I'm pretty overwhelmed right now with projects. Whenever this happens I usually procrastinate by looking around for books/sites on efficiency or tips on how to get stuff done. The problem is pretty much all of them are for executives or managers. I don't really need to know how to organize my flight itinerary or how to run a board room meeting.
As an artist you're put in the uncomfortable position of having no real schedule for getting things done. You just have to get them done.
So I've decided to write about HOW to get stuff done, because people seem to think I get a lot done (personally I don't!) and by writing about this it will hopefully help you as well as me accomplish everything we want to.
So before I start posting the big stuff I just wanted to give a little morsel:
ARTISTS ARE VERTICLE
(Did you ever play that fortune cookie game where you added "...in bed" to every fortune? I want to do it to this title...)
When visual artists organize, it is usually vertically rather than horizontally. This is a right brain/left brain thing. You should organize however you need to but the funny thing is that almost all timelines are horizontal rather than vertical. This sets up an immediate subconscious break between your work and a timeline.
Nobody knows how time works or if it even exists! So chuck out your old calenders and in their place make some columns (you're an artist, don't be dictated to by standard expectations!). I've always been drawn to those planners that have each day as a bunch of stacked rectangles but they are very myopic. The scope is up to you; day, week, month, year, decade, life... beyond... however you need to frame your project this minute.
Doing this on paper and then laminating it is a simple way to make a planner that is reusable. If you write on most laminate with a sharpie it will clean off with rubbing alcohol or cleaner with high alcohol content.
Starting at the top is the traditional way to order events but doesn't going from the bottom up make more sense? Things grow upwards...
This also applies to work spaces. A trick I got from a friend was to use a "shoe tree to hold all my supplies. I can see exactly what I have, where it is, and what I use most is right next to it. I have it organized from the top to the bottom. Everyday items (glue, scissors, tape) I might use all the time are the lowest. Then comes pencils, protractors and stencils, then pens, markers, crayons and colored pencils, then brushes, then paints/paint supplies, fixative, etc. This is the basic order I use my tools.
At the top I have lines of Met pins in a rainbow of color reminding me of going to the Met each week to sketch and practice. This both a reminder of my practice and something that grounds me: a ritual. A totem.
These aren't fast and hard rules, but if you are a visual artist and get intimidated by timelines, maybe try a different approach.
More to come...