Art Tricks, Money Traps (Work-Life Balance)

We did it dear readers. We finally got through it.

We made it to the end of my series on the Wellness Factors of Life, AKA addressing the OECD index, or if you prefer, the Postconsumers series. What started out as a wild bid on my part in considering how to live a life with less and yet fuller than you could ever imagine, is now closing out with a topic more then fitting – work-life balance. The last factor that can directly effect your over-all state of being in this world of ours.

Because let’s face it, the average global citizen doesn’t even realize they have a creative component of who they are. Creativity that should be nurtured like all of the other things.

Your creative spark absolutely needs to be considered, and it connects quite well with areas of health, spirit, work, family/friends, environment, and personal fulfilment. When all of these things come together, your life will sing with excellence. Or maybe it’ll all fall apart if you ignore any one of those things for too long.

Yikes, that is a depressing thought to fathom. But I’ve been there creative cuties, and yes I may share that story in full one day. The story which led to one of my greatest theories on the importance of pursuing your purpose, it could be a campfire theory even, but not today is not that day friends.

I’ve got a different kind of wisdom to impart.

But first, let’s put a cap on that pen, and bring out the fundamental of life once more.

The Bare Knuckle Necessities

I’m going to make a bold statement.

You cannot achieve the perfect balance of life:
career (work),
spirituality (spirit, creativity),
space (home, studio, environment),
relationships (romantic, family, friends),
health (exercise, meditation, reading),
and fulfillment (hobbies, recreation)

All of these are noble pursuits, and completely attainable, but most definitely not all at once, and never more then two or three at a time. I know you’ve tried to accomplish this on your own, and you may have even fought against the theory because you wanted to disprove it. But like many idioms, adages, and metaphors of life, life hits back, over and over.

It’s not about besting life friends, it’s about taking it all in, giving it your best shot at a few areas at a time, and then continuing onward.

So for you that might mean getting a grip on health, and career for quite a while. At least until you’ve seen some positive gains and have set up some new healthy habits for yourself. I’m not going to devolve this post into going over theories I’ve discussed before on health, productivity and habit setting, but those topics do exist on timotheories.com. This is about you being okay with striving for progress in certain areas, and then moving into progress in other areas.

Automation Station

Effectively you are creating rhythms and routines for yourself that your body, mind, and soul will be grateful for. Think about it for a minute, we are so comfortable falling into the same shitty habits every day after work? Ever wonder why we do that? Hint: it’s not because we want to.

Instead of beating yourself up because you didn’t do everything on your list today, focus on a few things to accomplish each day and follow through on them. Once the systems are in place to make those good decisions a reality every day (usually after a 90 day commitment), you will eventually create your own ideal, and balance will now have a new meaning.

It becomes less about having everything in equal measure, and more about shifting attentions on these areas of wellness as needed. So put the time in, build your lists, schedule tasks, and make one concrete action towards your area of focus each day. As Rocky says, that’s how winning’s done.

For me, what that means right now is making art every week, and marketing my business. Those are two simple things, but I’ve been neglecting them for relationships, work, and health. It’s time to focus back on the art and my own purpose.

theories Summarized

Artists of all stripes have to face the same pressures of work-life balance as do those that ignore the creative path. There is nothing wrong with going one way or the other, but when you make art, never assume your failings at balance are due to the pursuit of creativity – we all struggle with this. Skill, determination and a commitment to improvement are essential in moving towards success within the arts, as is true of any field.

The difference is that your path is not set in stone, therefore the risks and rewards are much greater. But I have a theory that you already know what you need to chase.

Tim!

We Dare Not Speak It’s Name (Jobs)

Let’s talk about jobs, ba-by, let’s talk about your, iden-tity.

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A Bang Up Job

When I think about Jobs as a product, comfort immediately comes to mind. Next, would probably be security and consistency of everyday use. If I can have less anxiety, more fun, and don’t have to worry about over-performing or under-performing, the convenience factor is high, and I’m on board. I get to live my day-today with relative ease and simplicity. Yes, when it comes to Jobs I feel like my opinion is part of a landscape and repercussions are minimal. In an era when people struggle with technology uncertainty, Jobs give you a path to take and a way to get there. Fortune, gratitude, luck, these are all synonymous terms for that ideal.

Now, I bet you thought I was talking about the person for a minute there, dear readers.

No not really. I wasn’t aiming for a post on Steve Jobs, though I could make a Wisdom Wednesday post or two about him. Just like everyone else has at one point or another.

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And to be clear, this is most certainly NOT a politically motivated post, I just wanted to get an association down for you. Who do you think achieved more? Steve Jobs or Dennis Ritchie? A question to ponder for sure…

As we continue to develop the series of posts about OECD, on the importance of health and well-being, the ranking factor of your job was bound to come up.

Inside Job

Let’s be honest.

You probably want to quit your day job, because your boss is a jerk, you’re sick of what your department does to address employee morale and wages, you don’t believe in the company visions, at all, and you’ve been doing this for well more than five years without much opportunity for growth and skill set expansion.

