Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why I Failed The #100DayProject and What I'm Going To Do About It



I occasionally join in on popular challenges on Instagram and other social media as I've benefited both personally art/work-wise and the act has garnered me more online attention. So when the #100DayProject conceptualized by the online maker magazine The Great Discontent came around again, and I saw how many other artists were jumping on-board, I jumped too.

WHY I FAILED: 

But, I jumped too high. I created an impossible #100DayProject goal for myself, and being one who can get easily distracted, keeping on task proved difficult. What was my pie in the sky #100DayProject theme? Well I was going to work on one of many unfinished art projects in my studio post the progression of the project daily and the finished piece the end of the week on social media. I found out very soon, like most of my art projects in product development mode, that sitting down to finish something isn't always possible because:

THE ROAD BLOCKS:

• I can't figure a clear solution to fix a problem that arises and need to mull it over for awhile
• I need to purchase a tool or supply to finish project and don't have the funds yet
• I'm not pleased with how the design is going
• The project is taking longer than anticipated due to design mistakes

ARE YOU AN ARTIST LIKE ME?

How many of you creatifs are like me? It seems we thrive on expressing ourselves in more than one medium whereas a lot of artists can focus on just ONE thing, painting, or sculpting or weaving, that's it. How do those artists stay so funneled in one direction? I marvel at their discipline, but also wonder if some of them ever think about wandering a little. A friend of mine put it this way, I was admiring how she decorated her living space with eclectic odds and ends. She said: "There are two kinds of artists, those who create beauty on the work before them on the drawing table, and those who also see to create beauty around them as well".  The latter have it harder, but it's so much more satisfying in my book.

 Admittedly there are those perfect ones who seem to be able to sit down and can change direction easily and everything comes out perfect. But nothing comes easy for me, every piece I work on presents issues to struggle with. And I have so many ideas whirling around in my head that it's hard for me to rank prioritize (yes a corporate term) the tasks. My husband thinks I have a time management problem, true, I struggle with some ADD issues, yet some of my friends are amazed at how much I do get done–but remember I hang with creative people and I believe most creatives have distraction issues, we were the ones gazing dreamily out the window during class, remember those days?

WHAT I REALIZED I HAD TO DO TO MAKE THE CHALLENGE WORK FOR ME:

So my theme set the bar too high for me, and when the bar is too high I get discouraged and when I get discouraged I get unfocused, reactively move on to something else and feel guilty that I can't stick to one task so then I abandon both projects, get anxiously depressed and depression blocks my creativity. Also factor in the time to shoot the task and post on social media, I ended up posting more pics of our MaltiPoo with his new haircut instead or promoting my two ETSY shops with already made stuff instead. And the one most important factor? I'm not getting paid to participate in this challenge, a big factor for many who need to drop everything to get orders out or take in commissioned work. PAID work helps me to focus big time, unpaid self-imposed tasks are much harder for us to invest long hours in, especially since meeting the deadline doesn't bring a paycheck in the door.

But, I'm so tired of the above Ring Around the Rosy cycle that I want to return to this challenge after abandoning it for over a week (a nasty bout with Poison Ivy this past week also kept my hands from creating too). So I'm using this time to think up how to structure the #100DayProject challenge so I can easily finish a daily goal. This is what I came up with:

HOW TO STRUCTURE A CHALLENGE SO YOU CAN DO IT:
  • Keep the daily task VERY simple, one I could easily perform and shoot with ease when done
  • Don't have the daily task be one specific thing-so key for those of us with more than one ETSY shop and busy lives that doesn't allow us to be chained to the drawing table for a non-paying project AND who due to an active imagination, have many art projects on tap
  • Have it just be something that helps me to move forward so I can create something, anything on a more productive level
  • Reward myself with either a treat, a walk, calling a friend, gardening something that I love to do after task is finished
So herewith my new re-structured challenge:

Ahem! SUZANNE URBAN's #100DayPROJECT IS:

To Do ONE SMALL TASK A DAY TO HELP ME BE MORE CREATIVELY PRODUCTIVE

  If you are an artist like me, I hope you will comment below on this post. I look forward to hearing from you.




