There’s a lot of Fall harvesting going on here in California. The farms near my house are full of cage-box trucks heavy with green and yellow citrus, and the scent of fresh-cut produce is strong on the roads I frequent; onions, peppers, cabbage and herbs are all abundant and fragrant.
As we approach the end of the year, this is a good time to take stock of your art-making habits, the state of your promotional activities, and where and how you’re making your work available. Is your studio organized and ready for you to get to work? Did you make the volume and the type of art you planned for this year? Have you set up automated sharing to social media platforms when you’re finished with a new piece of art? How is your mailing list coming along in terms of growth and distribution of news from your studio? If you have an Etsy or Artfinder account, are your listings fresh with good images, search-worthy titles and great descriptions?
As part of your own Fall harvest, it might be a good time to build a list of the art-related activities you want to be more mindful of and regular about in the new year. 2017 isn’t here yet, but that shouldn’t stop you from plotting a few gatherings with other artists in January or February for an art night. Organize a BYOAS (Bring Your Own Art Supplies) gathering around a dining room table to start a monthly tradition this winter.
Visit show-tracking web sites to find exhibits coming in Spring so you can fill out the applications in advance and get your work submitted for consideration. At the very least, you’ll have a list of exhibits to visit with friends whether you apply to the show or not.
Pull out a sketchpad, and sketch an aerial view of your creative space (even if you make art on a coffee table in the corner) to plan a functional re-organization of your studio. List your most frequently used art supplies and organize them (this article might be helpful), rearrange storeage & furniture for a more productive work-flow, donate unused supplies, and tidy-up so you’ll be excited to get in there and get back to work. If you’re not sure what your work flow is, sit down & make something, and take notes on your process as you go. Can you reach everything you need from your chair?
Do you have to get up and change the water in your brush rinse bucket often? Get a bigger bucket, or put two of them on your table so you’ll stay put.
Are you forgetting to snap process shots to share on your blog or social media? Make a spot to hang or store your phone or camera in sight so you’ll remember to take snap shots. Are you always looking for a particular color of paint or medium while you’re mid-stride on a piece? Take a look at other artist’s studios to get some ideas for organizing your supplies so you never have to search again.
You can also host a studio sale to serve your art patrons and make way for the new work you’ll be creating. Use your mailing list to broadcast details, and share the news with your followers on social media.
What are your plans in the studio this winter? Are you getting excited to work on a new series? Does your current art-making space work well? Have you collected a folder of inspiration on your desktop? Share your ideas in the comments and let us know if you’ve read a good article or an inspiring book on best studio organization tips.
Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you in the next post!
(P.S. You can subscribe to this blog for free to get each post as an email here.)
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson