Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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10/06/2004: "Can a Night Person become a Morning Person?"

I've always *loved* staying up late as humanly possible. I'm not sure why, but there is still something that seems heavenly decadent in staying up until 3 or 4am. However, this financial advice book I'm reading suggests getting up a couple hours earlier every morning (by 5:30am at the latest) and to use the time to work towards personal goals (in my case, using the time to paint or tend to the management end of my art business). The author said that initially it was incredibly difficult but after awhile he started to really enjoy the extra time each moring, though he conceded he is usually in bed by 9:00pm!

I think that regardless of morning or night, I have to get better at sticking to a painting routine. I'm just not working as regularly since the fall term started. My job at the university has really kicked into high gear and by the time I finish my regular job, then put in several hours on my various volunteer projects, the only energy I can muster is enough to flip channels on the remote until the wee hours and then fall asleep on the couch...

I guess I can try it for awhile. Tonight I'll set my alarm for 6:00am, just for the hell of it. I'm not sure a dyed in wool Night Person can ever be reformed though. Quick poll, for any artists or creative types out there, are you more artistically productive in the morning, afternoon, or evening (or late late at night)? To be honest, I've never even tried to paint early in the morning. I might really be missing out.

On a different not, a young couple (who read this blog and wrote me asking about Juneau and Alaska etc. and later decided to move here from Lincoln Nebraska!) met some friends and I at a new restaurant on the wharf for dinner and drinks tonight. It was a lot of fun. They seem very cool and seem to like Juneau so far, though they're only here for a few days to find an apartment. They're leaving tomorrow (Thursday) night and will drive up to Bellingham Washington (from Nebraska) and then take the ferry here to Juneau. My friends and I have offered to help them move in when the time comes, and my friend Jen and I are already debating who will throw them the welcome party when they come back. So come on everybody! You too can move to Alaska! It's beautiful, there are lots of eccentric weirdoes like me, and the government gives us fat checks every year just for living here (a dividend from state oil revenues).

Replies: 3 Comments

on Thursday, October 7th, Howard said

I find I'm most productive first thing in the morning. I'm usually up at around 6 and get most of my best work done before noon. After work I'm just too tired to care anymore.
It's really about doing what works for you though. If you are most productive at 3 am then go for it.

on Thursday, October 7th, Jim L said

I am more productive at any time when I don't have something to do later on - I just hate having an appointment or obligation looming over me to prevent me getting lost in art. So that usually means I am more productive at night when the only things looming over me are the dreams that will come in my sleep.

on Thursday, October 7th, Elise said

I think I agree with you Jim. It's funny, if it's a Sat. afternoon and I have a party I'm supposed to go to that night, just having something as small as that out there hanging over me is distracting. So I've pretty much completely stopped making any kind of specific plans with anyone.

Still, I haven't actually tired working in the morning. Maybe I could do things in the morning, like drawing thumbnails or doing mock ups in PhotoShop, or taking care of sending out slides and that kind of thing...and leave painting to the evenings and weekends.

Also, Howard, I think you are incredibly lucky that you get to continue on your work until noon...I can't wait until the day I can afford to only work part time at a "day job" and can give my full attention to art.