Summer Vacation and the Working Artist

The time is here. Are you ready for summer vacation? I’m not referring to vacations to the beach or canoe trips in the mountains. I’m talking about those three months every summer when US school children are home 24/7. For an artist, or anyone who runs a creative business from their home, this can be a challenging time. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. If your business is a large percentage of your income then you might consider summer camps and babysitters. However, if you’re like me and your business is only a supplement it’s time to think about priorities. Children come first. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun summer with your kids and run your business. I’m going to share how I do it and would love to hear about other strategies from artists who work from home.

1. Change your Schedule: My summer schedule changes drastically when my daughter is home, but it’s the same schedule I’ve kept for the last five years. It may be summer, but I get up early, have my coffee and work till about lunchtime. After lunch I do something with my child. The rest of the afternoon is her time.

2. Activities with Friends: Make arrangements with your child’s friends so that 1-2 times a week you do have an entire day to yourself! There’s nothing wrong with this and your child will love being able to see their friends.

3. Art Activities: I’ve always made a point of buying my daughter art supplies of her own, but what a child loves even more is when you buy them the same sketchbook you use. It makes them feel like an artist! I take my daughter on sketching days. I pack up our sketchbooks and go to the local botanical gardens. Not only am I spending time with my child (outside of the house) but I’m also creating art. This is a perfect time for sketching out ideas for future projects or just letting my inner artist doodle for a bit.

  • Sometimes we take cameras too and go on Nature walks. I always find great inspiration for my art on walks.
  • Call your local community arts center, sometimes they have mini classes for parent and child–like Try Clay classes.
  • Are you a jewelry artist? Make jewelry together!
  • Visit an art museum.

4. Take a Day Off: Just do it! Your creative muse will thank you. Creating non-stop is a good way to burn out. We need other experiences in our lives from which to draw creativity. It’s never been easier to take time off but still be in touch with your business. If you sell on Esty, there’s an Etsy app that will keep you in touch with your customers while you’re away.

Children grow up so fast. Don’t let the most important years pass you buy!

Are you an artist and a mother, or father, who works from home? Share how you adjust each year to the kids being home for the summer.

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