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The (UN) Organized Artist

I would have to admit that as an artist and creative type, that much of my problem about sticking to a schedule for my creative work is a lack of organization. My children are ages 7 and 10 now, and I feel like when they are in school, I should have loads of time in my day to get my work done. This year I decided to not make excuses.

I used another artist and writer, named Austin Kleon that I came across many years ago and then built a quasi model based on some of his suggestions. I originally printed out a list I found on his blog, "How To Feel Miserable As An Artist", which is framed and hangs in my hallway leading up to my studio. This year, I came across his book, "How To Steal Like An Artist" which newly inspired me to become more organized. Austin Kleon claims that everything that we do is stolen- I like this concept as it is a modernized version of the philosophy that we are always building on the shoulders of other artists, that nothing is ever completely new or original.

What I took from the book, were his simple tips, where he gives examples or quotes from famous people that have achieved success in their fields. I developed a grid of boxes, where I note all of the things that I work on, for my WORK DAY, not what I do for my family and home. I purchased a Moleskin Journal, which gives me a page for journaling each day. This was hard to find and I started in February since I found A.K.'s book around that time. I started on February 1, 2018 and I'd say I've done moderately good with keeping track of my day even though most recently (in the last two weeks with the school year ending) I've been not as good with the system.

Here's what I *try* to do to organize my work day:

1. Journal what I have done with my day, events and things that actually have happened. This obviously means carrying the journal around which isn't that hard.

2. Note in my grid of boxes X's where I have accomplished tasks. Here is my list of tasks:


-Jewelry Making

-Metals /Beading (here I note which one I did in this box)

-Board Making (Boards for my Etsy store)

-Biking (I add exercise in my day because I feel it's non-negotiable)

-Exercise (other exercise)

-WS/M : this is Work Shmoozing or Marketing (this includes posting things on IG, FB, contacting anyone by e-mail or DM to form connections)

-Photos (for Etsy or paintings, or blog or otherwise)

-New Listings (to Etsy)

-PL/RE : Planning and Research

-FO : Fufilling orders for Etsy

-VI : Video : this is my newest endeavor

-SM : Studio Maintenance (cleaning up after myself, vacuuming, cleaning out anything or organizing)

That list doesn't even include blog writing and editing, and probably doesn't include many other things I could do and actually perform for my career in the arts.

What I've noted from doing this crazy type of journaling and box making is where a lot of my time is going. A big suck is the PL/RE : too much planning without action and 'researching'. Researching ways to do things, such as a jewelry making technique or watching 'how to's' on video making or video editing for instance are huge time sucks from painting or creating time.

Another huge portion of my day goes to cycling, as I am training for an endurance event in June. I don't see this ending after June, so I took sage advice from a friend, "If you only have two hours left, you make the best of those two hours." That sounded like good advice for someone who always intends to bite off more than she can chew.

I have fallen off the grid a bit, recently as stated earlier, however, just like a good diet, you have to get back on it. It's hard when there is so much to do with our busy lives.

I'd like to know the ways in which artists or creative types motivate themselves or organize their day, especially those of us who have families or other obligations. Please, let me know any crazy or creative ways you plan, and stay organized with your creative work!