After an over-the-top crazy (even by my standards of craziness) last 12 months, finally I have had a chance to stop, breath, re-touch with creation, evaluate what is working/what is not, and re-center my thoughts.
Interesting process. One that was long overdue, and in hindsight very needed.
The result of this essentially cold-hearted honesty check was a conviction to make some changes.
Three areas, which heavily overlap, came under very close scrutiny:
– Physically. Over the last couple of years, I have not been taking as good a care of myself as I should have, operating under the false economy of being too busy. This is going to change. Under this heading includes re-assessing/re-evaluating the current status of my wrist, which has been deteriorating further lately.
– Finances. Simply put, I am not a great business/financial manager (this is why I employed some wonderful people when I had the dental surgery). I have allowed things to drift along with the classic ‘she’ll be right’ fallacy. No more. Slowly but surely I will be putting systems in place to rectify this mistake.
– Work structure. Really and truly, what do I want? In the long term do I want my career to be a hobbyist, an emerging artist, a professional, or a thriving artist? Again, basically, I have been allowing my work to drift along living under the false premise that it will sort itself out. Sculptor/artist mentor Matt Tommey emphasizes there is no magic 10 point plan but does isolate several key points which I have used as a self-test checklist below … resulting in an overall ‘’F’’! (in my opinion). The ‘F’ is a reflection of my failure to get many of the business basics correct, which is a fair indicator of my current situation: a fairly talented emerging artist, but a substantial way off a professional, let alone thriving artist.
The checklist is:
“Be Excellent” – I try my best and I am a fussy so-and-so. Score: A
“Developing Your Image” – work in progress, but is happening. Score: B+
“Find Your Niche” – I think that is starting … but not yet. Score: C-
“Media & Tech” (web & social media) – again starting, but not consistent. Score: B-
“Make What People Want” – duh … but how do I get this right? Score: F
“The Price is Right” – I believe I am starting to get this correct. Score: C
“Networking & Building Relationships” – I am shocking at this, ‘hermit syndrome’. Score: F-
“Jury Process” (documentation) – Am getting better. B
“This IS a Business” – Learn how to do it. Score: F-
So, where to from here? Over the next month or two, there will hopefully be a quite a shakeup on what and how I do things. Time will tell how effective these changes will be…