Time Management for Artists, Wise saying, Juvenal Rules Nine

Juvenal’s advice: a healthy mind in a healthy body (Mens sana in corpore sano).

Art is an endurance sport.  If either mind or body is not well, seek a sensible remedy.

A good worker takes care of his tools, and an artist’s tools are the mind and the body.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, Rule Number Eight (rule number two squared)

Remember that when you were a child no one needed to tell you how to be creative.  No one could.

You already knew the basics.  You’ve always known them.  They haven’t changed.  It’s just a matter of putting knowledge into effect.  It’s a matter of growing up, of being human.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, Rule SEVEN (a lucky number)

Appreciation.

You have built-in factory-installed sensitivities to beauty.  Use this incomparable skill given to you straight from Mother Nature herself!

Remember it was Edgar Degas, the great painter, who said that art criticism consists of “ooh” and “ahh.”  And Degas was no slouch.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, number six is three’s a charm doubled

Recall I told you to hide the drawings you made for the Drill Sergeant from the irksome inner editor who is locked in the hallway broom closet — for the editor’s wily, and he’s in that broom closet relentlessly working the lock.  He’ll even slide under the thin crack of space below the door if he has to — he has Hoodini powers of escape.

Put the drawings out of sight for a season.  (You’ll learn how long this period has to be — every case is different.)  Work like a slave, but only peek at the results during “vacation.”

Listen only to the Drill Sergeant telling you to work.  Forget the editor, he’ll waste your time with worrying and hand-wringing.  Someday he’ll be useful, and you’ll know when to set him free (every case is different).

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, firm suggestion number five

Hide stuff from yourself.  Put the drawings in a drawer.  Kill your inner editor.  Hire an inner work foreman, one who’s a hard task-master, a veritable slave-driver.  Let that task-master crack the whip:  “Come on!”      “Giddy up!”       “Get the lead out!”

Hire yourself an inner Marine Corps Sergeant.

At the same time, lock up your inner editor — your coffee-swilling, criticism-cracking editor — in the hallway broom closet.  Don’t let him out till at least after the first afternoon coffee break.

Listen instead to the Sergeant.

“Get down and give me fifty!”

“Yes, Sir!”

“I can’t hear you!”

“YES!”

“SIR!”

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, Rule 4

The Jerusalem artichoke rule (see I told you I’d repeat it).  Please note that in America, Jerusalem artichokes are native plants.  Be forewarned, they’ll take over, reasserting their prior rights.

Lay a grid over your drawing (in thought or quite literally).  Divide it into portions and make each portion into the new picture, turning parts to wholes.

Beware this makes reality very dense.  You may end up with mountains of drawings.  Take care if you lack storage space or if you have no sales representation because you could find yourself up to your ears in drawings, up to your eye-balls in images.

On the plus side, it’s a delight in fecundity, copia, copiousness, divisionism, multiplication, expansiveness, being fruitful and multiplying, being mathematical and multiplying, an indulgence in DNA copy-catted-ness, in recombinant new thing making-ness.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, number three’s a charm

Theme and variations.  Pick something, doesn’t matter what it is so long as you care about it (feel it tug at your heart or your curiosity — I prefer curiosity but some people are emotional).

Make one you like (this could take a while, enjoy the ride).

Make the next one either bigger or smaller, in a different medium; redo the oil painting into a watercolor; remake the color version as a monochrome; turns the masses into lines; change the format from a rectangle into a square, et cetera.

Play it in every key signature.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, numero deux

Count.

Oddly enough time divided up makes more time, time that can be seized and used.

Time sections are Jerusalem artichoke-like:  you cut the bulbs in pieces and get more plants.  Each piece will grow, and you’ll live in a forest of the plants if you’re not careful, a vast sea of waving heliotropic flowers continually turning their faces toward the light on the earth’s great sweeping clock face.

Count how many versions you’ll do.  (Set a goal.)  Count the amount of time that you’ll spend on each drawing. (Set a length goal.)  Set a timer, run your drawing like a race (get ready, get set, go!).

Redo the same thing thinking to turn yourself dumbly into a machine, a Xerox copier (all the versions will be different, humans are subtle).  This should be a separate rule.  I’ll repeat it later (which is also wise time use, repetition, we are a forgetful species).

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

Time Management for Artists, numero uno

First know that there is never enough time.  You have to use what is available.  I have tried different efficiencies over the years, but what I found most effective was having a child and obviously that won’t work for everybody.

But when I had my child, I learned quickly — with Nature as my teacher — that children require intense care, which gobbles up a day’s time very fast.  You have left over chunks of perhaps five minutes here and five minutes there.  And I began seizing those minutes.

Five minutes can be a lot of time, I discovered, perception being such an amorphous, stretchy and variable thing.

A child grows and time quantities change, and one must adapt to new measurements.  Still I’ve kept the fundamental insight: use the time that’s at hand.  One handful will do.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]