Wednesday, February 03, 2010

We've talked before about spending less. It's a popular topic during this recession and always amongst artists and other such professions of unpredictable income. I'm remaking a useless basket as an example of making more of things I already have at hand. This idea often strikes me in the dressing room, staring at the tired clothes hanging there. True enough, I'm an artist with a home-based studio. I get dirty painting and sculpting. I dress the part. But I'm still a girl. I like clothes. They're just not in the budget at present. As I look I see pieces hanging there that would be fabulous if combined.
A baggy old rabbit hair sweater and silk tee could become a fur-trimmed one-of-a-kind. I stand there, longing to design and stitch. I even have a set of very cool metal cast rat buttons that Ravyn sent me forever ago...
Then I hear the very sound advice from Jane Frank:
"Lisa, just because you can do anything doesn't mean you can do everything."

It's advice that's helped me stay on track, and not feel 'guilty' for the things I don't do. We must pick and choose our projects, in reality. We have to learn (yawn) time management.

I know this. True enough, I'm a artist. I'm my own boss. It has its obvious advantages. If I get a cold, or a case of the 'fuck-it's' or get completely caught up in, for instance, Daphne Du Maurier's The Scapegoat (highly recommended) I can take the time. I alone am responsible for the consequences. But when I'm at the top of my game as a professional artist, I behave as a well-compensated executive for a company I adore. You can call this a mental trick and perhaps it is. Self-motivation is difficult and I'll take all the help I can get. Try it, if you haven't. If you're working on a project, from writing to cooking a meal, look at your work from the perspective of an employer. It's sort of like playing chess with yourself, in that you must switch roles. It's also very informative. Neatness counts. Presentation counts. What sort of employee review would you give yourself? Not to mention that a job well done is very rewarding.
Then there's balance. Priorities. Realizing that sometimes playing is the most important task at hand. Or making something for the pleasure of creating. Which reminds me, the tomatoes need looking at. The seeds have all sprouted.

Scheduling helps. I have a list of things that must be done today. Then a blank space for about 2 hours when I can do as I wish. We'll see how that works out.

Have a good Wednesday.

5 comments:

Melissa P said...

Hurray for those mental tricks! Wherever would we be without them. May you always maintain the balance between the CEO and the mad creative genius.

ravyn said...

Scheduling is still an uphill battle thingie for me.

However, your post did remind me that we have some costuming to do for Balticon.... !

lisa said...

Thanks Melissa! It's a mad balancing act, for sure. Sometimes I can hear the circus music in the background--especially when teetering on the fine line of panic!

ravyn--I'm pretty sure it's an uphill battle for all of us. And, yes! we do have work to do. I should send you sketches!

ravyn said...

Yes! Send me sketches! AIM me, call me!

We're supposed to have a big snowstorm this weekend. i'll be here so come get me girl! :-D

Carl V. said...

Those mental exercises are sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day. Self motivation is hard...really, really hard. Even working for a company I find it hard some days to motivate myself to give my very best and accomplish the things I need and want to accomplish.

With our commitment to save money I think we've also added a commitment to save some time. Not every popular tv show needs to be watched. We don't need to see every new film that comes out. We do need to spend time with each other, to spend some quality time alone and being quiet, and spend some time giving back. Investing our time this way has made all the difference in finally feeling grown up, mature, and in control of our lives.