If you ever doubted that routines are important for doing strong creative work, read Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit.
What is your morning routine?
What do you do each morning without thinking? What do you wish you would be able to do in the mornings?
Do you rise and shine early? Or are you a late starter?
Please leave a comment below.
About Curious Monday
Curious Monday is a weekly question that is sent only to subscribers.
I'm curious about how you live your life as an artist, how you juggle the demands on your time, and what you're thinking about.
I hope you'll read the responses from other artists. Maybe you'll get some ideas or even feel a little more connected as a result.
Feel free to leave suggestions for future Curious Monday questions in a comment.
166 thoughts on “What Is Your Morning Routine? (Curious Monday)”
Up early to catch the morning light and greet my muse. Couldn’t (wouldn’t!) have it any other way.
I get up at 7:30 at the latest (daughter wakes up earlier most days), take my meds, feed the animals, my daughter, and eat breakfast. Then either watch TV with her or check messages until it’s time for her to brush her teeth and go to school. While doing that we talk about a lot of things and fix what needs fixing before school. Needless to say, if it’s a weekend, she doesn’t go to school 🙂 After she’s gone to school, I take the dog outside and either take a nap (if needed) or start my workday for the business.
I brew tea, write morning pages or write out plans for creative projects, and I take a walk. I need that alone time to be introverted before I have to interact with other people. I have been experimenting with working on some of my creative projects during that time – I also draw, and I thought it would be good to devote at least 30 minutes to work on my drawing projects. I am excited to hear about what others do in the mornings.
I do morning pages too! I love them! They really clear the rubbish away and draw out my ideas! I also value that alone time as a major component to my creativity : )
If the weather is good – head out and photograph! If not – get to work on my priority items on my to do list
Monday is an office day for me. I’m an associate pastor as well as other things. I switch back and forth from getting up early to ride my bike, to being so tired I just drag out of bed in time to get ready.
Itching to get into the studio after the weekend off. I rarely work on the weekends, reserving the time for chores and family, so first thing Monday morning (between 8 -9) I love walking into the studio knowing I have the entire day here. Mondays and Fridays are almost sacred, I never make plans, Dr’s apts, or take on commitments for those days.
I like your idea Cindy of having Monday and Friday as studio/office days. It’s good to have a set routine you can look forward to.
Early riser, I work from my home studio so my commute is short. With a lemon water in hand I start off with computer work. Checking emails, website updating, publishing new work, and preparing for the day’s work. Then it’s off for morning chores like feeding my horses.
I have a day job…but what makes me rise and Shine is my art business that I have been working diligently in the background of my life…in the shower I am laying out goals and key contacts for the day…I get ready…and check my overnight communications on my artwork or life posts to social media…but not much time spent there…got to shoot… make my coffee in my motivating art I designed coffee tumbler…and have a call with my mother or hubs Jeff…and sometimes have business calls regarding products, charts emails to be sent…contact my graphics person to get artwork projects in the queue…and arrive at my other day job as a Senior Consultant and eat yogurt and get busy with my morning. No time to waste as we stand up new partnership with my company MellMee Company LLC this very week!!!
Awake at 6. Feed dogs and make coffee. Retired from Job and full time artist now. Then email, morning pages and FB until 9 when exercise for 20 min. Shower and work. The first hour is to wake up and sit on deck with iPhone. The rest is wasting time until 9. Would like to exercise earlier but bike is in stepsons room and have to wait for him to leave. Trying to find another place for it but so far no luck. I feel like half my day is gone before I get started! Suggestions welcome!
Suggestion – cut out FB and email and iPhone. Do morning pages with coffee – then shower and exercise and get into the studio by nine.
Great idea Jim. Thanks. Still looking for another spot for exercise bike. At least less time on emails and fb. Some is business but much is junk!
Hi Becky! I call Facebook the “time bandit of the century”. Most of it is junk so I quickly page thru to see interest in my art, read messages, post a Thought for the Day, read business email, and done. I text my BFF good morning, text a few more times, put the phone down and get busy with house stuff, gardening, or oh yes, art!
Good for you. I haven’t made much progress this week but still thinking and making small changes. You are certainly right about FB. And it is addictive. Gotta break that habit!
I start my day getting my 12 year old to school. If I don’t have immediate meetings to attend for my very hectic position as an account executive for an insurance company, I do some planning in my office – how am I going to fit time in the rest of the week to create? What mornings can I get up at 3 am to get a few hours of paint time and much treasured stress release? During my time in the car I think about how to get my business started and new ideas I have for my art. I start the week off by placing everything in God’s hands, what I think, what I say, what I do….because God is leading me to my heart’s desire. I am not quite sure of the path I will take but I know one day I will be living my dream. I am ready to put together a business plan this week. Alyson, I definitely would rather be in the studio!!!
First I review in my mind what day it is and activities or appointments on my calendar. I check the light to anticipate the weather for the day. Greet my husband and dog and check the progress of coffee. Thankfully I am retired. I visit my studio to check on yesterday’s progress. In my dreams I had decided to trash it and begin again. In the morning light it still holds promise. I will proceed after coffee.
I am so not a morning person. In general, I get up about 8:30, prep dog food, check email and Facebook, do routine business tasks, check my planner for the day and prioritize, feed dogs/walk dogs, feed me, shower, then off to do the tasks on my planner. I sometimes listen to podcasts or Art Biz lessons while eating breakfast. I’m usually ready to get on with the day by 10:30 a.m. As the hot summer progresses, my days may start earlier.
Monday morning! Wake up early refreshed with a cup of coffee, walk my son to school, get my morning routine run and work out in; while contemplating my projects and thoughts clearly and focused, and once I’m done being clean, I get down in my studio creating intriguing pieces either for now or for later works… Which ever comes to me first????✌????️
I’ve just recently changed my schedule to going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier (4am), as I’ve learned my body has a lot more energy then, as opposed to the end of the work-day. I begin with a cup of coffee and 15 min. of bible reading, then I’m off and running on either photographing with the early morning light, or post processing photos from the weekend. I’ll upload my images to my website and social media as well. This is my time to nurture my art and to not let it get put-off because of dishes and errands. It’s my priority.
I enjoy getting up in the morning. Looking into leaving my day job and pursuing art full time. A perfect morning would have me making tea and sitting in my favorite room my studio. I would write in my journal about my ideas and plans and get the other stuff out if I feel stressed. Then catch up on email and make breakfast. After a quick workout I feel refreshed and ready to take on my day and create art!
My morning begins with a cup of coffee, taking care of dogs, a little morning news and exercise. Then I work on business needs of art, email, Facebook , websites etc. today I’m putting together a Dryden cart to move paintings easily. My studio is in my house, so it’s a short commute to get to the paints! That’s a very good thing on this rainy day!!
I’m up early and in my studio working at 6:30am weekdays. I love what I do and can’t wait to get there! First hour is generally at my computer, processing images/responding to business matters/posting my artist Facebook blog. Then at my table creating my artwork for the rest of the day. I break for breakfast and lunch and otherwise work until 4-4:30pm, when my husband gets home. I am grateful for all the studio time I have– especially now that we have an empty nest– I no longer need to work nights or weekends to get the time in that I need!
Weekdays: Wake up, 7am exercise class (2 days/week), shower & dress, feed cat. If I’ve left studio work (clay) out to dry overnight, I go out and cover with plastic. Drive to the office (F/T job at a university). Coffee/bfast, check email, calendar, check-in with staff. Get started on the day’s activities.
Weekends: Wake up, fitness walk (at least one day) w/coffee & bfast stop during the round trip. Studio work for the rest of the morning & sometimes the afternoon. My studio is un-airconditioned and I live in Florida, so in the summer it is essential to get studio work done in the cooler mornings.
Don’t have a morning routine yet! Big, recent changes in my life have not allowed me to settle down with a routine. That said, now is a good time to start making a routine. Since I am usually awake by 6 am, that leaves two, three hours of solitude before the telemarketers and survey takers target me, and businesses open their doors.
I wake up and feel what a good day this is. I lay there and bask a bit then go to my hot bath with Pandora set on Anugama. I begin with a few pages of alphabet lists of appreciation, until I am high as a kite and hooked in to my Higher Being. Then I go to my family and begin celebrating my day and taking aligned action on what arises. This alignment first process helps me feel more clearly and act more deliberately. When I go to paint I call in the artists I admire to join in my fun and expect inspiration and find it!
6am get up with my family for breakfast with them (eggs, bacon and coffee)
6:30-7 answer emails, check on any other statuses and start filling out my Asana task list for my assistant
8:30 – 9:30 exercise class
shower and get ready for my day
Up at 4:15 am to spend some quiet time, get ready for work, then head to the studio space for some lovely undisturbed art-making. Coffee/breakfast at 6, then off to the day job at 7. Evenings typically include some drawing time and posting to my Instagram account. Next up is an art-dedicated Facebook page–my goal is to have it in place by the end of this week!
My weekday routine is rock solid. I get up before 5 a.m. Coffee, news and shower. Get the family up and I’m at the studio by 6 a.m. I paint for 2 hours before going to my day job. I paint every day whether I want to or not. About 1500 paintings in the last 8 years.
