Monday, July 26, 2010
Time Management 101
I have been asked often how I stay so organized as an artist and meet deadlines and always enter the calls to artists, etc. that I plan to enter, meet commissioned work deadlines, and still work a full time day job and a full time artist job.
First, get a large monthly calendar and a pocket calendar appointment book. I am always surprised when I encounter people who claim how busy they are yet they do not carry an appointment book or will always ask me the key "when" and "where" details. When an event passes and they miss it, these people will be the first to say someone "should have reminded" them. Unless you can afford a personal assistant,your time management is your responsibility.
When I have some interest in applying for a grant or exhibit, need to look into something, etc, I immediately print off the information (I have a wireless printer), place it in a folder (called pending show entries)and note the deadline on the calendars. I give the paperwork a quick read to see what I need to submit. I then note the deadline in both calendars and also make a notation of the deadline, and "warnings" 2 weeks and 4 weeks in advance. Typically you will have several months notice of a deadline. My pocket book calendar/appointment book it small enough to fit into any handbag and it is not one of those huge organizers that people drag around. You just need a small book to make a notation, you do not need to write a novel (i.e,. x show deadline...submit by x date, mail entry or email).
Next, I check my saved art photos to see my most current work and make a decision if I already have photos of what I would like to submit or if I need to create something new or have some recent work professionally photographed. Typically, I have 4-5 pieces of work shot at once.
Third, do not make excuses. If you are constantly procrastinating and things are always "slipping through the cracks" or you are constantly forgetting something you wanted to do art wise, you might want to revisit your business plan or goals for the year and determine what is and is not working. Do you need additional training in your medium? Are you lacking the equipment or tools to do the job? Are you in the right art medium for you? Is someone discouraging you? If so, avoid the source of the discouragement. If you have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to build your resume, you will just create an increasing level of dread due to the disorganization. And if a bigger and better opportunity pops up and you need to drop something off your calender, you will have that information handy.
I make things simple for myself and avoid last minute scrambling. You cannot develop a resume as a visual artist if you do not reach out and enter shows and build your name.