Working Vacation

It feels like I rarely get to get away. Working a full time job side by side with my art career leaves me with very little time for much else and is the perfect recipe for burnout. This year has seemed especially tough; really, every year seems to be harder than the last as I grow professionally in both my career and day job. Working hard is something I'm very much accustomed to, however, when I'm not careful to keep things in balance my creative side always takes the hit. Creativity is something that needs to be continually cultivated and nurtured. Otherwise, it shrivels up back into the ground like a dried up dormant seed. During these past few month I could feel that happening with my own creativity as I've been struggling to find balance with my over bearing day job and beloved art career. To help reel myself back from the doldrums, I decided a vacation of sorts was required. And so, I headed to LA!

This has been my first proper visit of the city and my first time ever in a "big city". Over the last five days I've done a lot of sightseeing walking around various districts, museums, and the science center. I hoped to find inspiration and even practice street sketching.

Street sketching didn't really pan out as well as I had hoped for. Unfortunately (for me), LA isn't any cooler than Tucson so anytime I was outside I was too busy looking for an inside to get to, lol. The Labor day weekend made everything mega-crowded too. In the end, I made one very poor watercolour sketch on the plane ride in and that was about it. It's okay though, I'm going to keep trying at home. I believe street sketching is an awesome skill to have and will help me get better at not getting completely caught up in details all the time. Details are nice, but it's just as important to see the trees as a forest sometimes.

Thankfully inspiration hasn't been an issue! One of the art museums I toured was the famous Getty Museum. Seeing works of the masters up close is always inspiring for me. Even when my skills are no where near the level of technical merit, I never feel discouraged - only excitement that one day my work will be hung along side them.

Art museums are also fantastic opportunities for learning as well. When permitted, I always take the time to study brush strokes, colour pallets, and nuanced details not always apparent in prints. Additionally, it's also a fantastic exercise in taking indoor, low light photos! Though, I did get scolded for trying to take a photo of the only painting in which photography was not allowed. It was totally my accident, but still mega-embarrasing!

On the flip side of art is science! Science and art have always been concurrent interests in my life and I've always held a firm believe that they need each other. Art keeps you creative and science keeps you curious. Visiting the La Brea Tar Pits and the Cali Science Center left me in wonder of our natural world. For me wonder feeds into creativity and inspires me.

So now I sit here in my hotel room, playing back the memories of my time here and eager to get back home to my studio. Before this trip I felt very drained mentally. I can't permanently remove myself from my day job, so I will have to settle for these short vacation breaks. While it never feels like enough time away from the day job, it's nice to feel my head swirling with ideas again. Even better is having the mental energy required to make them real. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get away again, but for now I am back to hustling artist I was before the burnout set in.

As always, please look forward to upcoming works!


Sam :)