Parents with kids at home: staying sharp during summer months?

  • I have 2 small kids at home all day now that it's summer, whereas I had 4 hours to myself to work each day. It's almost painful to not have swaths of time to work on illustration these days. Are any other parents in the same situation? Do you do quick drawing exercises? What other things do you do to stay sharp?

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @laurel-aylesworth I have kids in all sorts of camps and activities. So running them here to there takes away most of my free time this past few weeks. The little time I have I want to relax. But I try to get a little bit of time before I start work to draw or in the evening before I go to bed. The hard thing for me is when I start something I like to have a block of time to work on it. Finding that block is hard right now.

  • @laurel-aylesworth iam in similar situation! I try to wake up early to do things while they are asleep. I also decided to focus on my sketchbook and loose drawing of anything, so iam not stressed with big projects ect. My kids are 6 and 9, so we often draw together sitting at the same table and thats nice:)

  • Jake, Will and Lee all have young kids. They actyually go over their particular methods here . It's a great video.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Same situation here - for the first time in my life actually (before I worked full time and my kids where in summer camp the whole summer). I still work in the evening when they are in bed - I manage 2-3 hours before going to bed myself.
    I also confess the unspeakable truth: I sometimes set them in front of the iPad for an hour or two. Depending on age, I can suggest a whole range of YouTube videos and games 😉

  • Well, to be honest, my house is a lot messier, my meals are more simple, and I go to bed later than I probably should since coming back to art. I put on a movie or show for my 5 year old during my 1 year old's nap time. I send my 5 year old out to play a lot, and when her friends are over, that also distracts my 1 year old enough where I can do some studies. I've been doing a lot of studies or doodles that I can just drop easily if I need to and it's not a big deal if I lose focus over it. I've also done a lot of brainstorming and thumbnailing for paintings, that I'll paint when I have the time. When I do take time to paint more intensely, I listen to art videos or svs courses, and I've picked up a lot of gems from doing that.

  • @eric-castleman This is wonderful. Thank you Eric. I hope your productivity has increased since last year 🙂

  • I have been sketching on my I-pad on the couch while my wife watches bad reality television. I never used to draw at night as I was always tired (I'm a stay at home dad), but I find that creativity seems to flow faster and you don't overthink things as much.

  • @tessw You're a superhero for managing all that. I'm actually astonished by parents who are also artists. Like... I have a hard enough time with a husband, dog and cat to manage and care for, and my full-time job even allows occasional time for sketching. I can't fathom how my life will change with kids. 😕

  • SVS OG

    They're worth it though! (Right? :-}) lots of inspiration. And distraction...

  • SVS OG

    @sarah-luann And ideas!

  • I have a 3 year old, and one on its way, and I draw during naptime (in the weekends). I work during the day, and on my job I always fantasize what to draw that evening when the kid is to bed, but sometimes I just dont have the energy. I work with computerscreens all day and draw on a wacom cintiq and sometimes its just too demanding for my eyes... I should actually just buy a sketch book and sit on the couch to avoid the screens, but when I really like a sketch I want to take it to the next level on my pc...

    and now the 3 year old doesnt take naptimes during the day anymore. I will just have everything ready to go (pc on PS, sketchbook (if i buy one) out), so if he's playing with his cars I can get a quick drawing in. And at night: it just takes dedication. I really have to pull myself together to draw/learn at least an hour, and when you are in the zone, you will do that every day for a couple of weeks... but bad nights, busy work just sometimes drain all energy...

  • @Laurel-Aylesworth I feel your pain! I have a 4 yr old and a 19mo old. I find time in the early hours, like 5am and or after they go to bed.

  • @withlinesofink Haha, well I certainly don't feel like a superhero! I've always been kind of on the lazy side. You are managing a lot too. A full-time job, a husband, a dog and a cat sounds like plenty busy to me!

  • I have 4 kids (ages 12, 11, 8 and 6)... it's definitely a major concern when thinking about the future and working towards going full-time freelance... but I'm sure we'll figure it out. I've found myself getting up much earlier to get a couple hours in and I've started sketching/doing studies in the evenings on my iPad. I'm also trying to write/revise children's book manuscripts... so the challenges are many, but I also desire to be an engaged father as much as is humanly possible.

    The "how do you do it?!" is certainly going to look different for everyone, but ultimately... anything worth doing is going to require sacrifice and work.

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