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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Organize this Chaos!! Help Needed!

Thank you everyone for chiming in and validating my theory that dining rooms are not just for eating anymore! The beauty of all this is just knowing that there are a 100 other people out there (if not more) doing things not so differently than you are doing. You don't need a 2500 sq detached studio with state of the art equipment to be able to create a decent painting or fabulous journal or funky hanging wall art. All you need are a few choice supplies and place to park your butt to get busy. I do sometimes get wrapped up in envy when I read magazines like Where Women Create or Studios and see how awesome everyone's studio looks and compare myself to the masses. I'm glad they do include a few shots of small spaces and corner nooks. Truthfully, do you really need all the bells and whistles to be a better artist? No, it has more to do with motivation, inspiration, and practice, practice, practice. Notice I don't say talent. Because I truly believe everyone has an ingrained ability to do whatever it is they choose to do. It just comes easier to some more so than others. For the masses, the creative skills are learned through practicing your chosen medium over and over again. It's not about the space, it's about the doing.
Now, with that said, let's get to the problem of the day. Or night.
Yesterday evening I met with a few of my g/f's who just happen to be local artists. We have formed a group to explore the business side of a creative profession. We have a jewelry artist, a home decor painter, a candle and paper artist, a fiber artist, and a few mixed media painters to name a few in our group. We all are on different levels of experience, some have been in the business for years, some have just tipped the iceberg from craft/art hobby to a profession. We all have the same problem though. Time management, stress, and organization. Organization and time management of our personal lives, our artistic lives, and our business endeavors. Some months we are spot on, other months it's total chaos for one reason or other...craft show season, holidays, publication deadlines, classes we are instructing, exhibitions, not to mention cleaning, house duties, basketball games, dog walking, laundry, hubby's and spouses that need our time, as well as some have outside jobs that carve out a good chunk of time requirements.
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My ask of my dear readers....tell me your best time management trick, organizational secret, life/work balance, motivational mantra or routine! If it's not art related that's fine too. We need help juggling it all!! In fact, that this is a topic for our February meeting and I'm being a good girl ahead of time and getting my HOMEWORK done early!! Ha! The 'teacher' didn't specify we had to come up with ideas on our own, so there! I'm calling in my blog readers to help me!

What will I do in return??? Well, I do have an issue of CLOTH PAPER SCISSORs that I will sign my article for you that you can win if I pick your name out of the hat, but your comment must include a helpful tip on time management, organization or motivation!! I'm still doing a giveaway for February so come back next week. This is a freebie!
Oh speaking of giveaways, the last picture is a custom piece I finished for last months giveaway, Kim decided to use her gift certificate and apply it to an original painting!! She wanted something in yellow and that said 'grow' on it so this is my's soooo adorable in person. I just lovelovelove it!!

Okay--so put your thinking caps on and lets get our homework done!!


PCarriker said...

My hint/tip for the art jouranler is to keep all of your journaling suppies in a basket or container that you can take around the house with you. I rarely journal in my studio, I do it while watching TV or while my son does his homework, or while I'm baking cookies. Having it all together makes it easy to transport it around the house without forgetting things and running back and forth. If you need to, buy duplicates of things you use in your regular artwork and have a spare set for journaling.
PS Kim is a LUCKY girl:-)

ArtSnark said...

Love the yellow!

Time management & I don't see eye to eye much any more ;D My not-so-secrets are coffee, lots of clear stacking containers & a planner I lose several times a week. Good luck to you!!

Cleveland Girlie said...

For the last oh 15 years or so my husband and I have a date - we clean the house top to bottom on Thursdays. We order pizza (or whatever) so we don't have to cook and we clean the house, mop the floors, vaccuum, etc., do the house so it sparkles - we stay up as late as we need to (sometimes until after midnight) so after work on Friday, we know we are coming home to a spotless environment, relatively free from stress so we can enjoy the weekend. Sometimes we even do the grocery shopping and cooking for the week on those Thursdays so we'd really get a jump on things and alleviate alot of that day to day stressful stuff. We are about dead when we fall in to bed Thursday, but wake up Friday morning happy and refreshed and ready for the weekend and whatever it brings. Then, Sunday night, we touch up whatever needs to be done and start the workweek organized and ready. That one long day (Thursday) makes it so there is a lot more free time during the week and on the weekends for play.
Oh, another biggie at our house - twice a year in October and July we do a major purge - out with anything we don't use frequently, etc. and do a major spring cleaning type of thing. THAT really keeps us organized and lacking clutter. Which again, leads to much less stress and more time to do the things we enjoy - and isn't that what life is all about?!!!
Great idea for a post, Jodi. I will be checking back to gleen what I can from other's experiences.

Nanette said...

Oh clever one. ~smile~ I concur with Cathie! GREAT IDEA for a post! I can't wait to see all the ideas.

Jean Skipper said...

This is a very timely post for me, Jodi. For a number of reasons and in a number of ways, I'm lost in the chaos right now.

I'm midway through downsizing my studio, and today I've been focused on eliminating all of those treasures that I'll realistically never use in my lifetime.

Honestly...they seemed like a good idea at the time! Most were a "bargain", and if one was good, more was definitely better.

I really did believe that SOMEDAY I'd complete the four needlepoint kits, use countless jewelry findings, make a felt Christmas Stocking for my husband, and find the perfect project for 400+ vintage photo mount corners and hinges that were still in their cute little packages.

My tip for the day is to let go of those things that no longer serve a useful purpose. On some level I know when I'm over something; I just have trouble letting go.

