Saturday, March 21, 2015

What My Week Looked Like | March wk. 3

I often get the question, how do you find the time? I typically credit my husband, the kids' nap times,  and my mother in law. This week, I would've answered with a simple, "I didn't." But that's why these week-end reviews of how this artist spends her weeks are so helpful.  

My insights after the week's roundup...

Morning: I had one hour to work. So naturally, I painted something. I'd figure out what it would be used for later. Perhaps for my coming botanical wedding suite? 
Afternoon: Sketched up "Rise and Shine" for a custom order.

Our sitter fell through so I toted littlest one around while...
Morning: Quick instagram posting for St. Patrick's Day, then I was off to two regular business stops: the post office and the craft store
Evening: The hubby and I ran off to a rare night on the town, to a Mat Kearney concert!

Morning: Only had one hour again, so I wrote up a little article to submit to a magazine.
Midday: Ran to the hardware store for product photo setup supplies.
Afternoon: Worked on a quick photoshoot of some of the wedding invitations in my dining room. Entertaining my son (by helping him with his photoshoot of his cars proved) more time-consuming than I planned. 
Evening: Painted "Rise and Shine" commission. Hubby printed mugs and I prepped them for shipping the next day.

Morning: Packaged and shipped orders.
Afternoon: Crashed, basically. Then some emailing and scheduling and such.

Our morning sitter fell through again. I just scratched off my morning plans and focused on being mommy.
Midday: lunch meeting with our local young professionals group revival committee
Afternoon: Printed prints and tried to work in some side-by-side doodling with my oldest. Too bad he's just not that into painting. 
Evening: Pattern play while watching TV with the hubs

Morning: Large portrait commissions
Midday: Another pattern design with existing art
Evening: Blogged this!

It's been a very networking-heavy week. Reaching out to collaborate and being reached out to, art donation requests and reproduction permission inquiries, custom order questions, etc. I can see that I've been doing that more lately--realizing that we're all people trying to leave our mark and being happy to connect. And I've found that connecting on a personal level has helped professional connections happen. Last week I reached out to a friend of a friend who is heavily involved in fostering creativity and entrepreneurship in her community. This week I got to share that knowledge with Friday's committee. Ironically, this same point--connecting the dots--was one of my greatest takeaways from that conversation. 

So, my takeaway from the week: Connecting may not give me something tangible to show [here on the blog or in my bank account], but "payday" comes in many forms and at different times. While I was reaching out to some, some were reaching out to me. They were completely unrelated people. It's not about back-scratching so much as cultivating a culture of connectedness. 

Okay, some practical takeaways:

  • Treat customers like people, like friends. Personal messaging goes further than a simple order being fulfilled. 
  • Commend good work when you see it. Everyone needs a compliment.
  • Don't be afraid to take initiative to think up collaborative ideas. All that most of us have time for is to get things done, a few of us rely on the innovators to shake things up. Be the shaker.
  • And the last, which is the one I'm needing the most improvement in: don't get so hung up on producing. We're more than machines. We're humans. 

Keep painting,