Friday, March 24, 2017

How to Keep the Stress of Artistic Deadlines Down with a Four Step Organization Plan

Sleeping Mermaid by Marla L. Niederer will be on exhibit at the 2017 Quinlan Conference
Okay, so I have a propensity towards procrastinating timeline projects to chase all things artistically shiny down the rabbit hole.
Watercolor Art Journal by Marla L. Niederer
I am getting better about organizing my time but it continues to be a work in progress. 
Mardi-Gras Tassel Doll 2017 Workshop by Marla L. Niederer at Quinlan Conference
This is the third year that I will be teaching at the Quinlan Artist Doll and Teddy Bear Conference in May. 
Goddess three day 2017 workshop doll at AFICC
The spring is also a time of year when I am most likely to be scheduled to teach an additional live class.  This year I will be teaching a three day class at Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay about a week before the Quinlan Conference. 
Marla Niederer at her 2016 Quinlan Conference Sales Table
Along with the live class, the Quinlan conference also provides a sales table for all artists. 
Minnie Curry, Dolores Austin, Barbara Jones, and Pamela Kisner with their dolls from
Needle Sculpting a Cloth Doll Head 2015 Workshop taught by Marla Niederer at Quinlan Conference
For those of you that have taught live classes before, you are aware of all the time and preparation that goes into teaching a class. 
 
Mary DeMattina and her hand painted cloth brooch doll from 2016 Quinlan Conference
 Workshop taught by Marla L. Niederer
I put together kits and written materials for students to use during and after the class. I also create demo art dolls in all phases of creation so time is not wasted during class demonstration time, etc. 
 
Bernice Gasaway's hand painted brooch doll from 2016 Quinlan Conference Workshop taught by Marla L. Niederer
In addition, preparing for a sales table means a considerable amount of production of new art work. 
Keeper of the Earth by Marla L. Niederer will be on exhibit at the 2017 Quinlan conference
All of this takes time and if you don’t want to spend 5:00 AM until 11:00PM every day of the month before your class and sales table is set up to happen, project management needs to happen as soon as you have agreed to participate. 
Fire Goddess by Marla L. Niederer will be on exhibit at the 2017 Quinlan conference
The trip from my home to Philadelphia is an entire day trip so the plan is to leave early the day before the conference is scheduled to start and arrive in time to get a good night’s sleep before the activities begin.
Marla and Jason Niederer on their way to the 2015 Quinlan Conference.
The first year I engaged in this conference I was still finishing the art dolls I was taking on the day I was leaving on the trip.  I never left my home until after 4:00 PM and never arrived at the hotel until the wee hours of the night. 
Keeper of the Earth by Marla L. Niederer will be on exhibit at the 2017 Quinlan Conference
For the spring 2016 conference I was able to leave the house at noon.  Both years I had spent each day from 5:00 AM until 11:00 PM working on preparing for the conference. 
Sleeping Mermaid by Marla L. Niederer will be on exhibit at 2017 Quinlan conference
I really didn’t want to repeat that schedule this year.  So, with my son Jason’s help, I have set up a Four step project management system. 
Mardi-Gras Tassel Workshop doll and Christmas Faeries by Marla L. Niederer
Step One:  Visual Timeline
I started out making a timeline so visually I was able to see when things are scheduled and need to be completed. 

Step Two:  Set up Monthly and Weekly Goals
The next step was to set up monthly calendar pages with monthly goals on each.  I print them out and keep them on my fridge with magnets.  These really helped to focus what I was working on each month but I found that I was carrying a lot of goals over to the following month.  So I started setting up weekly goals.

Step Three:  List Daily Goals According to Priority
Things still were not flowing as smoothly as I planned so I discussed this again with Jason who has been my artistic business consultant since day one.  He recommended making a daily list in the morning prioritizing my goals for the day and just checking them off as I go along.

Step Four:  Treat Your Home Art Business Like a Business
These organizational tools are not a new thing for me.  I worked outside of the home most of my life and needed to use these techniques at work.  But for some reason, I didn’t immediately think about transferring these skills to working in my home studio on my own art business.  It turns out that one of the biggest pitfalls of working in your home art business is not treating it like a business.  And yes, you can treat it like a business and still enjoy every moment of it.
Mardi-Gras Tassel Doll Workshop by Marla L. Niederer
I am teaching a one day class at the Philadelphia Artist Doll and Teddy Bear Conference called Mardi Gras.  You can find out more about the conference and the class here:

I am teaching a three day class called Goddess at Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay in Columbus Ohio.  You can find out more about the conference and the class here:

I am also teaching an online class called Flower Faeries on AforArtistic.  You can find out more about the class here:
      


1 comment:

  1. Working from home is a strange animal indeed. So many perks, and so many pitfalls! I'm glad to read that you are organizing your life, Marla. When I first started a home business, I had myself organized quicly, and I managed to achieve a lot in a short time. Fifteen years down the line, and after a long absence because of an illness, I'm finding it very difficult to find my equilibrium and achieve that level of productivity I was used to. Age might have something to do with it, ha ha. But I think part of the problem is that I need to relearn the lessons from that time long ago. Your post has inspired me to start plotting my timeline out more carefully, instead of just assuming that things will get done. Hope you have a fantastic show and workshops!

    ReplyDelete