Full Time Creative Person On the Road



Strategies for a full time creative person on the road.

After a year of figuring out life in retirement, I am now a full time creative person. I have a studio, a list of creative projects I am working on, I am connecting with in my local creative community and I am making daily progress toward some long term goals.

My husband and I headed out on the road when the temperature in our town of Mesquite got well into the triple digits. Before I left I spent a little time thinking of a strategy so my creative momentum wasn’t stalled by weeks away from my studio. My focus was to  use the time away from making art to my advantage.


I want to use the time away from the studio as investment in my art.

As an emerging art quilter I need to find places to show my art. At a recent SAQA convention; the speaker advised artists to have at least six juried shows on their resume in order to compete for grants and to get into more prestigious venues in the future. According to this speaker, the key to success is entering a consistent number of shows and selecting them wisely.

In my experience at least fifty percent of the time the work I submit to juried shows is not selected by the juror. To meet the goal of six accepted entries I will I need to find at least twelve juried shows at local, national and international venues.  Using my time on the road is ideal for this task. In the car or waiting in line; I can open up my phone or tablet and cruise through a variety of sites including SAQA’s call for entry,  CAFE,  or Art Call to find the twelve “right” shows. Bookmarking sites allows me to go back and carefully review the information.

This quilt has been accepted into several juried shows.
“Synchronized in the Sea of Love” has been accepted into several juried shows.

As I search I keep in mind my inventory of work of a high enough quality available to  enter.

Often the search to helps me collect potential  concepts for future projects  when I return home.

When I have time to sit down with my laptop I review my bookmarked websites. I search for images of artwork that were juried into their past shows. I carefully read the juror’s website and resume.  Most importantly I read and reread the prospectus.  A clear understanding of the show concept is key to submitting work that will have a chance of being selected.  All of this information helps me make an informed choice of which juried shows to enter.

Thanks to the abundance of long distance learning opportunities, I signed up for a second Photoshop course with the Pixeladies that I plan to complete while I am out of town. Since I had already taken the first course, I was sure that being on the road would not be too much of an issue. I have lot’s of images on my computer and can always use my camera or phone to add to my image library.


Another way to learn on the road is to bring some of the DVD’s that I find on sale at places like the Interweave Store.  Currently I have a copy of video by Jane Davenport that I have never watched. I tossed the DVD in my bag with a sketchbook, markers, pencils.  Although Jane’s illustration style is not my own, getting out of comfort zone helps keep the creative juices flowing.

If you don’t have a DVD, then search “YouTube” .  When I searched for “Color Theory Lesson” there were more than 7 pages of hits. Zentangle patterns gave me just as many hits. I can grab my sketchbook and draw along or just watch and learn!


With every trip I try to search out those places where I can see great art, amazing scenery, inspirational architecture, etc…

This trip we are going to head up to NYC. I have tickets for the new Whitney Museum. The Whitney’s focus is on contemporary and cutting edge art. It is now housed in a new building on the west side of the city close to some great galleries.  We are also going to the New World Trade Center and taking the tour which presents a multimedia experience of the history of the city as you ride to the top floor. Side trips will include wandering (my favorite way to soak up this city) and a stop at MOMA for the Jacob Lawrence exhibit.

I will miss my studio time. Most importantly I will come back with some new ideas, a few new skills and a large quantity of creative energy.

I will be on a BLOGCATION (a short vacation from my blog) so I will miss you next week.

Look for a new webpage design in the near future!

Until the next time