As another show season starts I thought I’d reflect on what it means to an artist to have some down time. I’m lucky in that I typically have several months off between my last show of one year and the first of the next.

Not every artist has that luxury. I know several who do a show practically every weekend. Year round. It’s hard for me to imagine. I’ll tell you why.

Aside from how exhausting shows are for me, my down time is just that: down. It’s a time of rejuvenation at my favorite place. I get to reconnect with friends and take care of our somewhat rambling place. But more importantly, as an artist, I need space and quiet to hear what needs creating. I talk about pieces and of course have lots of ideas throughout the year, but it’s my hiatus from the show circuit that allows me to realize my visions.

Laurel working on Winging It

Working on Winging It in my completely not-messy studio.

I go into my off-season with a lot of anticipation, wondering what might come of it. This year has been particularly productive for me, with three new limited-edition tabletop designs. It’s been a while since I realized three pieces of this size in one burst of creativity.

The time passes all too quickly, of course. It’s always a push to get pieces through each phase of the lost wax process. Then, before I know it, I’m getting reminders of show application deadlines. Then we’re making hotel reservations and scheduling the house sitter.

But don’t think it’s all gloom as my hiatus ends. The days are getting longer, and I begin to anticipate being able to share new work. And to frankly get out of the house, revisit some other parts of the country, and reconnect with my broader community of art show carny friends.

So for me, it’s a nice cycle. A drawing in followed by a reaching out. But that’s just my experience. I’m sure every artist is different. See you out there!