Room to breathe, a sense of order, and a peaceful heart are my top priorities for 2009.

Jean Skipper said...

PS...Cleveland Girlie, if you're EVER in North Carolina on a Thursday evening, you have a standing invitation here in my home. What a great system you have!

Heidi said...

I'm a big list-maker. But I also only focus on the next two or three things that have to get done. Otherwise I get overwhelmed.

QueenBe said...

The trick I couldn't live without is my LIST. Every Saturday or Sunday, I start my list for every day of that upcoming week. I only add things on a particular day when I can tell I will have time for it. If I have a double header baseball game and vet appointment and bills to pay on one day, I know I better not ad much extra when there is laundry, housework, extra errands and every day stuff to do. Every week I "try" and save just one day where I don't add much at all, and that is the day I know I can either play catch up, or just completely throw myself into whatever I want to do ( etsy, creating, shopping, whatever). The feeling of scratching things off my list as I accomplish them is so relieving. My mind is chaos without my list, but when I go to bed at night and everything is scratched off for the day that just ended, I cannot tell you what a relief it is. KEEP A LIST!

becky n said...

I have started looking at my space and deciding to convert areas into less traditional uses if it suits my needs. For example, my living room no longer has a sofa. Using chairs makes it much more flexible to arrange for other things - whether it be a large family dinner or a project where I want to spread out. I got the idea from a friend who is a weaver and had her looms set up in what would be her living room - that's where she needed the space most and that's where she spent most of her time. I get so frustrated with lack of storage space - the previous suggestions of clear bins, getting rid of things i know I'll never use, etc. are great. I think I'll go empty a bag of yarn. Good blog subject!

elaine said...

The best piece of advice I was given was sort the to-do's into catagories of importance - have to do's first, then like to do's and then, total indulgences! The key thing is to work out realistically how long each task will take and also how many hours realistically you have to spare in that day, and never set any more than you can practically do:-) That means no skimping on sleep!! This is just a model and when you are creative, it isn't always possible to say 'stop!' when you are on a roll, so to speak, but it does work well with all the boring bills and housework. Personally, I like to get the necessary stuff done so I don't feel guilty about enjoying myself later doing what I want!! Hope this is of help:-) I'll look forward to reading everyone elses ideas too.

Penny A said...

Jodi! What a clever girl, you are! Since you and I are essentially in the 'same boat' (USS CHAOS), I have no tip for you -- But I truly appreciate your creative approach to our 'homework' :-)
- Onward and Upward!

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

I’m loving all these suggestions!

My advice is to do several things at the same time…it sound crazy, but it’s really not. Here’s an example…

Yesterday I prepared some canvases…while waiting for the first wash to dry on the background, I started a load of laundry. Then came back to add the second wash, then folded some clothes, etc.

Also, I get some of my best work done on the toilet…lol! That is where I sit while my girls take a bath each night. I tote my canvas or whatever I’m working on and some supplies to the bathroom and work while my little ones are in the bath. You just have to figure out little tricks that work for you.

Tess said...

Jodi, Loved the paintings. ANd I agree with the others, this is a great blog topic. I remember once a blogger stating that she is not a crafter, she is an artist. Making Art is her job and she has set hours to "work" at her art job. She said when she made art as a hobby and was considered a crafter she was not as productive. When she realized she wanted to mak a living at being an artist she started "working" regularly scheduled hours making her art or doing the other things that go along with the "job", packaging,mailing, etc. I thought her comments made a lot of sense and I have never forgotten them. I can ususally tell a hobby crafter or a crafty artist at a show by how they speak of their art. I know you have a full time job and I am sure you understand that your artistic endeavers are not a hobby but they are your "second job". And personally,
I think you are doing great.......

You are all on the right track joining together as a group, a think tank of sorts. I expect there will be more great things to come.

Regina said...

Having supplies organized and stored so they are easily accessible is something that helps me. Otherwise I don't even want to be there. I just spent time sorting through some stuff (again) this past week & it's made my art time go better.
I've wondered about your art table. Do you stand when you work? You could get some of those risers that people use to raise the height of their bed. Then the table would be at a better height for working & less strain on your back, neck, etc. Then there is more energy, more productivity.
A friend elevated her work tables with lengths of PVC that she slipped her table legs on.

elaine said...

Just thought of another thing to add to the list. If you can, get your food shopping delivered - if they offer home delivery. This saves so much time and all that extra hassle that we could all do without:-) Unless you like food shopping?... Creatively, I need to know where all my materials are so everything comes easily to hand. I also find that if I clean up my workspace every evening I look forward to working in a clean space the next day. I also write a lot of lists so I feel sorted in my head and know where I am. It also means I don't spend hours sorting it out at night when I should be sleeping!
This really makes you think doesn't it? I wish I could be as organised as some of these suggestions - especially the housework day! I'm afraid that is usually at the bottom of my list:-)

Leah said...

Oh, I'm so not the person to ask about organizational tips. lol!

But seriously, I like to make cleaning chores more fun by listening to audiobooks, fun music, or podcasts while I work. It helps keep me motivated.

I get envious of those gorgeous spaces too!! But you can really create anywhere. I used to paint on the floor of my bedroom all the time and I still like to do that occasionally.

How awesome that you have this group of g/f's to focus on business stuff!!

Patti said...

Time management? Organized space?
I think I'll read the other comments for tips - and I agree with Leah, it is great to be able to talk shop with a group of artist buds!