Hi again! I'm back to post another entry for my blog. Today I was going to write about drawing techniques... then I decided to write about thoughts regarding life in general... then I decided to write about quick recipes... and then I realized I was hungry :) So, now that I'm focused again, I decided to write about how to manage projects, from an artist point of view... or mainly, as a self employed individual, artist or not.
As an artist, especially as a self employed one, the apparent goal is to get as much work as possible. Well, that's the general notion, right? And to be fair, that is partially true. Having the opportunity to paint, draw, create, etc., in a regular basis and get paid for it, sounds like an awesome deal. Of course, I say this assuming that the fore mentioned artwork is right up your alley. If you find yourself creating artwork that you don't really like (let alone love), it won't be long before you dread doing it. So, for the sake of this entry, I'll assume that you really like what you do. This principle extends not only to artwork but to pretty much everything in life.
So, you are an artist getting work from all directions, keeping yourself busy. The more you do it, the better you get at it, which in turn brings you even more work... and so on. That sounds like a great thing... and it is. But for how long? Well, that depends on you. Shockingly, there can be too much of a good thing. I know, right? who would have thought of that? ;)
The hardest part is the beginning, when the work is not flowing, at least in the typical case. Getting your name out there is the first step, then the quality of your work will speak for you. It is normal to have a slow pacing flow of clients at first. Naturally, while in this phase, it's pretty normal to accept any kind of assignments. But eventually, with a lot of dedication, you'll find yourself having more and more people looking for your work. That's when the "bump" is behind, when you see the fruits of your dedication and hard work, with projects, assignments and commissions coming to you on a regular basis.
By this point, you find yourself thinking: "Wow! The work comes to me and all I have to do is draw? Awesome! Bring it on! Right?" Well, yes, that's great, but up to a certain point. First of all, more often than not, the self promoting work never ends. In order to keep the flow or work, you must keep your name out there. You can do this yourself or have somebody to do it for you (be it an agent, a friend, your spouse, a company, etc.). So, quick advice: don't ever stop promoting your work if you want to keep it going. Second, yes, it is awesome to have work coming to you all the time, but the moment will come when you'll have to decline projects. For many, that might sound pretty logical. But, I remember when I just started, being thrilled to accept any work that came my way. While that might work at first, eventually you'll find yourself getting behind on deadlines, and what's worse, getting stuck on projects that don't really align with your vision. Disliking your project/assignment and on top of that being late? Well, that hardly sounds awesome anymore, right?
I realized a long time ago that as a simple human, I won't be able to draw or render everything that I would like. It is just not possible (at least in my humble opinion). But that's not a bad thing, is just life, and it's up to us to decide what we'll get from it. So, keeping that in mind, I am more selective to the work I do. I mean, I would like to take every single pin-up project out there, draw every single model, take every single commission. But instead, I try to select what I think will bring more to myself and to my artwork.
Realizing what I just pointed out, from the get-go, allows me to be more discerning when it comes to projects. That way, I don't find myself grasping for air anymore, trying to juggle many projects at once, or working long hours at night. Naaaah, who am I kidding? I still do all that, and if you know me well, you also know that I love it. I am a creature of the night who works better under last minute pressure. So, it's not about doing things certain way, we all have our own pace of work. The goal is to find a balance, where you feel comfortable with work, and most important: a point where work doesn't interfere with your life significantly. Remember that work will always be there, it never ends, and only you can decide how much you take out from your personal life in order to use it for your work. And that, in my opinion, is the most crucial part when it comes to administrating your time. Even now, writing this words, listening to music, I stop typing here and there, when I stumble to a certain chord that inspires me. As insignificant as that might seem, that's the equivalent of "stopping to smell the flowers", when writing a blog is part of your work: making a pause to appreciate music, to keep being inspired.
Thank you for reading this, I hope I gave you a little more of an intimate view of how I think and work. And I also hope this will add a new perspective to your life, even if you're not an artist. The old cliché is true: live life... or at least give your best shot at it. Thanks again for your support, and please don't hesitate to leave your comment, I love to get feedback. See you next time!
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.