An Artist's Life: So Much to Do, So Little Time...
Updated: Apr 19
"You can do anything, but not everything." David Allen, Lifehacker
When I started my art practice in 2013, I wanted to try it all: painting, mixed media, collage, printmaking, modern, abstract, realism, you name it. I was not satisfied with sticking to just one medium or style. I guess it was my way to trying to find out what I was good at and where I can focus. Funny thing was, I liked all of them; I was unable to choose or settle down. I can blame my unchecked ADD for that. From then on I dabbled at every art and craft that piqued my interest spending dough after dough getting all the necessary supplies and how-to books to learn how to use them. At one point I began calling myself the Jack-Of-All-Trades-Master-Of-None Artist. Here is a list of all the crafts I have accumulated to date.
At the time it seemed like a good idea to know more than one technique or skill as an artist. And I had a blast at it. But later I learned the quirks of having too many things to do at once.
For one, there is no Time. I wake up, wash up, eat, run errands, take a rest, work on my stuff, and in a blink of an eye the day's already over. Some days I just feel like a sloth and veg out on the sofa for half the day. I had crammed in my little cranium of all the things I want to complete-new bodies of work, an artbook, video series, an Etsy shop, etc. But Time just goes by so fast. And I go to bed every night feeling dejected because I didn't accomplish what I had set out to do. Though the very next morning I open my eyes I'd be refreshed with renewed hope of getting things done, only to repeat the same thing. It's almost like the movie Edge of Tomorrow where each day is set on continuous loop of the same old routine: get up, suit up, go into battle, get killed, back to start. Keep that up and it eventually becomes draining, physically and mentally.
For this reason, at the beginning of 2019 I made it a goal to set schedules for my activities. I had decided to make at least three days a week a "studio day" or "me day" so I would have several hours of uninterrupted time for myself to do the things I want to do. Then I set up certain days/weeks/months for certain project and so forth. Instead of trying to cram several different projects to complete in one day I would spread it out designating what days or weeks I would specifically work on that particular project. I even got myself a daily planner to write it all down, something I was never good at. In doing so I felt like I was more disciplined and organized, a load of rocks lifted off my shoulders and I was more relaxed. I couldn't believe it took me this long to realize the benefits of planning and keeping schedules; always working out of chaos might sound thrilling but eventually it catches up to you physically and mentally.
But alas I forgot the one other thing to consider when making plans. Which is to always expect the unexpected. But that's another story...