Today's Post is by Lori Woodward Simons, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Find out how you can be a guest author.
I could write a 10 chapter book on time management for artists, and I'm well qualified to do so -- because, I don't have a natural bent toward self-discipline, but I've had victory over this beast from time to time. Fortunately, I have deadlines and commitments, and that's a blessing. Some folks are born with such a passion to do their work that they need no prodding. While I don't begrudge them that attribute, it's one that I don't possess, and I think there are probably a few other artists out there who are like me.
The fact that we artists often have trouble managing our time and tasks is evident. Since our right brain dominates our thinking patterns, we easily get lost in our activities -- while the rest of the world around us fades away. Other things on our "to do" list lose importance. It's a sort of out of sight, out of mind thing. I'm a see and do person. For example, I forget all about the fact that I need to put away my summer clothes and get my winter clothes out of storage unless I'm getting dressed. After I run downstairs to eat breakfast, I forget all about my clothes until I meander up to bed.
Because I live in my "right mind", I pay attention only to what I'm looking at or working on at the moment. That's why it's so hard for me to switch from the Internet to painting. I get locked onto my computer screen with such intensity that everything else in the world ceases to exist. Sometimes I look away from the screen and allow myself to wake up to the world that is living around me... the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the breeze is blowing...
On the postive side of things... this very type of focused behavior is what makes me a good artist. When I'm at my easel, the only thing I have eyes for is my painting. The phone ringing (telemarketer most likely) or my stomach growling are the only things that will snap me out of my right mind. Getting lost in my work is a good thing... when I'm working, but when I enter into a right brained trance while playing on the PC, reading email or magazines, it becomes a hindrance.
While none of these extra curricular activities are bad in themselves, engaging in them when I need to be working, is irresponsible.
Finally, we artists must deal with life outside of our artwork and online relationships long enough to live a real life. I've been pondering these things for some time now and am bound to write future blogs about it -- on topics like: why don't I spend time with my friends anymore - in person? How come I can't seem to get started on new art projects unless I have a deadline? How do I know that I am real... (like the Velveteen Rabbit asked) I've been spending too much time living a virtual life and not a real one where real people hug me?
I plan on sharing some of my self-imposed time management solutions with readers in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, feel free to share your solutions or admit your struggles in the area of time management. We can all benefit by working out solutions as a community... even if we can't hug.