Monday, February 21, 2005

Projects. Process. Progress. So as a number of people wanted to know, "just how in the world does she do this?" I figured I'd periodically do a brain dump and explain to the best of my ability, how it is I do what I do. Currently, I have these projects on board:
  • Illustrating Spirit House (completed last week)
  • Illustrating Spirits Unwrapped, cool fiction collection
  • Making three puppets for the kids (Sophie is 2/26; Petey and Angela are 3/3 and their big birthday shindig is this weekend)
  • Making snowglobe party favors for said party
  • Overhaul and redesign of Paul's site in time for spring recitals
  • New prints/items in my store
  • Possible site redesign for me to focus more on illustration
  • Knit kitty cat hat for nephew Jude (done)
  • Wedding present for Snowflake (and HA! I'm not going to describe it, S., you and Lucky will have to wait till you see it, hee hee hee)
  • All of these items need to be completed before MAY. The way that I'm doing it is mainly by doing two things: 1. I keep lists of every single little thing that I can think of that needs to be done for the project. I do this on my Handspring, but you could do it on a calendar or piece of paper or whatever. I assign dates for everything. That way, I don't spend all my time now working on Paul's site, because I know I'm not starting on that until the end of March. I concentrate on the things that need to get done this week. SARK calls these teeny little lists "micromovements" and I've also heard them called "baby steps." But this way when I have only 5 minutes to spare, I don't waste my time wondering what to work on; I have a list right there of what needs doing. And it also serves to not stress me out, because I've spread out tasks over a length of time and I'm not going to wake up one morning and go, "AAAAAAAGH! I need to have 4 illustrations and a cover done tomorrow!" I'm on top of it all. 2. I never turn off the creative flow. I read a wonderful quote on the Illustration Friday forums: joe, the novelist, tells how he doesn't suffer from writer's block. growing up, joe's dad, the mason, would come from the quarry and joe would rub his shoulders and make him dinner. never once did joe's dad come hime and say, "well, joe, today i just couldn't do it - i couldn't cut the stone, because i had a bad case of cutter's block." joe understood that it was his dad's job to cut the stone, and when joe sits down to work on his writing, he knows that his job is to write. so he writes. I make the most of every single second I have. The instant I put the kiddies down for a nap, or to bed for the night, I start working on my art. If I'm in a full-on, painting mood, I work on that. If I'm listening with one ear for someone to wake up and I know I don't have much time, I do research for my illustrations, call printers to see who has a large-format scanner, scan in and clean up artwork, or exchange emails with other artists. At night, when I know I have a few hours, I'm all prepared to draw because I already did the research I needed. And when I'm too tired to draw and I'm afraid I'll mess things up, I knit or work on those scans again. And I'm very happy with the work I've been doing - I feel proud of it because it's well-researched, well-thought out, well-executed. It doesn't tire me out; it exhilarates me. Of course there's more to it than this, but that's all I have time for now... the puppets are calling me and I need to do some sewing. :)

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