Finding Focus: The Dilemma of the Modern Artist

As an artist in this beautiful (and often CRAZY) world we live in, it can be tough to put energy into just one project. Especially with the training of multiple mediums we are given in the art institutions we attend, and the pressure from the art sector to utilize more than just the traditional mediums in our work, it is easy for us artists to develop what I like to call “Art ADD”.

For me personally this means I always have about 5 projects running at once, with a million other ideas on the back burner. On top of an art focused job, and a social life, this makes completing projects really really difficult. Though this is much better than the problem of having no project ideas or inspiration, it can be difficult to buckle down and follow through on a project to fruition.

So, here are some tips I have on finishing up projects/getting the follow through.

1. Budget Your Time- This may mean less cuddle time with the various cats hanging around, which might sound like less fun. But ultimately, you’ll have more to show for your time! Making a calendar, setting goals of where you see your project on certain days, and even just estimating how many more hours you plan to spend on different stages can be really helpful and make the project seem less daunting.

For example, for my photography projects I usually budget: 1 hour of project planning/research/location selection, 2-4 hours of shooting, 1 hour of image selection/evaluation (which may result in scrapping the project or starting over, in which case I would start over), 4-6 hours of editing.

2. Reward yourself for good behavior! – Sometimes, I simply reward myself by setting aside more time to practice guitar or go for a run, but that won’t work for everyone. The most important thing you can do is find what reward you are willing to work for, whether it be a cup of coffee to go with your editing, an extra ten dollars added to your goodwill budget for every project you finish, whatever it may be, find it and your productivity will grow!

3. Sharing is Caring (And it can be fun!) – Often times sharing your work as an artist can be nerve-wracking, especially if it is pushing boundaries or not necessarily ‘traditional’. What helps me in the different stages of production is sharing my ideas/project plans with friends, family, blogging, etc. For example, I will use the recent Genie shoot many of you have been following.

First, I started by posting the picture below on FB, showing that I was trying to make a costuming and body paint decision. Hearing people get excited about seeing the pictures encouraged me to follow through and get working right away. Instead of delaying the shoot for weeks, as is often the case, I shot the next day!

After shooting comes what I consider the hard part, getting inspired to edit! Again, sharing with fellow bloggers the pre-edit shot (below) and getting positive and constructive responses helped me realize that people do want to see what I’m doing, and that I should get done with the editing so they can see the work at its best!

Finally, getting to share and unveil the final product is super exciting!

Stay tuned for more from this shoot later this week! 


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