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
Ahem! SUZANNE URBAN's #100DayPROJECT IS:
To Do ONE SMALL TASK A DAY TO HELP ME BE MORE CREATIVELY PRODUCTIVE