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Art Work Life Balance

letters on a beach that says work life balance


Art work-life balance is just like work-life balance. It's an easy oversight when you make your own hours, but none of us can escape this necessity.A few months ago I made a decision that was counter-intuitive but ended up being the one of the best high-risk decisions I have made in my art career thus far. I made the choice to go away for three days despite that fact that I would only have just over a week to complete a small series of work intended for an upcoming exhibition. 


It's not as though I didn't feel pressure. I felt pressure! I also wasn't sure about the new work I was making. It was a new direction in colour. It wasn't a safe place for me creatively. I felt guilty about my decision but once I had made it I went out of town and chose not to think about it anymore until I returned. It was a relaxing few days.


sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be


It wasn't until we drove into back into the Vancouver city limits that I felt that pressure begin to creep back into my mind. The next day in the studio I was completely focussed. I work with clarity and persistence. I created new work that (not to toot my own horn) blew me away. I was utterly astonished at what I accomplished and sold two pieces almost immediately. The response to the new work was incredible. I feel that there is no way I would have made this work if I had stayed in town and tried to push through to my deadline. Here is one of the pieces I created at this time:

pink snow scene painting with a black shape in the middle


This experience proved something to me. It was better to acknowledge my creative and general exhaustion and walk away for a while. Resting my body and mind and enjoying the company of good friends away from the bustle of the city had an amazing effect. I want to encourage you to assert an art work-life balance. When you rest, you need to rest completely. You can't half-ass it. Just like when you are working- you have to be 100% present. In my mind you simply can't have work without rest. I intend to keep this habit as my not-so-secret weapon. Please take the time to do this for yourself whenever you can - even in the face of deadlines. Even in the face of pressure to create new and challenging work. In order to create new and challenging work.


Image source [1]

Image source [2]

Image source [3]


About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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