Sunday, January 17, 2010

Art as Business: Setting Priorities

Losing track of your priorities

It happens to me over and over. I over commit, I lose track of what was important, why I did things in the first place. Suddenly I realize – this was not how it was supposed to be, what I was supposed to do… But then I’m too stubborn and too proud to admit that I’ve left the path I was supposed to follow. I had promised – so I will have to do it. But it is actually like I’m making myself trip and fall: I’m not helping myself.
She didn't understand what made her trip and fall.
She was all alone and there were no obstacles.

This is how it goes: Starting out fun – getting more complex/changing into something else – sticking to it though it was not a priority

I had promised to deliver the post Networking III (institutions) in my Art as Business series here at my blog; first before Christmas, then last Sunday … then now. But this subject has been very far from what has been on my mind lately. I have been working hard on some proposals to get some important projects while just dying to be in my studio painting instead. I feel like all autumn was being spent in front of the computer doing paperwork or trying to get public commissions. I managed to complete very few paintings – and every time the son got ill studio time - of course - had to be sacrificed. And then I had my ambitious Art as Business Series here on my blog that slowly didn’t fell fun to me any longer. I didn’t improvise my writing as in the beginning – and had committed to write about this super complex subject: networking to reach the market/institutions/peers. I even felt like totally giving up blogging to get out of what I had promised.

But wait a second. Why did I start this Art as Business?

-To help me focus and to get somewhere while hopefully helping someone else. It was supposed to be fun. I also wanted to experiment a bit with writing in different ways and play around illustrating it. I have just a few hundred readers, I make no money out of my blog in any way (not selling art on-line) - and I'm actually not prepared to invest the time and energy necessary to become something else! (though I now and then get a bit obsessed with visitor statistics and wonder why the hell I'm not getting any more readers!)

I will now try to get my priorities right again by re-evaluating my priorities and establish my goals for this year.

To set priorities you will have to ask yourself what you want to achieve the most. It is so easy to want to do too many things – and not taking into account how much time you will have to invest to get there. You shouldn’t spend too much time on low priority tasks!

Questions to ask:
  1. What are my long-term goals?
  2. What should I do this year to achieve them?
  3. Incomes?
  4. How do I want to spend my time?
  5. Is it realistic to spend my time like no 4 and manage to do no 2 and 3 at the same time?
  6. What am I prepared to sacrifice and what not?
  7. Thus what are my priorities?
Next Sunday I'll try to answer my questions in Art as Business version 2010. Feel free to join me and give me your answers to the questions (that is what you should prioritize ... not me. Though if you have some advice to give me - please go ahead!)

[Update: I will try to continue the networking posts about institutions/artists later on, but for now I will have to concentrate on getting 2010 started in a proper way. There is a lot of planning needed during this part of the year.]


Daniel Milton said...

Jag var nyfiken på fortsättningen men förstår dig precis. Om man har förutsättningarna att välja själv vad man vill göra- då ska man banne mig inte göra något som man inte har lust med eller känns tråkigt.

Kör hårt med det som känns kul.

aimee said...

Hi Alexandra! I always enjoy your Art as Business posts - and even more when they are written in your funny, conversational style. Your honesty and wit are what keeps me coming back - I hope you continue writing them as long as they are fun for you to write!

●• Thereza said...

yes, the whole point was for it to be fun right? so i agree with aimee, do it only for as long as it's fun for you!

awww so Max likes my little house??? i'm so flattered :) bless him!

Anairam said...

Priorities - that is SO important. I am very bad with that and easily talk myself into spending time on the easy and fun things, which are not necessarily the important things. I think it is great that you are so honest with yourself (and us!)

Kate Wood Jewellery said...

Oh this is ringing so many bells with me! Managing priorities is hard!

Kitty Kilian said...

Hi Alexandra, My I wish I could be so honest. I don't mind at all if you got stuck - as far as I'm concerned, why not just quit the series and do what you want to do most? You have probably made all of your points. I admire this week's illustration - if you stop the series, please keep on posting illustrations every now and then!

nathalie et cetera said...

mmm... to answer your first question, I don't think ahead much. but i'm pretty settle in what i wanted to do. although, i might have to make some moves this year because the economy is starting to hit my clients and therefore me. so my goal is to find a few new clients to make ends meet. to achieve that, i will mostly use my personal network and probably invest in an online network that is relatively interesting for working in my field.

as for your Art as business series, i think your audience is willing to wait for you. i am :)