Time management image1. Set Goals – Know what you want.  Look at the big picture.

2. Make Lists – If you know what you want, making lists on what to do is the next logical step.  I am a big list maker. This helps you to see how you are going to reach your goals.

3. Be Organized – Be reasonably organized is a big time saver. You won’t waste your time looking for something you need every day. Just be sure you don’t spend all your time organizing and avoid doing what you need to do to meet your goals.

4. Schedule – Have an idea of when you want to meet a goal. Without deadlines you can flounder and not feel a need to complete anything.

5. Do Not Multitask – studies show that the human brain is not designed for multitasking. In face it takes you 50% longer to complete a task if you attempt to do it this way. Instead focus on one thing at a time. Do what is front of you and then move on to the next.

As a sole proprietor of a very small art business I have very little I can put out financially to support community projects. So when I see something worthwhile that will cost me very little I have to look closer.

Glen With Boys - Just Before Shipping Out

Glen With Boys – Just Before Shipping Out

The latest is that of sponsoring a veteran fresh out of the army, to participate in an event. In the past I have used his two sons as models for oil paintings.

Note: Glen was Grand Champion winner along with the Clark Crew last year at the Great Plains BBQ – BBQ for the Troops at Fort Riley, KS.

Eventually I realized other artist may be interested in sponsoring him as well. Glen served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army and is recently transitioning into life as a civilian. He is taking part in the “Backyard Barbeque Contest” as part of the “National Barbecue Competition” in Derby Kansas, Sept. 6-7 2013. To help cover the cost of supplies to participate we are offering sponsorships. In return, the name of your art business (and corresponding web address) will be on display at his work area during his time in the competition. The cost of your sponsorship is up to you. It can be as little as $5. To cover the entire event for him will cost approx $500

Facebook page link: http://on.fb.me/17WrGZa

If you/or your business would like to sponsor him please send payment to his PayPal account at punker_198@yahoo.com  If you have any questions you would like to ask me please do so at art@dianedobsonbarton.com

Recently I worked on updating a price comparison list that I keep on hand for personal use. It includes oil painting materials from popular art suppliers such as Dick Blick, Utrecht, Jerry Artarama, Cheap Joes among a few others. Because I find this useful when ordering, I want to share this information with you. It is available in both a .xlsx (MS Excel includes comments related to product comparisons) and PDF file.

If you are already a subscriber we will be sending this to you shortly.

If you’re not – Get on the ball and subscribe today!

Click here to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/tuUtj

 

Recently I have been working on updating a price comparison list that I keep on hand for personal use. It includes prices from popular art suppliers such as Dick Blick, Utrecht, JerryArtarama, CheapJoes among a few others. Because I find this useful when ordering, I want to share it with you. It is available in both a .xlsx (MS Excel includes comments related to product comparisons) and PDF file.

If you are already a subscriber we will be sending this to you shortly. If you’re not – get on the ball and subscribe today!

Click here to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/tuUtj

*Note: This information focuses on painting in oils

Cons of Day job Artists

Last we looked at the “6 Pros: Day-Job for Artists” this time we will look at the cons.

  1. Energy – As we get older our energy is limited. If you use it up at your day-job, there is nothing left for your art.
  2. Time – A day-job can eat up your time, especially if you take your work home with you mentally.
  3. Commitment – Having a day-job is seen as not having a true commitment to your calling as an artist.
  4. Quality – Both  day-job and art can suffer by spreading yourself too thin and not being fully focusing on either.
  5. Rut – Being in a tough routine can wipe you out both mentally and physically can make your creativity stifled.
  6. Security – It can be easy to get used to the illusion of security of a day-job, making it easy for one to loose their identity as an artist all-together.

Least we forget we are not alone in the struggle, a number of successful artists have also juggled a 9-5 quandary at one time or another.

Famous Day-Jobs:

  • William Faulkner wrote “As I Lay Dying” in the afternoon before working at night as a supervisor at a University Power Plant.
  • Joseph Heller (Author of “Catch 22”) Did magazine advertising by day and was a write by night.
  • Joseph Cornell (artist and sculptor) worked 9-5 in a Manhattan Textile studio.
  • Keith Haring worked as a busboy.
  • Jasper Johns was employed as a bookstore clerk to make ends meet.

 

Pros of a day job for artists

The reality is most artist work a day-job of one kind or another. Finances, time management and self expression require continual juggling. The myth of the artist working as he or she chooses, not needing to concern themselves with finances and always staying creatively challenged, is difficult in reality.

In the next two posts I will explore the pros and cons faced by artists in having a day-job. First let’s look at the pros:

  1. Schedule – Working around a day-job schedule forces you to focus in on what is most important in your art. You tend to waste less time on things that do not matter to the big picture.
  2. Inspiration – The people and events that you are a part of give inspiration you would not otherwise have. The fact is if you work with the public much you will find yourself often saying, “You just can NOT make this stuff up!”.
  3. Interaction – Working as an artist can be a solitary act. Working a day-job forces you to interact face-to-face with other breathing humans.
  4. Equipment – If you are fortunate you will have equipment openly available to you that you could not afford on your own.
  5. Financial Freedom – When you do not need to worry about a roof over your head because the day-job finances it, you feel freer to explore your creative options. That less than desirable commission can be turned down in favor of pursuing your own projects.
  6. Benefits – Insurance, vacation, sick leave and paid training can be difficult to come by when you work exclusively on your art. If you work it right you can use this paid time to your advantage.

