This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
This morning Iím writing the second of a two-part article on how to put things off and get a lot done.
Can you tell Iím also procrastinating?
Iím supposed to be 1) calling a gallery; 2) preparing for a trunk show this weekend; 3) writing a column for a magazine; 4) walking the dog; and 5) Iím actually still in my pajamas.
There are two kinds of people in the world:
Those who believe artists sleep in til the afternoon, then rise to languidly daub at a canvas now and then, eating bonbons in their pajamas. And then they meet up with friends later for coffee or wine, talking and smoking Gauloise cigarettes until the wee hours of the night. (Well, okay, I have to admit the pajamas part is true. I just wish the bonbons were true, too.)
Then there are other artists and other small business entrepreneurs who know what it takes to be successful. They know itís not just about the creating. They know itís also about constantly refining technique, producing regularly, working with galleries, making cold calls, writing proposals and press releases, marketing, teaching, showing, selling, presentation. And of course, filing, cleaning, inventory control, paying bills, merchant services and not running out of printer paper just before your big mailing. Oh, and stamps. (I just realized Iím out of stamps.)
And they know itís usually one personóthe artistóhandling it all.
These people often ask me how I juggle so many of the tasks associated with a small art business. (The first group wants to know where I buy Gauloise cigarettes in New Hampshire.)
ďHow do you find time to market?Ē they (the first group) exclaim. ďAnd write? And still make art?Ē
Simple. I procrastinate.
And Iím really, really good at procrastinating.
When Iím supposed to be finishing up a wall hanging for an upcoming exhibit, I find myself besieged with great new ideas for jewelry. I drop what Iím doing and lunge for my work table. Soon a dozen new designs are scattered across my table top.
When itís time to label, price and deliver those new jewelry items to a gallery, I hit another lull. I hate pricing and labeling and inventory lists. Hmmmm... Maybe Iíll photograph those pieces instead.
I set up my little photography area. Soon Iím happily shooting jewelry at artistic angles. I edit the results and upload them to my online store.
Uh oh. I still have to price them. And I still hate pricing. Dang.
That reminds me I need to write a press release for that upcoming exhibit Iím in. Leaving the jewelry pricing, tagging and inventory for later, I scramble to pull together the details. I rough out a draft. Itís boring. My mind wanders...
Hmmmm...maybe I could include a photo. Of a wall hanging. The one thatís nearly finished, perhaps?
I return to the wall hanging with new energy. Soon itís finished and ready to go.
I photograph the wall hanging and remember Iím supposed to be writing a column for next week. Drat. I donít have any good ideas. Hey! Iíll finish that press release instead.
Eventually, the press release is written, the photo is attached, and itís sent out to local newspapers. The jewelry is finally priced, tagged and ready for shipment.*
This is a perfect example of how to make procrastination work for you. If you are putting off a major project in your art biz, simply substitute with another art project.
Caveat: Do not substitute an art project with a personal care project, housecleaning, sleeping or drinking. (At least, no drinking before the sun is over the yardarm...)
* My column still isnít done, though. I just got an order from my shop and I have to fill it today.
And I just realized I havenít blogged in a weekÖ!! Ummmm...Maybe I should get dressed and go walk the dog.