I wake up with coffee and get the kids ready for school, I do the morning carpool and my wife does the afternoon. After I get back at 8:00am I get into the studio for my painting time. I try to work in 2 hours of painting then I work in my full-time Graphic Design and Web Dev business. I have been full time for 11 years now, but I am really trying to pursue my first love for oil painting. Last Sept I did a 30 day challenge where I painted 1 portrait everyday and this got my morning painting time into my schedule, now I just have to consistently get it in each day.
Up at 6:15, dog, lemon water. Check email, FB. Wake up kids at 6:45, feed them, make lunches, coffee, 7:45 take kids to school. Walk the dog, exercise, breakfast, shower. In the studio by 10A.
Up 6 to 6:30. Let dogs out, feed them, make breakfast and Earl Grey. I enjoy my oatmeal and Earl Grey with a good book for an hour or so. Then walk dogs. Return ready to work!
Alarm buzz at 5:45 am. Snooze until 6:00 am. everyday, weekends included.
This time in between is where I actually plan my day. Rolling in bed I mentally review my priorities and try to recall the previous night’s dreamy visions, making some sort of sense out of them.
Early morning is the high point of cerebral activity for my creative self.
Then the practical daily routine kicks in and is “damage control” (social media included…) until when I can finally put down some studio time.
I try to love each day of my life, the creative ones score double points!
Monday is my re-charge day, since weekends are so often filled with art events. Coffee, talk to my boyfriend on the phone. We do a lot of reviewing the weekend of my art and his music gigs while he is driving to work. Then I catch up online with announcements, calls to art, update my calendar and website. And get some studio time in before I have to take my daughter to ballet.
In the studio at 6:00am painting. A break for coffee then breakfast and hopefully back to the studio if nothing else is calling me. Best work done then.
I recently took in my 15-year-old niece, so my mornings involve getting her to school. Then I like to go back home for a short nap. My studio and retail space are in town, which is nice because I get way more work done away from the house. I go in around 10:00 or 11:00. My “alone” time, which is essential, happens late at night after everyone else is in bed. I organize my thoughts and make my lists and think stuff up.
I am new here but this is a precious start. My retired life isn’t what I thought it was going to be so I have to be creative here also. Restarted my art life and then found I was needed to help with my two grandkids…now 5 and 2 yrs old..M-F..so my weekends are very important to me. I try to do little chores that can be done while I am watching the kids…checking emails, FB, and visit my favs on YouTube to see what’s what. Even at a young age the kids are very interested in art and age appropriate I have them involved. Monday’s I reorganize and clean up, especially if I have been out on the road all weekend. I also drive my daughter to work and my grandson (the 5 yr old) to school on Mondays…that is when I mentally make my list for the week and future creations and (oops, shhh) makes some calls to bounce some ideas off some friends. I always have a “on the go” bag with me so I can DO SOMETHING…as we all know…if you don’t at least do something you feel starved! Monday, Monday!!! We can always start again..and again!
Well when I wake up I can still be in bed and look out the large window and patio doors to see what the water looks like. If it is nice out and the water is calm I know my phone will be ringing as us neighbor ladies head out for a morning kayak around the island. On not so nice days I get my coffee and breakfast and spend too much time on this computer. I find the kayak and a walk a much better way to start the day, but the computer keeps me connected to things like this.
I am up by 5:30 and always shower and dress first. Then I have a cup of tea or coffee, check my website and update my analytics spreadsheet and then get any emails taken care of.
Breakfast is 7:30 and I will often watch a podcast or video. Right now I am watching the 30 days of Genius series from Creative Live. I’ve already done some of Alyson’s. This is my enrichment/learning for the day.
The night before I always list out what I want to get done the next day. After breakfast I take a walk and then take on the list.
I set my alarm for 6 am everyday. Get up and sit with a coffee and plan my attack. At 7am I take my dog “Ollie” for a 2 mile hike in the rugged coastal East Sooke Park. Breakfast at 8:30 shower then hit the studio by 9:30 after checking email and posting something on the one of the Facebook pages. For me the morning ritual is key to keeping projects on track and completing deliverables on time. Sunday morning is my only switch up, day off.
Monday mornings I have a meeting commitment in Alcoholics Anonymous. I pop out of bed, do my morning routine and check my schedule. My meeting is at 9:30, I make coffee to bring and prepare for the day. Today I plan to work on learning Classroom in a book for Illustrator. This tool will help me take my artwork and transform it into files that I can use to create files to use for textile designs.
I make a practice of keeping a sketch book, non-repro blue pencil and India ink pens, with me, so that when I become inspired I have the tools at my disposal.
My studio is in my home and I have found that blocking time on my calendar is very helpful for my art process.
I also love to mix things up and work on – prototypes for my sculpture series.
It’s 9am in Seattle!
Coffee then either a walk or to the gym to ride the bike. While working out I think about projects I’m working on but kind of let my mind go blank as new ideas tend to creep in when the brain is in hold. Then shower, drive to the studio and hopefully get to work on a genius idea that came to me earlier.
First I write > usually I go walk the river, sit on my rock and think, meditate, draw, plan. I get a lot of creative thinking time done out there. And I take a moment for gratitude.
I’ve enjoyed reading other morning rituals. Lots of early risers 🙂
Wonderful to hear what everyone does. I realize I need to do something with my time wasted three hours in the morning. Even if I have to wait to exercise i can be painting instead of on the computer for three hours. Thanks!
We now live in a 40′ RV so up around 8:am, take our 3 dogs out , then back for coffee and breakfast. Check email then get ready to work on commissions. I do dog portraits. Small space to work, yes I miss my studio, but no excuses!! loving my simpler life!!!
I have a dream of converting a small school bus to travel in…mostly from relative, kids, or friends…have art will travel…teach along the way. Was considering every thing included but decided that my studio with a bed was better!
I wake early…enjoy coffee and quiet time to read…get my 2 high school daughters off to school…feed and walk my dog…check email…my instagram….do pilates 2x a week…and then unfortunately always feel like I need to complete an endless list of tasks before I even think of going to the studio. Without a cutoff time. the tasks (cooking, family, errands) take over and I rarely have been getting to the studio. Hardest thing for me is prioritizing and sticking to a work routine without constantly feeling overwhelmed by all the other tasks that somehow need to also get done. Even a commission deadline has not helped!
Up at 7:00. Make coffee for me, tea for my wife, breakfast and coffee/hot cocoa for my son. Make sure he’s awake and gets out the door to school by 8:00. Shower and dress, then to the studio by 8:30-9:00. Best work done between now and 2:00. Painting done in the morning either in studio or outside, paperwork, business and blog writing in the afternoon. Studio is on the sixth floor of my apartment building, so an easy walk (climb) up the stairs.
Each morning is different depending on my schedule. If I’m teaching I could be up
as early as 5:30, but that is not my best time. I love the light at that time of day,
but prefer the days when I can get up later, and that varies. I am really a night
person in an ideal world. I get a coffee first thing, then meditate for 10 – 20 minutes.
I make a list the night before with all my tasks for the day, and I live by that list
because I am easily distracted. Alyson you taught me to take that list with me everywhere I go during the day, and I do. I call days when everything goes according to plan, and better — “on” days — and the list definitely helps those days happen. My favorite days are Mondays and Thursdays when no one comes to my home studio and I can work and take breaks (reading my novel, talking on the phone) at my leisure.
I start my mornings at 6:00, shower and head over to get my three nieces ready and on the bus that comes at 8:27. Then off to the studio and take care of paperwork/office duties. Lunch and then spend the afternoons drawing, painting or working on panel prep, etc. I’m not a morning person and feel the most creative and productive in the afternoons and evenings.
Up at 5:00, coffee, give thanks, read or write.
Gym, come home change clothes, tidy up and hit the studio by 11:00
When I have writing to do, the earlier the better.
Work out for 45 minutes, shower, dress, make a green smoothie and go to studio downstairs. I set a timer for checking email, set it again for social media and blog posting. I look over calendar for week, lay out my week and then paint for several hours. I need a routine to accomplish anything.
I like setting a timer for the computer time!! Good idea!
All my mornings are early. After a career in nursing, my husband and I now own and operate a Bed and Breakfast. So if I have guests I am fixing breakfast and serving them first. Then after I do the dishes I usually head to my studio and paint almost every afternoon. I also do morning pages with another artist, so we meet once a week and do artist way together. Wednesday afternoons right now I take an oil painting class from 1-4 pm. I have found that being so busy makes me more productive.
Every morning I get up just before sunrise, no alarm needed, start the coffee going, put on the news for awhile and check for any new happenings, weather, etc. As this is happening, my wife Jewel is usually up and I get us both a cup of coffee, then check my emails, respond to important one regarding my art business routine and/or my graphics business. Then have a spot of breakfast which my wife and I share in making. Then I go in the studio and work on priority items. Although, if the weather is nice I may go outside for a bit. We live in the country and it is refreshing to experience the early morning sunshine.
Morning routines for me are pretty solid, up by 6am to start the day with my two children. I like to take care of a few chores, laundry, kitchen, as I am making breakfast then deliver the kids to their schools. Monday is primarily office day, reviewing business for my art and family. Then making updates to my website, social media pages and email. I like to make a list of goals for the week. For me lists and review are crucial as I do so much multi tasking things can shift in importance or get buried easily.
Love seeing so many good routines in the morning!
