by Jennyann Carthern
This month I've been really diving deep into a project called 5th Avenue. It's a coloring book, I've been working on since taking Lilla Rogers Class way back in March. The assignment was based on 1920s hairstyles.
I instantly became obsessed with the idea, and while doing this project I decided that I'd finish it out as a coloring book. Well 6 months later, it's coming to pass.
Why so long? It was because of my focus.
Those of you who process an Artist mind, A.K.A. a mind overloaded with ideas and wonders, will understand what I'm about to talk about.
If you've ever watched Kitchen Nightmares, you'll know that one of the main reasons some restaurants were failing on that show, is because they had too many options on their menu. This overwhelmed the kitchen, the pantry, and the customers.
Well I too, had too many options on my menu. So many that it overwhelmed my work, my progress, and my time. How did I fix it and make it right and how can you do the same?
Do an idea brain dump. I needed to get all my projects out of my head and onto a single sheet of paper. I needed to see them visually.
Categorize. Take all your ideas, and place them into categories. I did this by thinking about goals first. I thought about what projects I wanted to get done in the next month, three months, and within a year. Then I thought about how realistic the aim was. This helped me to figure out which egg to hatch first.
Create a schedule for your project, with those goals in mind. NOT A TO-DO LIST!
The notion of a to-do list has been tripping me up for years. I thought that by writing down a daily task list, and then slaving to finish those tasks would help me make more art. I was wrong, though. I needed a schedule. A time and a place to make art and work towards those goals and tasks. If you want to be more creative, and make more art. You need a schedule, not a task list. This was my biggest Aha Ha moments of 2016, and it was life-changing.
When I started my coloring book for example. I knew that I also wanted to use the images for a 2017 calendar as well. This meant that I needed to make 12 images. So In the first week. I focused on sketches, to flush out my vision, and once I developed it. It was time to set a goal for finishing the main sketches. So, I set out to complete 3 line drawing a day for 4 days during my studio time. This gave me a daily accomplishment. As I'm still working on the project, I have daily goals to meet based off of my schedule not tasks.
This all sounds simple, but for some reason, when creativity knocks at our door. It takes the form of a door salesman, and presents us with all the possibilities but forgets to tell of about the cost. The cost for me was piles and piles of ideas and unfinished work. Don't let that be the cost for you.
Make room for artmaking, by focusing on finishing one thing at a time. Set deadlines, and work towards them. This is the secret to making more art.