an early day, I work until I hear from him and then we go back home together. I stop by the post office if need be.
Oh, oh this does not mean work is done. Watercolor and colored pencils are my most popular medium but it isn’t the only ones! Oils and #glitterbombportraits can’t be done in public because oils stain and smell while #glitterbombportraits are a huge mess. These are saved for the evening. I usually turn on Netflix to some series I’ve watched a million times to create ambient background noise white not being distracting as I trek along with the rest of my work. I also take this time to work on sketches for the next day and packaging for any prints or finished paintings, ready to ship the next day.
5:00 Dinner Prep/ Unplug
You will not hear from me. I will not bother to look at a screen. I’m too busy loving being the chef in the kitchen or just spending quality time with my human and pups. It’s SO important to unplug, though I have to be honest, I sometimes keep on painting or start writing blogs if deadlines are tight. But this is my general rule and personal goal to always unplug by 5 for at least three hours. All texts and calls can be answered after 8.
Yeah, I’m a grandma. I sleep at 9:30, but I wake up at 5 so that’s really 7.5 hours of sleep. I found in my high school years that I run horribly with any more sleep and am extra grouchy with less than 7 hours. It’s my happy place.
That’s an average day! But, as a creative, you wear so many hats. Some days you have more commissions, some days I have more urgent deadlines that take up a lot of time. Some days I work from home on oils and glitterbombportraits. Some days there’s events, tabling, traveling, etc. No matter what, my basic routine keeps me grounded for days that everything gets flipped around.
Disclaimer, my routine took years in the making. What works for me might not work for you, but the more you know about others’ routines the better you can make a perfect one for yourself! That’s how I found mine— listening to other creative bosses that I aspire to be more like. You’ve got a fabulous creative recipe you’d like to share? Please do! I’d love to hear it and even share it for other creatives to see. Email my team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to feature your recipe!