I get up around 8, and if I’m up first feed the animals, start coffee, and grab a glass of water. Then I journal for a page or so, ending with a gratitude list of 5 things. Prayer for the day, then my meditation book. Then I get coffee, checking my email and Todoist, rearranging and managing my to do list as needed. Then I start work in the studio, usually on the computer, either designing or writing. Around 10 I eat some protein for breakfast, do any dishes, and evaluating what direction to go in the rest of the day.
I love reading everyone’s routines! My routines are more seasonal because I still have children at home that need my presence (and of course my transportation services!). I actually get a lot of creative work accomplished during the summer because there are simply less appointments and “to dos” on our calendar. During the “school season”, I find my rhythm with their schedules and of course, sometimes no schedule is the order of the day. I tell myself that as long as I am pushing forward when I find my nooks, I am keeping things watered to the bloom will be there for me in the future.
Two of the many things I do every morning are check my calendar for appointments and revise my to do list.
I am neither an early riser nor slow starter as for the most part I adapt my rising to my circumstances. That said, if left to my own devices and all else being equal, I prefer to sleep until I am rested. Whenever that happens. That’s a goal, at the moment. More important is the room temperature. I absolutely loathe getting up in a cold room. Brrrrrr.
I’m chronically ill. This means the timing of my routine varies widely. If I have an appointment of any kind my day probably starts around 10 – 11 am. If I don’t it can be much later. The structure is mostly the same.
Get up. Take thyroxine.
While waiting half an hour:
Go to the toilet.
Feed and let out the cat.
Go back to bed and my tablet. Check e-mail, login to games, check facebook.
When the half an hour is up, have breakfast. Take another half a dozen pills.
If I don’t have an appointment and don’t have a virus or other need for extra sleep,
an hour of art goes here,
Get dressed. Finish getting ready and go out.
I’m up between 6:30 -7. Drink coffee, eat breakfast, check email, and plan day. Most days, I have lecture/class prep, students, and/or papers to deal with. I teach a university writing course on Thursdays (face-to-face) and provide reviews and tutoring for other students on-line. A lot of the work is from home, but it varies according to when student assignments are due. Wednesday mornings are for art class (watercolor), and Fridays are for art on my own. I try to get in some sketching on the other days when I can – easier some weeks than others – mornings are best for art.
I do tend to get up early and do yoga 3 x’s a week, have breakfast, read a bit and try to organize my day. I’ve been putting a lot of work up on Etsy all winter and now almost caught up. Also finishing a lot of older work in preparation for rearranging my studio. I find the yoga and taking the dog for a walk settles me down and makes me feel more relaxed and focussed for the rest of the day.
6:30 am wake up, feed the eager beasties (who turn into cats after their breakfast)
Review to-do list and affirmations and write out at least 5 things I’m grateful for until 7am when I meet my walking buddies. Walk and chat for 2 miles. Then if it was a fast walk, I’ll check my email before I make breakfast and wake up the hubby… and if it was a slow walk, then I’ll check email while making coffee.
9:30 chores (dishes, litterboxes, etc.)
10:00 either get ready for work at the kiosk (leave at 11) or do online class stuff — listen to podcasts, read books, respond to email, check facebook. Sometimes I’ll paint or draw. Sometimes I’ll clean the house. Depends on what afternoon appointments I have and if someone is coming to visit soon.
It’s nice to read all your routines…I get up after eight, the dog is my wake-up call, a glass of water, brush my teeth, a light make-up (yesss) and out with the dog….for an hour at least, a brisk walk but time to contemplate too, I try to sit somewhere and meditate a few minutes. (I am in the process of teaching my dog, what meditation is lol) …When we get home, I feed the dog and the cat, shower and then it’s sometimes morning pages. Administrative things. I love to cook a nice meal, so I make myself a nice lunch and paint in the afternoon. NOW this will all change because I am in the process of moving back to Germany after 20 years in France to care for my parents, and there we will have to find new ways to put some routine into our days….We call it the artful life, everything is intertwined….everything is inspiration….
I had a cardiac event almost 4 weeks ago and my morning routine has changed drastically. I’m now waking early to take meds and go for a walk. I’m up to 2 miles now. My husband and I have coffee and morning devotions until breakfast and then, we each head off to our home offices to process email and paperwork. I’m in the studio right after lunch most days unless there are doctor appointments. My housekeeper comes on Mondays, so that day’s start is a little different in preparation for her. Staying up late and sleeping in are no longer options for me. That was my routine before surgery. Now I get plenty of rest and I’m ready for my day.
Goodness! So, happy for you that your health is improving! I once did a series of paintings about a challenging health experience. It took me months before I could get started on it and then 2 years to finish it, but working through it in this way was so helpful to me.
I’m up by 6:30 to get two kids going and off to school by 8:00. During that time I have a smoothie and maybe coffee, try to read some emails and consider what to work on for that particular day. Will it be going to the studio from 9-3 or work on business related tasks from home and tackle a few house and mom chores?
My days frustratingly are never the same as there are typically a few appointments thrown in the weekdays and a couple of times each month I travel an hour to visit my parents and give my mom a break from my father who has dementia & Parkinson’s.
I dream of having a schedule that is focused primarily on growing my art career yet I know this phase of my life is short and I should enjoy the chaos teens and family care entails. I struggle to understand how financially successful women artists also raise a family at the same time. I am in awe of them!
Having a set yet semi flexible routine works best for me, in all aspects of my life.
I’m up a 6-7, depending on how well I slept the night before. Make bed, turn on hot pot for tea and oatmeal, get dressed for the day, steep tea and start oatmeal, read emails and do facebook, write up Thought for the Day. After breakfast spend an hour doing house chores. Head to the studio about 9, ck Day Planner, make phone calls/contacts, fill pending orders, take pix, work on various art projects until lunch, take a walk to clear my head, weather permitting. Have bronchial asthma – bad air day no walk.
Back to the studio to ck emails, finish up or work on current project. Monday, Tuesday & Thursday are my main “studio days”, light is best in morning. Load up pix and post to website and various other social media as light wanes.
Always make time for social contact by either quick text, IM, phone or meet friends for lunch to keep from getting burned out. Devoting 24/7 to my art stops the creativity flow, feels more like a “job”, (I am retired).
I’m an early riser, getting up without an alarm between 5:30am-6:00am. The very first thing I do before even getting out of bed is to thank every aspect of my body, from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes. I am so grateful to be in this body and we only have ONE each go-around, so we better take care of and acknowledge the good work this one is doing!
Then I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, take a shower, get dressed. Next, I walk around the house looking out the windows to see how many deer, birds and other creatures of nature I can spot.
All the while I’m walking around the house singing, “Oh what a beautiful morning” from the musical, Oklahoma. Whether it’s a bright and shiny morning, or a dull, drab morning, doesn’t matter, I’m setting the positive tone for the rest of my day!
Now it’s either time to take a 30-minute walk, 20-minutes of stretching or brief 10-minute yoga practice; I’m really not into yoga, can you tell?
Good, hearty breakfast or a healthy smoothy is next, check email, wash dishes, write blog posts, do a bit of research for more posts or update pages on my website. I might check out Facebook a bit, Twitter, and Pinterest since I do have business accounts there to update.
Get out the planner and check the daily appointments or calls I need to return. And then I’m off to the other end of the house to my wicker weaving studio where all the fun and playtime begins!
My morning routine varies, but almost always includes:
Drawing or painting (60 minutes)
Meditative stretch (20-30 minutes)
Reading (at least one chapter)
A tall glass of water
Then I take an hour and thirty minutes to get ready to go to work
It took me a couple of years to figure out these are the most basic things I need for me to be me, every single day. My soul misses making art when I take time away from this very basic routine.
I am thinking about making the switch to exercise and meditation first, then shower, get dressed, and then art, because I have always have an excuse to not work out.
After taking your workshops with lots of trial & error, this is my routine on most days:
– Wake up at 6 am: lotsa coffee, check email, daily/weekly calendar, some reading.
– Head to gym + quick errands OR scheduled appointments.
– Back to home studio: 12 – 4 drawing, painting, etc.
– Early evening: check email/correspondence, planning, scheduling, organizing, project review.
Ah! The morning routine! Interesting question since I’m in the process of changing my night owl hours- wide awake and energetic until 2 or 3 in the morning- to a daytime ones more suited to painting in natural light. Right now I get up at about 7:30-8. My target hour I’m aiming for to start my day is 6:30. First I check my emails and calendar to see if there’s anything that needs immediate attention. After toast and coffee, I’ll work in studio or head out, depending on the weather. Anything that can wait until dark, like writing posts or developing course material, working on marketing modules, housework, exercise, I’ve usually done in the evening. It will be interesting to see if I need to change that as I fully shift into morning hours.
I’m not a super early riser but I do get up and go to a water fitness class 4 or 5 days a week. I run any errands on the way home and then check email. If I don’t do that early on I worry that there is something important hanging. Once I’ve cleared that out, and it is not a work-at-my-job day, I can devote several hours in my studio feeling good and energized.
My schedule has changed numerous times over the years, due to raising kids, having empty nest, having a husband with Parkinsons…and on and on.
So, my morning routine has also changed, but the past few years I wake at 4:30am, shower, dress, make breakfast and lunches, feed puss-cats…drink lots of coffee. Spend a quiet time to regroup, then finalize my daily schedule.
Then I am off to work, play etc.
I love what I do.
Hi! My favorite Monday mornings are get up, have coffee, morning jog, make breakfast, clean kitchen, draw – at least 20 minutes.
