Hubert Massey creates massive public art pieces, like the fresco at TCF Center and large mosaics in parks and overpasses in Detroit, Flint and elsewhere.
Most of his projects take months to complete. Yet most of them start with ideas, and sketches. Massey, who is a co-founder and a board member of Mint Artists Guild, is staying home now, but that doesn’t mean he’s slowing down. He’s creating smaller pieces – paintings, sketches and an obelisk prototype for a public art piece.
“I still don’t have enough time in the day,” he said. He runs Hubert Massey Murals, which brings together artists, engineers, community groups and businesses to create large public art projects.
“I have the habit of getting up early in the morning,” Massey told Mint. He starts with breakfast and a smidgen of news. Then Massey turns on jazz music and turns to work on the creative project for the day. By 3 pm
many days, he’s finishing up and ready to take a walk.
Developing such habits and a schedule help with productivity, Massey said. “Start at a certain time…. Schedule your work hours.”
Here’s three more tips from Hubert Massey on staying creative and productive:
Create a list. Artists need a projects list, where they capture the ideas they may want to pursue, he said. His list includes painting portraits of some other well-known Detroit artists such as Michael Horner and home improvement projects. Keep your list updated and look online for ideas.
Set goals. Know what you want to complete by the time everything is opened up and go after it. Or set smaller goals. Massey enjoys watching documentaries related to science and art, and suggests emerging artists watch one a day of an artist or musician.
Engage with others. Massey likes to hold community forums and ask questions and hear stories. Start this on your social media, or with a conference call with five or seven people. Ask questions such as “what are 10 images you want hanging on your wall?” he suggested.
Don’t worry if your art supplies are thin or nonexistent. Use whatever you find around the home – newsprint or recycled materials or paint on old bowls. “If you’ve got a pencil, then draw,” Massey told Mint.
“You have to be strong within yourself and do what makes you happy.”
Watch for more insights on creatives managing themselves and their work in future posts.
© Vickie Elmer 2020 for Mint Artists Guildart
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