Snow Days. Corporate Taxes. Birthday Parties. Sick pets. Dirty Laundry. Just a few of the reasons that I am behind-probably some of the same reasons you are behind too. Gone are the days of the Royal Artist supported by patrons while the rest of us toiled in the fields. That’s a good thing. On the other hand, as individuals in modern culture we are now required to be knowledgeable about-and preferably excel at-any number of disciplines. Parenting. Working. Finances. Technology. Making your own homemade organic cookies with hidden veggies that you grew yourself. Oh yeah, and Art. Now we make art while toiling in the field (figuratively, at least).
So, I’m behind. According to my calculations, I should be at the 350 hour mark for studio work, and 175 for marketing. I’m actually at 173 for marketing, thanks to some long hours spiffy-ing up my website. But my studio hours are at 294. For those of you who like quantifying data as much as I do, that’s 84%. When I looked up 84%, I was surprised to find that it is equal to a B. It feels more like a B- or C to me. Not acceptable! But I think I can still catch up. With a 56 hour deficit and 18 weeks left in the year, I can do it with 3 extra hours a week. I’m going to aim for 5 because I know the holidays are going to knock some weeks out of the running.
Unfortunately, until someone starts making money from your work, the world for the most part doesn’t care if you make art today or not. (Cynical, yes, but I think true.) So you have to hold yourself accountable if art is what you want to be doing. That’s what this blog is all about. It’s not too late to revisit your own goals-go do it!
Well, I am having a good month. As I mentioned in my last post, some of my work was accepted in a show in MN. Earlier this week I entered some more drawings in a local juried show and one was accepted. So I actually have work in two shows that are opening this weekend, and this is the first time I have ever been able to say THAT.
Lest you think I am resting on my laurels, however, I did take the time to assess my progress on my 2014 goal of 750 hours. As the end of the first quarter, March 31 is a benchmark date for many businesses and so it seems like a good time to revisit those New Year’s Resolutions. I had a somewhat rocky start to the year and as of mid-February I was definitely behind schedule. However, I put in extra time to make up for that, and have gotten myself caught up again.
So as of March 31, 2014 (thirteen weeks into the new year), my progress stands as follows:
Studio time- 133 hours, which is three hours over the goal of 10 hours a week.
Marketing etc- 64 hours, or one hour short of the goal of 5 hours a week.
I’ve also added a new category of “supporting tasks,” for things like framing, purchasing art supplies, and research, which don’t really count as hands-on time in either category. I have racked up an additional 36 hours there, for a grand total of 233 hours in 2014.
Again, I know this kind of time keeping seems obsessive, but it works! It’s a lot like writing down all of your calories(don’t get me started) so you have a true picture of what’s going on-no room for excuses. And, for the moment at least, it seems to be paying off.
As for me…. looking back, I see I have only applied to two shows so far this year, so I need to work on that. (Although I like my current acceptance rate as it is. J)
P.S. Here are the drawings …
This year, I am proud to say that I am a Regional Artist Project Grant recipient, courtesy of the Arts & Science Council of Mecklenburg County and NC Arts Council. I wrote the proposal in September 2013 and was approved. So what does this mean?
Applicants to this grant write a proposal asking for funding-usually for equipment or travel/study costs-and make a specific statement about what they will do with the funds and how their growth as artists will be impacted. My proposal was “To purchase an entry level DLSR camera and intervalometer to produce time lapse videos documenting the creation of large scale drawings.” For a couple of years I have been experimenting with photographing and posting work-in-progress pictures. These pictures have been met with interest and support from those who have seen them. (Thanks!)
For a while I have been intrigued with the idea of taking this process to the next level. About ten years ago a friend told me, “You are obsessed with accounting for your time.” Given the premise of this entire blog, I guess she was right!
So the “anticipated outcome” of my project is to produce 3-5 of these videos. I had a great week in the studio creating a trial video. I still have a pretty steep learning curve: finding the best camera settings and position, getting the math right(I took way too few frames for the first half of the project), learning not to kick the tripod out of place midway through the process, and I have a long way to go in learning the production phase. In this particular video, I would like to figure out how to begin and end the video with a longer pause on those frames, and maybe add some text and audio.
That being said, I couldn’t wait to post it! So here it is, in all its amateurish glory. Hope you enjoy it.