Usually, when I get the 20 minutes done, I’m engrossed in my drawing or painting and get more done.
Appointments change things, but I still work on getting my 20 minute drawing time daily!
Lunch break – 1 pm. 🙂
I’m writing my second crime fiction novel, so am trying to boost writing days.
I used to get up, have coffee and read the digital newspaper and do some brain games, then get to my desk to write.
Then more recently, I was getting up and with my coffee, going straight to my computer to write for 3-4 hours. I like that schedule a lot, but trying to read the paper at noon with lunch doesn’t always work.
Now I’m thinking about getting up a bit earlier, doing the paper/brain games thing then getting to my desk. All of this has been WITHOUT checking email or Facebook, which I can get bogged down in!
Art days are relegated to typically a Friday afternoon, with a few extra afternoons if I’m on a deadline art project.
Great to read all your schedules!
I have a full time job and have found that even though I tend to be a night owl, if I wait to make art after work, it never seems to happen. Instead, I get up at 5 am, drink 16 oz of water, feed the kitty, do a 10 min HIIT workout, play with the kitty, stretch, then paint for about 90 min (stopping occasionally to give the kitty treats!) before showering and going to work. Not ideal, but at least it’s something!
My morning routine changes drastically from June to September, so it’s approaching very soon.
For right now, and any time other than summer. I get up without an alarm clock usually about 8 hours after I went to bed. That’s around 9-10am. First thing, after hitting the bathroom is make my breakfast, COFFEE, and eat while reading the paper. After that, I check my emails, Facebook and start doing my work. On Mon, Wed and Fri, I go to the gym to an aqua aerobics class for an hour….then…Paper work and computer work every Monday. Go to the studio, Wednesday to Saturday. Babysit on Tuesdays.
Summer’s, I get up at 5am (something I don’t like) and do the same thing, but much earlier. Then I go across the street and get the largest cup of coffee at Starbucks and go to my summer camp.
I can’t wait to read all of these reply’s! My usual routine is to wake up at 5:30am, drink warm water and lemon juice, meditate for 15 min and then I have coffee and I do my journaling. By 6:45am I get ready to wake my daughter up for school and get her out the door. I’m back inside for work (my “day” job) at 8am. I like to get a trail run in around 9 after checking email and organizing my day. I work until 3 when my kiddo gets home and then it’s all about her and home life. After she goes to bed, I usually read or go to bed myself, too tired to paint. IF I didn’t work my corporate job, this would all likely be the same, just that I would create from 10am-3pm. Wouldn’t that be AMAZING?!? Right now, I’m sneaking in art inbetween the cracks and it’s not easy at all.
I JUST started a morning routine last week. usually it was wake up, feed the kids and get them off to school, make coffee and head to work jumping right into email. I have changed it up to wake up 15-20 min before everyone and practice yoga, followed by breakfast (getting kids off to school) and then 10 min of tea and morning pages. It has made me calmer in the morning so far.
I don’t have a routine really, it depend if I work late at night. When my kids were younger I used to go in the studio after the girls went to bed. I was always in the studio for 10pm to 3-4 am. I was able to be in my zone, no one to interrupt, no phone. It was just me and the dogs, cat. Now that they are out of the house, I still like to work at night. My morning is spent of taking care of house, responding to emails, doing the business part. Going to the gym, cuddling with Athos and Roux.
7:18am get up (after hitting snooze button twice because I love my dreams). Consciously give gratitude to the Divine Mother-Father for another amazing day in this human experience, whatever it brings! My husband usually brings me black coffee w/ coconut oil in it as I’m getting dressed. Coffee & some carbs for First Breakfast. 8:25am start the first of two high-intensity gym classes. At almost 50 years old, I’m thrilled to be jumping around w/ the athletic 20-somethings (but I wear earplugs to preserve good hearing despite loud music). I really put effort into these workouts, pushing through perceived limits & the whining of the mind. This training informs my approach to art 100%; in fact, I might not be doing art now if it weren’t for the pushing-through-the-bog-of-mental-limits habit. After a healthy workout (increasing neurogenesis, cardio, and so forth) & having enjoyable social interactions w/ the other participants, after a shower & Second Breakfast, I’m ready for focus & solitude in the studio 🙂 No matter how the art-making goes each day, at least my mind & body have gotten healthful attention 🙂
I was listening to a book on creativity the other day, the author, Gerald Puccio, mentioned that many successful creative people find they are much more creative after a physical workout. The proof is in the pudding!
Living in Cave Creek just north of Phoenix, the seasons are like night and day. During the summer, we spend it indoors. Unless it is 5:00 in the morning. During the winter, we are mainly outdoors, unless it is windy, raining and or freezing (any temp under 55 degrees). Both seasons, I am up around 5:30. During the summer, the first thing I do is take a walk around the garden, am always awed by the size of the saguaro, make my coffee then sit outside and read art books/articles and/or spiritual related inspiration writings such as those by Julia Cameron. Heat sets in by nine, so I go indoors and start my day in the studio.
Most days. Other days, there is cleaning and laundry, etc. that needs to be done. During our darkest winter months, the sun is not up until well after eight, so I remain indoors with the coffee drinking and book reading routine. The night temps may have risen from mid 30’s to 50’s by then. After spending some time outdoors, I again hit the studio. Sometimes I create, sometimes I just search for inspiration from my huge collection of art books, and sometimes I look through my old drawings and sketches. Never a dull moment.
Up at 5:10a.m. – brush teeth, hair & wash face. Head down stairs with the pooch. Let the dog out, grab a cup of java, invite dog back in, & give her a treat. Head back upstairs, put on face (make-up), get dressed, do hair and head out the door about 6:30 to get three of my grandkids off to school. Let their dog out, wake the kids, let their dog in & give her a treat, fix the kids breakfast, wait with them for the bus to come. After the kids are gone I take their dog for a walk, return her to their house & then I come home. Greetings to my pup, another coffee for me, meditation & readings x 45 minutes, eat breakfast & begin whatever is on the calendar for the day; House maintenance, laundry, teach art classes, lunch with friends or working at the arts center. This is pretty much my daily routine. Weekends, of course, are a bit more laid-back, but I still awake at the same time. However, I am learning to lie still & let my mind travel for a bit, before getting up.
My husband would tell you that I am not aware of what morning is, LOL. In a perfect world, I would get up in the morning around 6, shower and get ready for the day. I would then meditate and read my bible for 1/2 hr. This would be a perfect start to prepare for a quiet studio day. However, this is not my reality. I arise by usually 10, shower and get to work in the studio asap. I have orders to ship, inventory to make for shows usually end up going to bed after 1 am. As my mom used to say…I have my days and nights turned around.
I love reading how everyone lives their lives! And nice to see a few posts I can relate to.
Wake up 6 – 6.30, coffee and emails, cook breakfast, shower, get daughter ready for school by 8am, start work or go to uni @ 9. Ultimately I would love to have an hour of exercise, some journalling and free drawing in there but that would meen getting up at 4 – 4.30!!!
I refer to my schedule as ‘bohemian’. I wake up at 1 pm and go to bed at 5 a.m. So MY morning is everyone else’s afternoon.
I wash up and walk to my front office and sit at the computer; check email and Facebook. This can be a real time-suck. The computer is the best/worst thing in my ‘morning’ routine.
I look for ‘important/time-sensitive’ emails and either flag them for responding later (if it doesn’t lend itself to a quick, immediate response), or shoot off replies. I have to check 4 different email accounts — this is also a time-suck and I am at my computer for at least one hour. If it’s nice out i’ll grab a coffee and sit outside for 30 minutes or so. I’ll make any necessary phone calls and then hopefully get down to my studio (in the basement) by 4:30 pm.
I’m usually up between 6-7am, shower, dress, make bed, feed cat, clean kitty litter, wait for someone to come hold the cat so I can brush her teeth. Once that’s done, I’m free to leave for my studio which is a 10 min. drive away. I usually pick up a latte on the way. At my studio, I finish my latte, have some toast, read while I’m eating, then get busy painting. I usually paint for 2-3 hours, take a reading/lunch break, then paint for another couple of hours. I keep a daily painting diary in order to keep track of what I work on and when. I save reading my emails, checking Facebook, entering competitions, updating my website, etc. for the evenings. As this is my routine seven days a week, if I have outside appointments (doctor, dentist, other) or friends want to get together for lunch, I don’t feel guilty taking the occasional day off.
My morning is very routine. I wake 7/7:30, do my morning bathroom stuff, meditate, do my back exercises, clean the litter box, then go downstairs for breakfast and coffee. Afterwords I have to play a short time with kitty Jolie, then back upstairs for shower. Sometimes I look at my computer or Ipad to see if I have anything I need to get back to right away. Then my “day” begins. Monday and Wed. I go to a Yoga class until 12:30, then lunch and studio unless I have any other various apts. Drs., classes, lunch with a friend very seldom, work at my home studio or a friends studio if we’re collaborating. Tues. and Thurs I get into my studio earlier baring any other distractions or apts.