To have a day-job can be a tough personal choice, one that needs to be weighed by an individuals situation. Next we will explore the cons.

 

So supposedly the ideal image to have on Pinterest for marketing is vertical.  It helps to gain more exposure due to the layout. But HOW do you go about making one fast and inexpensive?

I have Photoshop and Gimp, both of which can do pretty amazing things.  But I prefer to use PicMonkey these days for quick edits that do not require more complicated results.

Pinterest How-to VerticalLooking at JUST creating the layout that is necessary, lets get started!

  1. First you need the images you want to include in the collage.  It is a good idea to have them where you can easily locate them, such as on a folder in the desktop, or on a jump-drive.
  2. Go to Picmonkey.com and click on Create a Collage, click Open Photos and add the ones you want to include.
  3. Go down to the icon below Create a Collage, choose Biggie Smalls with the largest number of squares on the right. You can easily change the number of whichever one you choose, but for ease of starting lets stick with that has the most.
  4. Click Open and drop and drag the images where you want them. If you want to add text in an open space keep that in mind and do not place images in each one. (To remove a square go to that square and click on the X to delete.  To add drop and drag you image to the space between the squares)
  5. Save the image by hitting Save, then Save Photo – Again in an place that you can easily locate.
  6. Close the project by hitting the X in the upper right hand side of the PicMonkey work area. Not the browser “X”
  7. Open PicMonkey again and this time click on Edit a Photo and open the collage you just made.
  8. Click on Crop and adjust to create the shape you desire, click on Apply.
  9. Add any text by clicking on the P, choose the desired font and click on Add Text. A text Box will appear on the screen. Make necessary adjustments in the size of the font and location of the text box.
  10. Hit Save, then Save Photo again to your desired location.

TA-DAH!  Now you can upload the image you just made to your Blog or Pinterest.

j2500

“Wha?!” 8X10″ Oil on canvas – NFS

The above piece is a quick study I did the other day. Created from a photo that captured my attention.

My fourth of July will consist of the traditional food, fireworks, family and friends. This year it will be on a smaller scale since it falls on a Thursday.

I haven’t taken the week off.  But I guess I am giving myself a lot of leeway. As of the last two days I focused on painting and napping. Not necessarily in that order.  My husband is on vacation from his job this week.  So it is hear-by decided I can blame him for my lack of initiative!

In an attempt to get to know the readers better, let me fill you in a bit about myself.

  1. I turn fifty this year. I am actually looking forward to it. Life should be fun. As Huey Lewis said: “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”
  2. I have two grown daughters and four and a half grandchildren. The half being a new grandson due in Sept.
  3. I am not domestic.  So the chances of seeing any recipe posted by me is slim to none.
  4. I read a great deal, mostly nonfiction. I am a sucker for anything new on business, blogging, writing, or autism.
  5. I am on a continual quest for the perfect office/studio organizing system.  See eBook “Controlling Creative Clutter”.
  6. My office is in a small home I share with my husband, two dogs and a cat. I dream of having a rustic historic building found in most all of rural America.
  7. I am VERY introverted.  I need time alone in order to function well. So the item #6 is not practical in that it would most likely require me to be available to the public.
  8. I don’t eat as well as I should, nor do I often exercise on purpose. I tell myself I will get back to running. But sitting in front of the computer, easel or with a book almost always wins out.

So there you have it: A fifty year old out of shape hermit that paints, writes and blogs. And I am sure some would say a twisted sense of humor. It will surly rear its head before long!

 

Blogging Organization Notebook

Blogging Organization Notebook

In an ongoing effort to be organized and prepared, I have created a Blogging Notebook for myself. In case you are curious, and why wouldn’t you be curious? (Insert sarcastic expression here)

It includes the following:

  • 3 Pocket insert – 1. For goals (traffic and content, among other things) 2. Scrap paper/small notebook (thin moleskin type)/pen and highlighter. 3. Random notes in topic section
  • Monthly Calendar – Broad view of editorial plans.
  • Weekly Calendar – Break down of the week ahead.
  • To-Do Lists – Ongoing without any set time frame.
  • Topics – Outlines for series and notes for upcoming posts.
  • Blog Topic Forms – Helps me see I am meeting goals with each post.
  • Contests – Possible giveaways
  • Advertisements – Information on who, when, where and necessary steps.
  • SEO Information – Record of where I am and ideas on how to improve and get where I want.
  • Product Reviews – Ideas on upcoming reviews – once blog is better prepared.

For some people this may be overkill.  For me it is a place to start and see how it goes. :0) With it all in one place I can easily grab it as I am headed out the door.

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