Saturday, April 8, 2017

Finishing Up my First #100DayProject Task

Well I did finish up one of the projects, well almost, I have to thread twine through the hole of my little toothy Salt Dough gingerbread men. For me today is Day 5 but due to upgrading my iPhone I lost of day of sharing this picture. So voila! Day 4 of my finished Gingerbread men ornaments. They will be up in my ETSY shop: SuzanneUrbanArt this August. . . or earlier. . .Any inquiries about them simply email me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

First Day of My 100 Day Project Challenge

My first day of the 100 Day Project Challenge was delayed a day due to jury duty. I was called for the first time ever to serve and sat for over a half day only to be sent home. The absence from my studio put me behind some orders that had come spilling in, while I was sitting in court. So this morning I was filling orders and printing more designs for magnets to be pressed tomorrow.

As I wait for the ink to dry, I finally returned to some Salt Dough Gingerbread Men I had created using my own designed cookie cutters. I started painting a batch of them, and even finished the detail on two. So this 100 Day Project challenge is helping me to figure out time management a little better, crank out orders in the morning, when I can't go any further, grab a project and do whatever I can to move forward.

Monday, April 3, 2017

My #100 Day Project


I've decided to join in on the #100 Day Project challenge. There are a lot of challenges floating around the web, and as an illustrator I've joined in on some. In fact, I just finished illustrator Joanne Hawker's #MarchMeetThe Maker challenge, where one followed a daily prompt to post a corresponding picture of what the prompt, well. . .prompted with in their minds.

Challenges are hard, due to the fact they demand consistency, and discipline to report online to the world, on a daily basis how you've full-filled your challenge commitment.

But the 100 Day Project, starting tomorrow, offers a lot more flexibilty, and it's impact as shown on Instagram has been tenfold on the participants.

I will be embarking on this journey starting tomorrow, my 100 Day Project will be: #100 Day Project of Creating Art Products for my Etsy shop. I need to work through some discouragement athat has made me put one too many projects on the back burner, it's time to work through the fear, those stumbling blocks that hold me back from completing and putting my work out there to the public. Below some unfinished Projects.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Assisting Small Creative Business, Please Vote for our Etsy Team!

I belong to The Nutmeg Collective, it is a Connecticut Based team of ETSY sellers, encompassing, photographers, artists, artisans and vintage curators. This team juries their membership and there is a fee, but what one gleans in return is phenomenal workshops, business information and support beyond any other group I've ever joined or invested in. I'm asking those of you who are reading this post to go and vote for our team on the FedEx Small Business Grant program so that our team can win money to go towards workshops, retreats, group shows and so many other useful enterprises that will help to support small businesses in CT and in turn positively impact our economy.

Thank you for your time, Please click on link below, it's easy peasy I promise:

http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/Gallery/Detail/8770fb22-d973-4b2e-97f2-ad39d5482195

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Make A Zentangle Holiday Salt Dough Ornament

I didn't think I had the patience of a saint, but Youtube's Video Editor definitely earned me a few stars. It is a royal, ROYAL pain-in-the-a**! I recently taught a workshop at our local library on Salt Dough Ornaments, making a sturdier dough so not so many creations would break, and to add a Zentangle Twist to the whole deal.

Herewith my Youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHZ7ieN0aMA&feature=youtu.be

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Illustrative Prints in My ETSY Shop!

I am sketching away creating new designs and illustrations for my ETSY shop: SuzanneUrbanArt. I have been studying up on the art of Zentangles and have added some zentangly elements to my illustration. Below is my Mermaid print freshly printed just this week on my Epson R2000 printer.

I've also revisited the fun art of ACEO's (Artist cards Editions and Originals). What is an ACEO? It's a 2.5" x3.5" work of art that blew on the scene about ten years ago. Since then you can find all kinds of wonderful work in this very affordable art form size.

Below is my ACEO Bee lady with Beehive doo.