My hubby is retired so sometimes my routine gets messed up royally but I usually get woken up by him or the dog. I lay in bed for a while looking at FB on my phone. Then I get up, clean up, get dressed and make coffee (unless he has made it for me 🙂 ) Then I check emails quick – Do MP , planning and Bible study. I usually read or watch webinars- do some volunteer work for the local Arts group – sometimes go for a walk – Do housework etc. Wednesday a.m. I have Sketchclub and I’ve had to be there since I’m in charge (but not for long!) I don’t work in my studio too early in the day because my studio is in the basement and I have no windows to see the gorgeous sunshine. So I work late afternoon and evening – often til 1 a.m. or even later… Night hawk here 🙂
Arise and shine at 6:00 am, fix breakfast, and do water fitness four days a week. The”free” mornings are for my semi weekly volunteer gig, and everything else (almost) is devoted to creative projects. Wednesdays have always been studio days, but I am on s sabbatical, so my studio time will be home renewal time. Looks like most people here don’t have outside jobs, or have flexible hours?
I work in the studio well into the early morning hours, so I’m a slow and late morning riser. I found out long ago that my most productive hours are 3pm onward (this is why I no longer work 9-5). If I don’t have any appointments, I usually get up between 10-11am and the first thing I do is reach for my phone. I respond to texts, Facebook and Instagram posts and then post an image related to the previous night’s studio work. By this point, I’m awake enough to look at my list of daily tasks and in my head, plan the order in which they will get accomplished. This usually gets me motivated and out of bed to the gym, yoga, emails, light house cleaning, paperwork, marketing. Studio time begins at about 4pm and continues to 12-3am (depending on deadlines) with a dinner break somewhere in there. It’s been great to read everyone’s routines and to see how many of us are night owls!
I’m definitely a morning person, although this is pushing my boundaries a bit.
* I get up at 4:00, throw on some workout clothes and head straight for the studio. I spend about 10 minutes doing a brief meditation/ affirmations, find something to play on my ipad and get to work.
* I stop at 5:30 – 5:45 to go for a 30 minute walk with my dog
* 6:15 – shower, dress and pack my lunch
* 6:45 – head to my day job
It’s a bit grueling, but I’m amazed at how much work I end up making in just 90 minutes a day 5 days a week. It also means I’m usually in bed by 8:00. 🙂
For me a good night’s sleep is the most important thing. I need a minimum 9 hours, but mostly I let my body decide, that is, I like to wake up naturally, no alarms, no timetables. Generally this means up at between 7.30 to 8.30 am in the winter, 6 to 7.30 in the summer. A relaxed breakfast with a walk with the dogs, either before or after. Preferably at the studio by 10 am, work through till 5 or 6 pm, usually with just a very short break for lunch, but fuelled by endless pots of exotic green and white teas.
Most of all I hate to be rushed in the morning. Hats off to all you people with children to get to school etc, I don’t know how you do it.
For several months after finishing my doctoral program, I was floundering for a new routine. Then I got a puppy, which pretty much has dictated my new routine, one that I love!
The dogs get me up around 5:30, after which I feed them and play with them outside in the gorgeous morning air. Then I pack them up in the car and head to the coffee shop with my laptop and either grade or write for a couple hours (it’s cool enough in the morning for them to be in the car and I can work undisturbed for a few hours!) Then we head back home and do dog stuff while I also take care of house business of varying types. After I take the adult dog for a long walk or do some other exercise thing, I shower and get ready for whatever else the day presents in the way of work, meetings, or appointments.
While I always have a running list of things to do, at night before I go to bed, I write out the next day on a post-it note so I can hit the ground running. What I love about my routine is that without even thinking about it, I get in two solid hours of high priority work before 8:30, and the rest of my day just flows from there!
I am just curious…What did you study in your doctoral work?
I get up around 6:30 or 7:00 AM and head to the kitchen for really good expresso coffee and to retrieve the paper from the driveway. After that I get dressed and get about my day. I have reviewed my calendar the night before but double check it again in the morning. I usually need to attend to emails of a business nature that have come in since the day before. After that, studio here I come or I attend to a day’s worth of errands and appointments.
I wake at 6:30am and prepare my coffee, then I prepare my husband a quick breakfast and lunch. Once the husband is out the door I check the weather and finish my coffee while checking my email. By 9:00am I am ready to begin working on eithera book editing project, or a graphic print or web design project. I am currently working 4 days per week from home and when I am not working on ona paying. project, I am either building new skills, working on creating designs for my portfolio, building twmplates for my customers, updating my website, and/or marketing my business on the various online social media sites. Since I am usually quite busy with the computer graphics projects I have recently decided to carve out one day per week (Wednesday) to dedicate to my pencil illustration skills. I am working on an idea for a childrens book I would like to have published (sometime in this lifetime, LOL). I usually stop working by 5:00pm, and unless a client has a pressing deadline, I prefer not to work on the weekends. My Saturdays are the day I get some much needed exercise and outdoor activity with the family. Sundays I catch up with my household chores.
My Name is Karen C.
Depending on what’s “on” for the day I’m up either at 5:30 or 7:30. Unfortunately I am unable to devote even half time to my art. I am a former elementary teacher and I sub, at minimum 3 days/week. The rest of the week is filled with working in the gardens, tutoring after school, and the normal – clean house, do laundry, blah blah blah. Our house is on Airbnb and this time of year we can be booked with a new guest almost every other day. I attempt to squeeze in a workout on a daily basis. That’s my morning!
Art is what keeps me “alive” so some day I hope to be full time.
Coffee, newspaper, shower, check/edit to do list.
Then I do computer work; pay bills; post something; update art archive, etc.
Next it’s the studio. On Tues. I try to get out and paint plein air with the sketch club.
Late afternoon I check and answer email, check out Facebook business page. Make to do list for next day.
Once a week I have a focus meeting to review the last week’s goals & success at completing tasks.
Then I plan major areas for the following week.
Varies. On event days, the alarm actually goes off at 4:30 (I must be insane) at which point I put on the coffee. Then I shower and possibly iron something to wear. Then I take 15 minutes to drink the coffee and stare into space. I used to get up 15 minutes earlier, but this actually works better for me. After that, I start madly checking off my list in order to fly off at 5:30. If it has to be 5:45 in order to have the quiet time, I just go a tad later.
On the best studo days (especially this time of year) I get up at about 5:30, just by nature and immediately start coffee. While waiting, I fire up the internet and check my email, facebook, etc. About by 7:00, I’ve had my breakfast, fed dogs, chickens, etc and head to either a plein air location or a beach to walk, swim and/or yoga. If studio work is on my plate, I usually do it after the outdoor stuff. This seems so perfect, but there are also days when errands or caring for others takes over.
I love reading these responses, and it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who feels the day is sometimes half gone before I begin! But those early risers with energetic routines give me inspiration and hope. My day begins at 6 am when the alarm goes off and I head for the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. By 6:15 I’m back in bed with a cup for me and one for my husband; we drink our coffee and share some quiet time. Then while he does his bathroom routine, I sit in bed and read (Bible, and whatever book I’m currently engaged with.) We finish breakfast by 7:30, and he goes to his home office in the basement. I read a little more, or write down something I dreamed. Usually by 9:30 I’m finally dressed, pets cared for, email checked, and ready to either head out to my part-time job (at a library) or downstairs (with another cup of coffee) to my studio (also in the basement.) And that’s a good day. I’m trying hard to make more of them good, and even add a daily walk into this schedule…takes some forethought ( and getting to bed before midnight!) My routine is a work in progress.
Great question Alyson!
I’ve come to really respect my morning rituals: Glass of water, cup of coffee with chai tea added, read something uplifting, do my morning pages, do more reading if there’s time, then hit the gym and listen to a podcast while working out. I do email when I return from the gym, then take a shower, all before nine am. Then I’m off to the studio or to teach!
I am up by 6am. I love mornings! I make coffee, bathroom to brush teeth, look in the mirror and thanks God I am alive and well. I weigh myself as I am on a journey to lose 60 lbs. . I get my coffee, make a green smoothy. My husband takes care of my son who is 17 and still can’t seem to get up on his own. My husband also does dishes, wash and makes my lunch most days. I raises the 3 older girls so in his retirement and my art career launch roles got switched around. I take a 35 min. walk, then up to my studio. I pass by the computer chair which I know has some kind of sticky stuff that captures me and won’t let me go! One day a week I watch my grandson who is almost 2. If anything comes up with my kids lives all this planning goes out the door. I blog each week and send out a newsletter if the computer chair captures me!
I’m trying to cultivate a morning ritual but……. I flounder. I have bern trying to write my morning pages (Artist Way ) but I’m not really a morning person.
My hand written stream of consciousness is a dark stream that heads to a waterfall!
Maybe I just need more coffee ?
My morning routine energizes and grounds me. Up between 6 & 6:30, meditate, stretch/yoga, daily French practice, laundry in, 30-45 min cardio, shower, breakfast, review schedule, e-mail, in the studio by 9:30 / 10 ready to go.
Reading suggestion on this subject: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work edited and with text by Mason Currey
I am soooo a night owl or at least a late, late afternoon person! I prefer to sleep in. I like my coffee and a show or two to get started. Once I start in the studio I loose all track of time!
I am an early riser regardless of how late I fell asleep the night before, it’s just that natural clock I have inside me. Never needed an alarm in my life.
