Photo of Aireene Espiritu by Aki Kumar.
A few months ago, ACE, the nonprofit that I co-chair held a fundraiser featuring Filipina musician and songwriter Aireene Espiritu with her band The Itch. It was a great concert, and we hope to work with her again in the future. In the meantime, I came across a really interesting interview with her (by Prasun) in Songwriting Routines, in which Aireene discusses how she writes music, her minimalist lifestyle, and how she survives as an artist. She comments:
I make time alone a lot because it takes so much energy to first of all put yourself out there and all the things that you do to book gigs. Then you perform, and then you have to meet with the people afterwards and all that takes a lot of energy and I’m exhausted at the end of the day.
I make sure I make have a lot of time to myself. I think that’s part of also giving up, making time for friends and family sometimes. I’m trying to be better at it, but it’s still hard when you just want to just sit there and stare at the wall.
As a visual artist and writer, one can learn a lot from artists in other disciplines. My own routine is probably even less “routine” than Aireene’s. Basically, I do my art and writing between freelance editing gigs and nonprofit community work. The problem for me w/this kind of lifestyle is finding time to deepen one’s art practice — rather than just get the time in whenever one can. Just sitting and staring at a wall can sometimes be deeply creative — seriously. I’ve heard that, as an old Russian proverb goes, “morning is wiser than evening,” but unfortunately I’m not always that wise. What’s your routine, or do you have one? How does it weave in with your other work and responsibilities?