As you can see, I am most definitely a night owl. Even at the ripe age of five, I would stay up till midnight to watch Matlock (don't ask). From kindergarten to my senior year of high school, this was a difficult preference to maintain. Getting up to go to school was always a struggle, oftentimes because I was up late at night reading, drawing, watching TV...basically doing everything but sleeping.
While at college, being a night owl was a lot easier. I could select classes later in the day and have fun or do all of my assignments at night. I actually found myself being more productive between 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The work I produced during that time slot was often better because I simply was more alert, focused, and inspired. I call it being in "business-mode," because there is a strange focus and clarity that I am able to maintain when working on projects at night.
Now that I've been out of college for a few years, I am back to struggling with the need to get up early in the morning, and the want to stay up late doing what I love. All of my illustrations are created in the evening for a reason, as I find myself generating more ideas and simply being more creative at nighttime.
I have been reading a book called Daily Rituals, by Mason Currey. It's an interesting look at how artists work. While some are early birds and maintain rigorous and highly organized schedules, I have related to quite a few that produced all of their work at night.
A lot of people have told me that I simply have to develop a routine to go to bed earlier in order to adjust my circadian rhythm. Perhaps this is true, but I do believe that we often have a natural disposition towards being early birds or night owls. And while sometimes my night owl preferences can be detrimental to the following morning, I often don't regret it because I know I at least created something worth it.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? What daily routines help to aid your artistic process?
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