I’m on two feet by 6am, making sure two teenagers get out the door without forgetting a lunch, a flute, a purse or a backpack. Yes, my son actually walked a half mile to the bus stop and realized he completely forgot his backpack once he got on the bus…
Depending on the day of the week, I either jump right into studio time, email checks or a workout. Or have all three accomplished by noon. I’m starting to create weekly schedules for myself on Sunday night so my Monday doesn’t lag by writing lists and goals for the week. I just started using this concept, so time will tell how efficient it is but I have a good feeling about this
My routine varies by season because I have a garden to take care of. All mornings involved showering/breakfast and a brief look at my schedule for the day/week. I try to do all my planning and scheduling on Monday mornings. Because I have to schedule in my father’s schedule and appointments too, I have to keep a close watch on what’s coming up and float my deadlines around those too.
If I had a late night because of a deadline and there’s no conflicting appts. I may sleep in to recharge for a couple of hours and then go for a walk. My best creative time is early afternoon and late at night for ideas. For me studio time depends on lighting too. I love working when the natural light is the best, but I love late nights for imagining and planning because I know I won’t be interrupted.
Whether the comments yield good traffic or not, some expression is really necessary to appreciate good stuff like the one above.
I am home educating my bonus baby, Jubilee who is 11, and I get up about 7:30 and pray, journal and read my bible before I wake up Jubi. There is usually fussing over how slowly she consumes breakfast and then we start school. We do school on a twin bed with our 70 pound boxer who thinks he is a lap dog. We usually start with read out loud to each other then the more standard fare. She has some computer classes and I try to do my computer work while she is doing her computer classes. All this happens in the studio so I also paint while she works. Sometimes she paints or knits while I read out loud. Sometimes I knit while she reads out loud. It is a very good life. It is no wonder I am behind with class assignments. I am having too much fun.
Unfortunately my morning routine does not contain any artistic pursuits. Am committed to keeping fit most mornings. At least a 3k walk or 2.5k swim or 1 – 2 hr kayak. Then the interruptions of Grand children baby sitting , council meetings,
I am struggling to find time to relax to paint.
Time management is a problem.
Also my adjustment of downsizing from a 2 storey house on 900 sq mt block, to a 150 sq mt block in a small two bedroom home,.
Looking to change my type of painting. from good size acrylic canvas
to smaller ink/wash .larger size acrylic on a divided Strip canvas.????????
Working on me.
Love the painting “a bright spot” by the way……
I try to spend time on Monday being in nature as wknd usually involves catching up with friends so peace & quiet in nature on Monday helps connect back to my art mojo :0)
My day begins at 6:30 am, feed my pesty cat. I then make coffee and empty the dishwasher while the coffee machine is brewing……I also may throw a load of laundry in machine. I don’t get dressed yet, but lounge in pj’s drink coffee and enjoy 30 min Bible study and proceed to check emails and phone messages, go over the tasks I’ve laid out the night before and write down five of the most important things I need to do on an old paint house color chart sample kit. I love this, each strip has gradiating colors samples and I write on the colors and then fold it up so I could only see one task at a time. I carry it in my pocket all day as a little pod to remind me to do them. I would not function with out this system! I tear off the paint samples as I finish the written task and throw it away till I’m done with all of them. IT feels sooo good to do that! I have a raspberry and peony farm so I spend the first 3 hours managing the farm. I usually spend a 60-90 minutes in studio take a break converse with family or do errands…paint out plein air if weather is good or go back to my mobile studio to set up for the next day. Office work administration stuff I do at night…in between youtube art videos! I’m still a work in progress to establish a routine that will be most productive for myself.
Coolio❗???? Love the color chart idea….
I have a day job.
I wake up well before dawn, wash up, eat breakfast, treat Simon cat. Maybe I listen to part of a book, maybe music, maybe just silence because my husband left before me. I’m standing until I hop into my car for the drive that seems to get longer as the area slowly grows more homes.
I get to work, take my allergy therapy, turn on the computer, get to work. I read my affirmation cards will the computer wakes up slower than I do (which is saying a lot). After reviewing some paperwork and emails, I hop to my blog feeder and do some reading. Most times, I don’t comment.
If I were to wake up earlier, might as well not sleep at all…and I need my sleep or watch out.
I paint in the late afternoons, early evenings. The last eight months have been a strange life with my better half (husband)…so that is mostly interrupted for the time being and we are slowly returning to that routine.
I wish I had a morning routine. But that is one of the things I intend to change on my vacation next week. Get into the habit of a fitness routine and a creative routine everyday. I just read Molly Crabapple’s book, and her mother told her to make some art everyday. I love it. I intend to take that advice going forward.
Up at 6 to sit and stare and have a cuppa coffee. An hour walk and then into my studio space by 9 on the days I don’t go to my paycheck job. No social media until mid afternoon. It’s a routine I developed many years ago and find great comfort in.
I get up and shower and dress. Then I sit at my kitchen table, drink two big glasses of water and write a couple of pages of wake-up drivel. After that it varies according to which part-time job is on the schedule for the day. But I need to stop looking at social media at all until the end of my day – that’s my new “habit in the making”.
I have settled into a comfortable morning routine now that I am 57. In my younger years mornings were very hectic with the children and getting to work. Now, I don’t have that pressure and I can focus on me. Mornings I devote to taking care of our six rescue cats, a stroll through the garden to pluck a few weeds (great meditation time) and then to my studio to handle the business side of my art. Emails, updating my website, posts on Facebook and other social media, photographing my art, etc.
I don’t begin painting until usually noon and then paint all afternoon ending around 5 or 6 p.m. I could paint longer, but the hubby comes home and wants his time too.
Up at 5:00 a.m. Quick change into workout garb. Out the door by 5:20. Stop @ the ‘buck for a coffee and drive to the gym. Working out by 5:40. Back home by 7:30. One chore. Then shower and dress for the day job.
Wednesdays are my studio day and I have the same morning routine whether going to my day job or my studio day. I get up at 6am, let the dog out and have a healthy breakfast with some green tea to wake up. I shower, dress, make the bed and then check emails. I do a quick check of Facebook in case there is a birthday, but otherwise avoid it until the afternoon as my end of day treat. I spend about an 1.5-2 hours answering emails, making phone calls or other things I can do to get off my list at the start of the day. I get into the studio usually at 9:30am and either get to work on what I’ve already begun or take time to clean up, look through my sketchbook and idea book to decide what to work on next.
I seem to be rising earlier and earlier these days, but that’s okay by me. It depends on the morning but most mornings I’m up by 6. I set the coffee to start at 6, so by the time I’ve washed and brushed it’s ready. Then I empty the dishwasher and generally make smoothies and a cooked breakfast for my teenage sons. While they are eating I quickly check over my e-mails and a few other things. I have finally broken the habit of reading every article that comes my way and dump them into a file to read in the evening. I then drive the boys to school. If it’s a day at my “other job”, then hubby will drive them. That is pretty much every morning. On the days that I’m not working at the outside job (which is only another month) I go for a 1/2 – 1 hour walk in nature (sometimes longer). This is my time to meditate and recharge. After that I come home and paint until about 2:30 when I pick the boys up from school. Fridays I go out plein air painting with a local group. Tuesdays are marketing days (unless it is something urgent).
I’ve been retired from a 9-5 for the past 2 years, which means I was in the habit of painting late into the evenings. I still do which also means I get up late. I don’t get out of bed until 9:30am. I need at least 8 hours of sleep. There is so much to do, I don’t see how I used to find the time to work a full time job. I get up & pray, read, meditate, eat breakfast, exercise, run errands, eat again, do housework, watch a little tv, cook dinner, THEN I go into my studio. I love spending time on my art but want to start doing it earlier in the day. I need to make art a priority. So I should probably wake up earlier. ..I just love those covers!!
My early mornings begin at 6(sixam) with taking my roommate to work at his school.
Most days I come back and go straight to my canvas, this past week/ half I’ve been under the weather so I’m resting.
Tea preparation first, then put clean dishes away. Sit with tea and an art book. Currently reading The Vanishing Velazquez. I had no idea about the work of this painter and now have researched his paintings via the web. I read Richard Schmidts book – though I am a pastel painter – his philosophy is universal for painters in all media. Others I look at and absorb are Wolf Kahn, Degas, The Group of Seven, Cezanne. All inspire my work.
Review the weeks to-do lists and fill in what is needed for the rest of the day and then get on with the work of being an artist: PR, website, FB, blog, or newsletter then a walk with the dog and head to the studio.
Those are the best days. Then there are days with early am meetings. I am involved with my community in a couple of groups. But always back to the studio. Artliveslong.
Thanks Alyson for this question. I decided last month to revamp my morning routine since the old one doesn’t serve me well any more. My previous routine reflected my needs in a time of grief, which I have been emerging from for a while and so have outgrown the routine.
This is what I am keeping and what I am changing: Up at 7:30 with coffee as usual, read a good book rather than listening to the news during breakfast and until 8:30, then optional chores in silence, connection with family, check email. Another option is a walk. All in silence, no radio.
Same 9:30 time to enter studio. Instead of starting right in (always a struggle) I now sit in meditation/prayer. I set up a sacred space right in my studio with a comfortable chair and a small table. I first concentrate on family, community and world, then asking for renewal of energy, focus, and passion for my work, sufficient for the day. I find that this exercise helps me set my intention, and I am able to work longer and better, with more joy. So far, so good!
Next I need to set the best time for business aspect of studio work, formerly done in the morning which turns out to be my best art making time.
I’m developing my morning routine as the new retiree. I find myself opening up the house, walking out to my glass enclosed studio porch and focusing on where I left off in the painting process. I enjoy the quiet of the morning… just the other day noticed that a deer was just waking behind my house where it had slept all night.
