Time Management

I've always struggled with time management. For most of my years as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, I had just a handful of really fantastic clients, my largest was a 100 year old publishing house. It was easy to stay on a schedule because I had client deadlines and an art director coordinating my priorities. In those years I worked way too much. I took on any project that was offered and worked as fast as I could and late into the night several nights a week. I also didn't feel any emotional connection to the work. If anything, I felt a little antipathy for it towards the end. When art directors, editors, marketers and lawyers all have a say in your work, you learn to disconnect or else I'd have been heartbroken with every project. 

Here is one of the last illustrations I made for the publishing house. My work for them was curriculum-based coloring book styled art that kids would cut out, color or glue. Now that kids have iPods and iPads, I rarely see crayons, scissors or glue. 

© 2011 Nazarene Publishing House

© 2011 Nazarene Publishing House

The work I do today is nothing like the work I made my whole career on. Since I started oil painting in 2012, I've struggled with time management more, especially when it comes to actual painting time. When I started learning to paint just 6 years ago I was focused so heavily on learning I didn't have any expectations on how much actual work I should make. Instead I was solving problems and discovering the medium and all the materials that I now use. Each piece of art was mainly a vehicle for that discovery, an experiment that would either go well, or not.

Now I'm teaching a very heavy schedule. I've taught 8 workshops already this year and I have 4 more on the schedule in September, October and November. I planned it this way, leaving half of June, all of July and August to paint. Somehow on paper that seemed like enough time... I'll let you know how this little experiment turns out.

I have painted some this year. I've done one commission, one Flamenco dancer and three portraits of my daughter (all demos for the first instructional video — and maybe the last—I'm making. Don't ask me when I'm going to edit and voiceover and distribute that video, lol! 

As I realize I may have bitten off more than I can chew in 2018, I'm learning to accept it and breath and know that whatever work I make this summer will be enough. I'll keep you posted and you...you can wish me luck! xo