Perform one simple task a day to assist me in becoming more creatively productive and consistent in my studio. All tasks can be followed with a reward to encourage consistency.
I've been absent from posting for thirteen days. I'm sure some thought I failed again in sticking with My #100DayProject challenge. The Challenge is over for many who started earlier than I. And many stuck to it with no roadblocks, they kept their heads firmly bowed over the drawing table.
Why I've Been Absent from Posting:
I created a roadblock for myself that pushed me off track. I got swept up in an exciting community project without realizing how much it would impact my studio time. I am a people-pleaser as well as an artist/writer who suffers from ADD. I'm glad I got involved, and plan to STAY involved with this project, but it taught me that I never put the brakes on and eagerly respond "Yay!" without qualifying what is expected of me.
After being absent from my studio for two plus weeks, thus getting behind on work to be launched in my ETSY shops this Fall, I finally admitted to myself; in this world today, with so much help needed by so many, I still don't fit the criteria to be a volunteer, my time is maxed out. I'm also on a tight budget right now so I'm frustrated that I can't give beyond signing online petitions. I'm not saying others aren't busy, I'm simply stating for the ADD artist in their own business, donating time must be carefully scrutinized.
Most Artists/Artisans/Professional Makers aren't the Volunteer Profile
Creative professionals perform several functions, we are the Product Development lab, the photographer, retail clerk, order processor, PR and marketing person for what we make. In corporations each of these assignments are a whole separate department. Everything we create is made from scratch with with our own two hands. Our job is more than 9-5, so where and when can we find time to volunteer? If we don't sell, we don't eat and paying bills stops. We aren't the best demographic for volunteer jobs.
Product Development is the Most Time Consuming of our Tasks
I have tons of WIP's (works in progress) waiting to finish because of snafus in product development. For one I need to buy electric scissors, another take out the sewing machine, another test a variety of clays for ornaments. I have ten webinars in the queue yet to watch to help me build my small business, the list goes on. Oh and I have a deadline on a small painting at the end of this month. All this needs to be done around managing my magnet/pinback business for my first ETSY shop. On top of this I am on the board and am the webmaster/graphic designer and PRperson of my husband's museum: www.vintagehifi.org
Know that Your Time is Valuable No Matter What:
Just because I don't get paid for some of my behind the scenes work, or I haven't soared my ETSY shops into a higher income producing bracket yet, it doesn't mean my time isn't at a premium. And I need that time to succeed as an entrepreneur. The creative ADD adult has to learn they can't do everything and drop a project when a new thought comes into their head. And the people pleaser has to stop being the avid joiner–or if you do join, let the team know what you can and cannot do up front. Luckily in this case the organizer is an incredibly professional person and understood that I couldn't show up for one of the days. But as time went on, I was becoming more forgetful, and this not only doesn't do me any good, but also the team that's working on the volunteer project.
Now that things have settled down for a bit, I will be back on track tomorrow with my #100DayProject self-challenge.
The above magnet is available my Etsy Shop SmirkingGoddess™ it also comes in print form. I am also an artist and and sell my illustrations here: SuzanneUrbanArt
TIPS ON WHEN YOU DO CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER:
- Ask the organizer what your tasks would be and a breakdown of time involved share that you're in your own business so your work hours are longer than nine-to-five
- Is Organizer a pro? Or are they using guilt to coerce your involvement, do they seem to know the lay of the land in working with others? Mine did, I've learned a lot from her
and this project, I also value her time-involvement too. In other words this volunteer job has some win-wins for me and on a greater level for our town, it may very well become a tourist/visitor draw. Hello economic development!
- Is a larger entity behind this project, in our case it was the town, are their sponsor to help pay for supplies and anything else you might have to buy to help get the job done
- Are you passionate about the cause and really believe in it? Or did you say yes to people-please?
- Are you being asked to donate your Art, or other product made by you for free? Learn from my lesson. I used to donate two weeks to create something for a charity event with the lure of "we highly publicize this event and your work!", I never gleaned any patrons and lost time and money (supplies). As a former professor of mine said, "first time is experience, second is exploitation". WHY? Why does the musician get paid, the caterer get paid and the Artist is supposed to perform for FREE? And mind you I was asked to perform for free in two of the richest communities in America.
- If you're asked to donate an already made work of art/handmade product for a charity auction, be aware that if the bids are lackluster, this can impact your art marketplace value
- This may sound terrible, but is there a win-win for you if you volunteer? Will your task look good on a resumé? Can you trade for free advertising? Think in terms of a trade on some level and you might see that the organization will work with you in return for your donating reasonable volunteer time
I'm all for helping out and volunteering, but I'm also all for those like me who find time management difficult and our budgets are tight.