If that’s true, then you’re in luck. Because I have a few theories on your job that I’d like you to mull over.

Many people get this crazy idea in their heads that if a job is unfulfilled, that if you hate your job, it means you should quit and find another. Or maybe go back to school. Or finally start that personal business you’ve dreamt of for the past decade. And that’s quite a problematic view to hold.

A job is primarily an aspect of your career.

Maybe that’s confusing – let’s consider the definition of the word career. A career is a multi-faceted identity vehicle for an individual’s journey through life, especially as it relates to work and learning. Or in other words, a career is a person’s lifework that consists of occupations, educations and as a focus within a certain area of industry.

Surely it can be invaluable to start a business when you get fed up, but that purpose shouldn’t only be about your personal gratifications. You need to have drive, a real passion, and then build out a model to accomplish the purposes of that career you’ve laid out for yourself – getting another job could move you forward as well. An idea of success is not enough, you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears. Never quit your day job only because you have a new idea or are sick of your work environment.

There is this really dumb idiom out there that says the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We often rely on friends and family to supply is with support or advice on a number of different topics but bitching about work is a popular one.

Consider idea this for a moment, that friend giving you advice might not respect your industry or they be shelling out advice based on their limited understanding of your situation, but how could they possibly predict all the details of your life – you CAN keep your job and find fulfillment in other avenues or to pay for future benefits.

Career VS Job

To summarize this idea let’s quickly look at a chart which I found online. It’ll be a quick read, I promise.

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If you begin to look at your creative work as a career, you can begin to see how a series of different jobs might help you achieve your goals and stay on purpose dear readers, so as the old adage goes, don’t quit your day job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change the day job every now and again, and even invest in passive income(s). Though that could just be another theory.

Tim!

 

… Son of A (Catalogue Your Artwork, Please)

You know what one thing I hate more than so many other things in the world is?

The boring-ass menial labour involved in executing administration, no matter WHAT kind I am tackling and how it relates to my life.

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Now hate is a strong word, and I generally don’t subscribe to hate in other areas of my life, because it’s the path to the dark side – plus it’s incredibly toxic for your mental health. But it really is a bitch to do certain types of simple and tedious planning & execution, well, for me anyway. But I know that a lot of other creative types struggle with it as well. Especially when we already know what needs to happen, and just don’t want to do it.

That’s kind of what cataloguing my art work feels like. One gigantic painful never-ending process of taking pictures, uploading files, labelling said files, and then storing them somewhere (usually an external hard drive)

Interestingly enough, I’ve already done a pretty good job of it over the years, which is the biggest hurdle, in truth. Getting a system in place – coming up with names for each piece, the dimensions, material used, and the year (sometimes even the month) the work was completed. That’s the first step to a successful inventory.

But in order for that to happen, you have to do one of two things…

  • Take photos of everything shortly after completion and then label accordingly on the file name OR
  • Make notes on the back of the work immediately (year, medium, title), for when you CAN get around to photography

Remember that post I wrote last week about the Allegory of the Collage series I’ve been working on for the past decade or so?

Well I was really good at recording those key details of the pieces in the series, especially at the beginning, but then I lost my stride for a bit, and figured “no big deal, I have a good memory, especially when it comes to my own art, I’ll be able to come back and write the year on these drawings,” which was true at the time.

But another year passed, and I was submitting new drawings in the series for art exhibitions, luckilyI had the foresight to write down those names too, and immediately take photos! But after that point in time, I totally lost track of the work completed in subsequent years, as second time. Until last last year, when I decided to start making the collages again, and began the process of marking the details directly on the back of each piece.

So I have two gaps in the work created, I think some of it was made in 2007, and the rest between 2009-2011, but I cannot be sure. Which sucks.

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I can make a bunch of excuses for why this happened, but it doesn’t really matter because, whatever the excuse is, I still don’t know where to place about 25 of the pieces. And that sucks, because I don’t really want to guess, but in order to properly catalogue the work online, I need to have those details.

I mention this for two reasons.

First, I need the work digitized for a post I’ll be writing on Pinterest in coming weeks (which was supposed to be written a posted tonight, until I ran into the above issues)

Second, I’m going to show you in detail why it’s important to do an inventory of your work, and how to accomplish this exactly.

If you don’t have a studio inventory, you’ll be kicking yourself in a few years, and as painful as it is for me to workaround a problem of 25 images, imagine how much it would suck to do this with hundreds of pieces? Don’t fret though, this isn’t meant to scare you straight out of the studio. This is an education; it’ll get better, I promise.

For now, get started by taking photos of all of your work, including the title, the materials used, the dimensions of the piece, and the year it was made. I sound like a broken record, I’m sure, but trust me on those points. Then either store the images on your computer, a hard drive or find a place on the cloud.

I’m personally toying with Flickr option at the moment, but I’ll give you an update when I have an ideal solution, or two.

But what do you think? Have you already organized your work? How did you do it? Please leave some comments below and I’ll have some more theories tomorrow!

Tim!