A Day in The Life

a day in the life

What Do Artists Do All Day? A Day in The Life of An Artist

I woke up, I stumbled out of bed, dragged my fingers across my head. Found my way across the floor, let the machine pour me a cup. I made my way upstairs, and noticed I was later than usual. I found my slippers and grabbed my blanket and laid back in my chair as I read the news on my iPhone. Found some emails waiting to be answered and some comments on my Facebook and Instagram that needed a response. Grabbed my mug walked downstairs to the shower, washed the night before off and got ready for a cup more. As the coffee machine churned loudly, I glanced outside through the kitchen window and my mind noticed the clouds drift by, in a different way than the day before. I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera, another distraction and another opportunity to capture life with distinction.

I am a full-time artist, a professional, though that always sounds a bit weird to say, as it’s not like being a Dr. or Lawyer. It’s not a 9-5, although I try to stick to a schedule, as it helps me to turn the brain down a notch and also remember to engage in life, outside my studio. Like being a hockey player, it is something that grew from love and play and a love of this thing called ‘making art’ more than anything else in the world. Turning a childhood dream into something that sustains me, still seems like a dream, one that comes true every day that I wake up and stumble out of bed.

My day begins just like yours, but what I do all day is a balancing act between right and left brain. Between what I want to do (make art) and what I need to do (sell art and communicate with people outside my studio). These are polar opposite things, one is creating something from the purest voice within and one is about commerce and structure and marketing. One is highly personal and one is a means to making more art and the career grow and art last generations. A dealer said to me the other day, I shouldn’t be thinking about the latter, but that it also should be the most important thing, this explains the art business in the most succinct way I am able, from the perspective of an artist navigating it. As a hyper-sensitive artist with a bulletproof set of armour, this could drive one to drink or go crazy, and sometimes it is quite hard to reconcile these two halves.

So while we endeavor to make art for arts sake, sometimes we need to make art for commerce sake, so we can continue to do the first, and magically sometimes the two converge and this is the sweet spot.

A Day in The Life

My weeks and days are flexible but I also adhere to a routine. I get up early, have coffee work in the office until about 11am and then head down to the studio. I paint until noon, break for lunch and exercise and then back at the painting until dinner. Then more office work, reading, maybe a webinar, and build a list for the next day. I have a number of lists, weekly to do, daily to do, annual to do. I have lists for my office and for my studio work. These lists differ greatly, the studio list is mostly ideas for work, series of paintings and future shows. The office is all the rest, the submissions, emails, newsletters, website, social media, sales, shipping.

A Day in The Life

My studio has become a sacred space, a place where I make art, have my art books and all the things I have collected that relate to work I may make in the future. I moved my office out of my studio after a flood during the pandemic and it was the best decision I ever made, I feel it has changed my work completely. The studio is now a place I can really disappear into the flow of painting and creating. Listening to music and books, a place where I can read and reflect. My studio is by far my favourite place in the world. It is all I really need in the whole world, to make me happy.

A Day in The Life

Brandy Saturley Studio – Victoria, BC Canada

I have often said that artists are like athletes, I have written about it many times before. Athletes and Artists aren’t very fond of this comparison, perhaps because one relates to physical exertion and physical toughness and a competitive nature. I think if I were to take any athletic sport and contrast it with being an artist it would be golf. For with golf as with art, the competition is with yourself, and it is a lifelong sport and while there is a development of skills and discipline, so much of the game is in the head and with the elements. Athletes and artists have to find a way to fund their careers, they have to find patrons, sponsors, and supporters. They have to find a mental toughness and block out the world around them, but also be open to everything the world delivers.

The Heavy Lifting of Art Making – Brandy Saturley

A Day in The Life – The Artist Process

Every few months I find myself on the road, with living on an island on the extreme west coast of Canada, I find it is integral to keeping myself engaged in the conversation of Art, outside of my immediate world. These ‘art road trips’ offer the opportunity to break out my Nikon and work out my photographer’s eye. These trips also offer the opportunity to engage with the places I visit and these art communities. Visits to art museums and galleries, offer opportunities to keep myself sharp and engaged in the global conversation of art. These trips offer the time to breath, to experience a new place and new perspectives. Adventures that get me writing, photographing, sketching and thinking, deeply. This is my process as an Artist.

A Day in The Life

Brandy Saturley with her Nikon at Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland

This is what Artists’ do all day. We continuously fill the vessel, soak up the rhythms of the world and pour it out in many different ways. We are disciplined, but also need time for play and discovery. We are always seeking to go further with our art and challenge ourselves and our conversations with the world. We are diving rods planted deeply within the Earth, and it can be hard to disconnect from this, so we must keep schedules, this helps.

To see more of my journey and inside my studio, check this out.