What I’m Working On

Well I have about five two hours to go and I thought it was about time to get some pics on this blog. For obvious reasons, I haven’t begun any major projects this month. (I’ve got some things up my sleeve for 2014 though). December has been a time for tying up loose ends and having projects on hand that are easy to jump into for short snippets of time.

For the past couple of months I have been working on a series of smaller drawings with two goals in mind: testing out a variety of papers, and brushing up on my drapery skills. I am currently completing the last of four American Flag drawings, all in charcoal, on four different brands of paper. When I finish this one, I will share my experiences with the various papers. I hope this will be informative to all of you charcoal users out there.

American Flag IV (in progress)

9 Hours to go…

With three days left in 2013, I have two goals:  to finish up the last 9 hours to make a total of  500, and to set my goal for 2014. Although it may seem risky to raise my goal when I am making this one just under the wire, there is an extenuating circumstance. I made a major adjustment to my schedule mid-year by opting out of a very time consuming volunteer position.
Thanks to my trusty-and obsessive-record-keeping, I can see that I completed only 152 hours by June 30, or an average of about 6 hours a week. The remaining 348 hours were completed in the second half of the year, after I cleared my schedule. At a rate of approximately 13.5 hours a week, I should be able to complete approximately 700 hours in 2014. I will think about it for a few days and post my goal by New Year’s.

Had enough math yet? Go get in the studio.

500 Hours in the Studio

So, at the beginning of this year (2013) I made a New Year’s Resolution to spend 500 hours in the studio. Actually, the original idea was 10 hours a week; but give or take a little for holidays, busy work weeks, and unexpected events, 500 hours seemed like a good round number. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at any given pursuit. I wish I had a record of the hours between graduation from art school and this year, but I don’t … oh well.

So, here it is, December 17 December 20, and I am staring down the barrel with just 13 hours to go. I’ll make it, despite the variables introduced by real life; family, house, work (the income producing kind), and the impending holidays. But let me say this- if I hadn’t set the goal in the first place, there is NO WAY I would be forcing myself at this time of year to finish one last drawing, work on my Facebook artist page or start this new blog. As a matter of fact, I am quite certain I wouldn’t have spent the 487 hours that I have racked up to date.

I used an app to track my studio time, and faithfully marked each week’s total on my calendar. Many weeks were less than 10 hours (like no hours), but some were more, particularly if I had a deadline to meet. This year I decided to include marketing work such as researching shows and setting up my website in the total. Next year I am thinking of setting a separate marketing goal and requiring the 500 hours to be hands-on studio time.

Yes, I may be abnormally data-driven for an artist, but by setting this goal and breaking it into small bites, I set up a system of accountability for myself that is measurable and adaptable. And I got a lot done.

It is my intention to use this blog to document the day to day experience of building a career as an artist. I plan to include progress pics of my work, my experiences with the materials I use, things that inspire me, and successes and failures along the way (hopefully more of the former).

I hope it will be of interest to my fellow artists, art lovers, students, and curious bystanders. I welcome your comments-What are you working on? How do you motivate yourself to get your work done?

For a little more about what I do, check out my website.

Oh, and by the way, writing this post just brought my total up to 487 ½ hours