This lucky encounter should help to solidify my early rising and studio time.
I have also begun to display smaller paintings in the kitchen to help me to continue working on them.
I have a weekly calendar where I list everything that needs to be done that day. I check things off at the end of the day and circle things still remaining to be done. This is helping me to see what I have done each day- yes, accomplishment and accountability in one.
Before the calendar I found myself in a state of confusion doing a lot of rewriting and feeling less focused. I see Sunday night and Monday’s as a look-over for the overview of the week, where I take time the look at the month’s activities and plan accordingly. I remember this idea from the planning CD…thanks Alyson.
Right now I have several things I am planning toward: memberships in local art groups; entering national shows; teaching classes for the fall; renting a small gallery to show my work; sending query letters to Publishers/ Art Distributors; designing an art brochure and of course doing the work as a full-time painter! I continue to listen to your CDs in my car????
Off to the gym for me on Monday & Wednesday mornings. I find it gets the blood flowing to my body and my brain. (The other days I am on the treadmill in my basement.) Those 20 minutes on the elliptical are great for pondering new ideas, or planning an email strategy or website update. Home for breakfast and then usually the business side of my art – checking email, working on an email campaign, etc. Studio time is usually in the afternoon and/or evening. I find if I get the office stuff out of the way first, I don’t have it lingering in my head and distracting me when I am painting.
I love my mornings. I am a creature who makes what others might consider requirement into ritual so that my mornings become a peaceful, focused foundation for a day that will, as a rule, be spent painting until the right brain begs off, then writing till the left brain wears out when I return to painting. The creation of dinner and enjoying it wraps the day.
AMs, I rise, restore the bedroom to order and enjot a half a cup of strong black coffee in a delicate old Japanese cup while I study Human Design. That is followed by a bit of beet juice and a probiotic and a good toothbrushing. Then, yoga, sometime accompanied by music, sometimes by the birds or rain, 25 – 40 minutes.
Breakfast – the basics of which (frozen berries because of all the juice they give off when they thaw) have thawed overnight in the fridge – consists of the aforesaid berries, banana slices, shredded coconut, possibly some finely chopped pecans or gluten free granola topped with excellent cinnamon, Hersheys extra-dark cocoa, cardomom and something called Be Bright which is a combination of four oils (coconut, cumin, avocado, hemp seed).
Breakfast and I commune a bit as I am very sensitive to the fact that all these living foods are giving up their lives for me to live. I promise them to be the best me that I can be to honor them in the world. I usually enjoy a good book (could be anything from a delightful novel to Art in America to a scientific study) with the meal.
What can I say? Detail matters to me and both order and scheduling matter to my body. Together we enjoy a rather lengthy morning ritual which once grounded me for my “day job” and now is a gateway to a heavenly day of doing my own work.
My days are so predictable. I am a realtor in addition to being an art. Anyway, if l have control of my Monday. I am all over it my day will start with the beach or painting. If I do not have control of my day…Well l beome an indentured sevice to my real estate clients.. Than I have to steal a date
Another day to make up for my lost of my Monday
My best days begin with a prayer of gratitude and surrender while my young dog goes out to water the backyard. The prayer must be short because she’s quickly on to the next thing which happens to be breakfast. After we’ve finished that, she urges me to put on her harness to go out for a walk. Here’s where I find some surprising questions or insights in between keeping the curious dog from possible critter habitat. We usually end up at the studio door and I look at what needs to be done. She seems to understand my need to work there and she settles down on her little dog bed. Sometimes I think she knows better than I how much I need to make art.
I am now retired so up by 8:00. Breakfast then on to the computer to check email, Facebook and Twitter and do some marketing. I usually linger longer there than I should, but on studio days I like to start painting by 9:00 for a couple hours – that seems to be my limit without a break. Before I know it it is noon and I need to get my workout in before lunch.
Up at 4:30am, thanks to my dog Gracie (I love dawn). Get the coffee started, quick trip outside for Grace, on the way back to bed grab a coffee, listen to ‘A Course In Miracles’ podcast lesson for the day, go for a run with Grace while contemplating the day ahead, then into the studio, answer a few emails… & the day is well underway before 7am.
My morning routine goes like this most weekdays: up between 6-6:30, make coffee and breakfast for my husband (he leaves for work around 7:45) and tea for me while we watch morning news. After breakfast, I make the bed, wash and dress for the day and occasionally read my daily devotional. Next I check my email then aim to be working in the studio (my dining room at present) by 8:30-9. I’ll work until noon then break for lunch and get back to work from about 1:00-3/3:30. During the day if I have finished work to be photographed, or framed I’ll run those errands as well.
Alyson’s question about morning routine got me to thinking about the difference between routine, habitual behaviors done without thinking and ritual, meaning-filled actions done thoughtfully with intention. Like many of you, for decades my mornings were full of harried, hurried routines. With the luxury of working only for myself at last, I find some routines have been reborn as rituals. Most days waking up, having tea, and preparing for the day are more ritual than routine.
The first thing I do when I wake up is check in with myself. How am I feeling? How did I sleep? I love James Hillman’s book on aging, The Force of Character. In it he talks about the special significance of age-related changes in sleep from a psychological and spiritual perspective. Sleep is a big deal! Depending on those answers, I go spinning at the Y later or do Rodney Yee’s gentle AM yoga routine making the choice based on what my body wants and not just what is necessary.
I make tea (a special Harney and Sons blend called Hot Cinnamon Spice) using the silver tea pot I was given as a wedding present. It used to sit tarnishing on the buffet until one day I thought, “What am I saving this for?” At local antique shops, I bought a slim silver breakfast tray, a very fine bone china cup with a tiny gold spoon, and linen napkins with a crochet border. All for less than $25.00! Using these beautiful things, I linger over my tea, read the local paper, study art and design magazines, consult my calendar, e-mails, texts, and Facebook accounts. By then both my sweethearts (one two-legged and one four-legged) are up, and I am ready to get going.
I always put on make-up even though I work at home. Painting my face is like painting a canvas, ── one with a rough surface! I especially love choosing earrings to wear. My little private joke is putting on beautiful earrings every day with my ratty studio jeans and t-shirts.
I am very grateful for the time now to actually think about how to start my day and for the sheer joy of transforming routine into ritual.
Snooze-alarm 15 minutes, make bed, get coffee, check news, facebook, email, handle immediate correspondence, finish drying laundry and fold/hang it, shower, head to morning job or paint session.
I’m so jealous of all you morning people! I’m embarrassed to say when I get up. My morning always begins with a pot of tea and oatmeal while reading daily meditations and checking email and social media. Then if I have sold a painting I pack and mail it first thing. On my happiest days I then paint, however other things take priority all too often.
I get up at 4:30, make coffee, check my phone, head into my studio. Paint a small picture, post it on Instagram (every single day) then get on with my day, children, breakfast, lunches, school and then back to the studio at 9:30 am to get to work. The early free hours are my favorite, I’m not beholden to anyone but myself and my own imagination, I’m free to do anything, and I revel in the gift of the early morning hours.
I like that….Paint a small picture, post it on Instagram (every single day)…
Wow! Posting a small painting every day is an amazing accomplishment! Good for you!
Kristin, what is your instagram handle? Would love to see!
I have coffee delivered to me. Go to my office – do business. Exercise. Try to get everything I must do out of the way so I can create in the afternoon. Not entirely successful with this, but working on it.
Since menopause, my sleep has been more fractured. 28 years of being a full time professional artist, when I’m asked I still tell the story that on painting days (Mon- Thurs unless I’m travelling) I get up , go for a run and am in the studio an hour or so later to paint. In reality, now I wake up with whatever sleep I’ve had – a sleep in is so sweet these days. I run some days. Some days I catch up on writing. Some days I gym. Some days I start in the studio as soon as it’s light. For a while, when I shared a paper delivery with my elderly neighbour who couldn’t get out of the house to pick up from the lawn, I read the paper. Avidly and peacefully. And I think that is the clue. That hour or so that is mine, without words and people, is not necessarily ritual that extends ‘Me Time’ but is the beginning of the ‘ work time’. It’s an essential part of the creative process in a situation where a commute is from kitchen to studio rather than across a city. (And ‘work time’, sorry office workers out there, it is almost hedonistically MY time too.) Wouldn’t swap it for quids.
I can so relate to your post! Love my short commute, too.
My mornings usually start very early, opening my bedroom window that sees my garden.
I spend the first beautiful half to an hour checking the bonsai and all the plants and taking care of their needs.
That always clears my head, makes me feel good.
While I have my coffe and a soft boil egg, I check my list that I have prepared the night before with the most important things that I need to focus on.
There are always extra things that pop up that get my attention. Some can be avoided, but not everything. If I am working on a commission, I jump to my work for about 3 hours without interruption and that’s how I usually start my day…
I get up at 6, take a shower and make a pot in a French Press, then toast wheat tortillas and have several with butter, or Melt, non-dairy you know. Then on to eggs and a second cup, followed by a short walk. I begin work at 9 a.m. and work until noon, trying to get throwing done before lunch, including trimming previous days pots. Then comes lunch, afternoon work until 4, then to Vitamin Cottage for groceries and, if its spring, summer or fall, lighting the grill or turning on the oven. Supper with a glass of chilled wine, fruit for desert, and if deadlines are looming, back out to the studio for work in the evening. The main thing is to keep showing up. Keep working.
I start my day at 6:30am with prayer & meditate on how I am to go about my day. I clean up, have breakfast & exercise. I work as a production artist three days a week & I freelance my portrait artwork the others. I always live in the solution, so there is always a challenges in my life to strive for. I love meeting new people because with new people, there are new ideas.
My day starts quite early… I am up by 4:30 am and off to shower..5-6 am yoga time and then I head to the Kitchen…make breakfast, lunch, and some parts of dinner, pack lunch…get the kids ready for school by 7:45…then off to clean up the kitchen, have breakfast and hopefully by 9 am, I get to the studio…( I have a help who comes over to clean up the house, do the dishes and dry the laundry, take away the trash…. )
I wish…I could get to the studio the first thing in the morning…I am very productive in the early hrs…but am committed to the kids and house for at last next 10 yrs…
I plan my day the previous night and also do a weekly planning on Sunday evenings…
I am so impressed with all the artists that get up early and get right to work on their art! I am definitely not a morning person. No matter what time my alarm goes off, I hit the snooze button a few times before finally getting up. Then it’s coffee, breakfast and checking email, news etc. By the time I get going, it’s mid to late morning. I seem to work on my art on small patches of time, in between doing other things. I would like to adjust my routine to have a more consistent block of time for working on my art.
I am thinking we are all crazy. But what more can we do each morning than get up and exercise, responsibilities, and pray for time to paint later. After retiring I thought time would stop. Ha, that hasn’t happened yet. So with everyone thinking I am sitting home watching soapies and eating bonbons, I decided to get up at four o’clock am and paint. No one bothers me. I feel rejuved after being alone and throwing paint and then I can do the above feeling great. By four in the afternoon I am no good to anyone, but by then, everyone has settled down and doesn’t want me anyway.
Have loved reading everyone’s posts on morning routines. Mine starts around 6:30am with throwing on comfy clothes and doing daily chores, including feeding two hungry cats. Once I’ve gotten past chores I make a hot buttered coffee with coconut oil (trying to eat healthy fat first thing), and sit down at my computer to take a look at email and my to-do list (Things). I invariably shuffle things around a bit on my to-do list, and lately rather than keeping all 20-30 things that are needing my attention, I whittle it down to 10 (with Alyson’s voice in my mind saying “you can’t do everything”. After getting my to-do’s for the day decided, I take a quick look at email and respond to what needs responding to, followed by reading a few favorite blogs. On a good day I can set aside a few hours to focus on art-making, but lately I’ve been juggling getting ready for a few shows, which pulls me in another direction. I’m so much wanting to get to a point of scheduling large blocks of time for art-making, such as 3 hours a day. That would be heaven!
I wake up and make coffee anywhere from 5am-7am. Check email and social media. Consider what project I have. Set up and work on one of my handpainted scarves. Try not to panic about bills coming due. Reread positive affirmations. If I have a networking meeting or other appointment, shower and dress. I might also upload new photos to website and social media, write a newsletter, write a blog, write a page or two about how not to apply for a day job while building my business. May require lying down until feeling goes away. Do some household chores as a way to avoid anxiety about freelancing. Read email about a day job someone sent me. Seriously consider it. See a pattern here?? Lol
My day begins between 5 and 5:30. After breakfast and getting ready for my day job, I work in my studio until 7:45. It may also mean checking into FB and Instagram. I am out of the door, usually rushing, and at work by 8:30. I work three days a week for a private practicing dentist. Usually get back around 6 or 6:30 and find myself totally bushed after dinner but walk the woods anyway to attempt to get in at least 5,000 steps a day. Lately, since the days are longer I ride my bike after dinner and search for pictures. If the golden hour looks like it will be beautiful, I drive to either a park, a trustee property, or down to the water front in Boston to look for pictures. In the winter my days are so short, that I find myself watching to much TV after dinner. I use the other two days a week to print, work on projects, catalogue my images and exercise.
My morning routine actually begins the night before; where I list the major tasks that I want done the following day. When I do wake up the following day, I start with a prayer. Then exercise for a minimum of 30minutes outside. (I push myself to go outdoors since I spend most of my work time indoors.) After that, I do the following: read parts of books or articles (15-30mins tops); clean the house while listening to motivational videos on You Tube. I then have breakfast with the family. If my family had breakfast already, then I just listen to more motivational videos while I eat alone.
All of the activities listed above are usually done by 9 to 9:30 am. Then I settle down to work in my home office until noon.
That’s pretty much my usual morning routine. It only deviates if I have a meeting in the morning or I bumped into a friend on one of my runs/ exercise. When that happens, I just move my scheduled reading and/or exercise time in the evenings.
I relished reading the morning routines and rituals. I a woman of a certain age, and menopause is a rear view mirror event.
My Weekday Mornings:
5AM-6AM Rise and shine time.
Need to entertain myself for 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating. It’s a med thing. So I cuddle up with the iPad, a large mug of half-cafe coffee and a cozy blanket and study. Right now I am taking an online travel writing course which leads to studying travel articles and honing in on photography skills. Sometimes Facebook and Twitter accounts are opened, however, most of the time not. This early block of time flies by.
Savor A tasty low glycemic high protein breakfast of hard boiled eggs, instant oatmeal with dried fruit, fruit or veggies and coffee. Boiling enough eggs for the week, and assembling single serve portions of instant oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts saves beaucoup time and money and might even boost creativity. I like to think the creativity part is true.;)
7AM—8:30AM Go for it!
Get myself ready for the day and work in a couple of morning chores.
8:30AM Studio Time
Enter the studio, pull up the roman shade, whisk open the curtains and turn on some lights. Love to see the outdoors! On the desk is an artist/writing journal opened and garnished with two super sharp pencils. Right away, I can write at least one bulleted entry onto the ongoing gratitude column. Throughout the day I devote small amounts of time to write or draw on the journal pages. The daily drawing and writing goal is to wear down the lead on the pencils. I print out customer emails and jot down three studio chores to finish during the day.
9:00-12PM Focus on Creativity.
This is coveted, much appreciated time. It is phone free, unplugged time. It is manage one important task time. I work on a customers website design or an illustration or write articles for my website. I feel that this dedicated time is as important as Susan B. Anthony felt about fighting for women’s right to vote.
Today’s first gratitude entry is, “I am grateful for weekday mornings.”
The thought of retirement brings on anxious feelings. The thought of working as an artist for the rest of my life fills my days with contentment.
Thank you Alyson for inviting us to write about our morning routines. Everyone has an interesting morning story.
Well, it’s not Monday or even the right week, but here is my Monday routine:
I’m not a “morning person” at all and I work at home so I get up around 10ish, make coffee, get dressed, have coffee on the patio in the sun with my husband, read the paper, prepare a plate of food for each lizard (2 iguanas, a bearded dragon and an alligator lizard), clean up any dishes from the night before, throw in laundry. I’ve made Mondays my “do the computer work for the business” day. I paint and show/sell my art at two all-day regular venues each Saturday & Sunday, plus various other art shows.
I have a pre-teen and a teen – which makes mornings slightly more hectic for me. Despite being a night owl, I get up every morning at 630-walk the dog and then endure a chaotic, breakfast period of getting the kids to eat, put away the dishes and get ready for school. By 830, the kids are at school and I am home. From 830-lunch I have a really hard time being creative. I check emails, do computer stuff and package/send out online orders. After lunch, my creative juices finally start kicking in and I will sketch, paint or make lists of things I want to paint/make. I would love for my morning to be more creatively productive, but instead I am wide awake painting after dinner until 11pm or later.
I have been a Methodist Minister for 34 years and will retire in 6 weeks. My morning routine has been to set the day’s work for the preacher and the artist gets what’s left over. It is a miracle I have done what I have done. I have shared my studio space with the washer and dryer. I have had Church members tell the Admin. Board that I wasn’t paid to paint and try to sell. I lost my art supplies for 15 months when FEMA took over my Church after Katrina and stored them. People tell me I’m too young to retire. I’m 61 and retiring to my art, finally. This is blessed and ordained by , none other then God!
Currently I rush around like a chicken with my head cut off because I didn’t bother getting things ready Sunday night. I like to stretch the weekend out as long as I can so I end up not preparing Sunday night. So, Mondays are full of messy haired boys, unorganized back packs, lunches with crazy snacks foods and rushed breakfasts. I’m trying to get back into calm routines and 5k runs in the morning… and writing. I write best with the morning sun streaming in the window and my muse sitting beside me, filling my mind with words.
Oh wow, I love hearing what everyone is doing. I am at a point in my life where art is pretty close to the top of my list. I wake up at 6, coffee with some quite time to give thanks and ask for guidness. Some time I make a list for the day. I then go for a walk or to my exercise class, come home check my e-mails and tidy up the house and then up to my studio around 10. and I’ll be up there all day with a brake for lunch. Some days I have other artist stop by to paint and one that make jewely. I am bless with a sweet husband ,2 kids and 3 grandkids.
PS plus I get to live on beautiful Kauai
Im up 7-7:30 I try to be in the gym before 8 an out by 9 .I have a regular job 10am-6pm Im a barber by day,an artist by nite.Im usually in my studio 9pm 3am depends how Im feeling and what Im working on .I’m lot more disciplined with my time now that Im older and I pray a little wiser.I thank my wife for allowing me to have a side chick and her name is Creating Art .