Farewell for Now …

To my dear readers,

I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog over the past year and a half. I hope in some way I have contributed to your life … no matter how small.

My life is altering rapidly in amazing ways … so much that I have not been able to keep up with the blog. I have to admit to myself that no matter how much I love sharing with you, it isn’t high enough on my priority list to keep it alive.

So with that admission, I bid you adieu and wish you a fond farewell … at least for now! Please visit me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Buchheit-Art/190707613301) and check out my web page (http://www.amybuchheit.com). Thank you for joining me on this journey! 🙂

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Rerunning of an old favorite: “Why Does Art Cost So Much?” Part III

This is part three of the series, “Why Does Art Cost So Much?”.  You can catch up with Part One – Introduction and Part Two – Materials in the archives or by clicking the hyperlinks above.

The Roman Poet Titus Maccius Plautus famously said, “You must spend money to make money”.  This has more profound truth in business than in any other endeavour.  And for those who intend to turn a profit and/or make a living, art is definitely a business.

One of the biggest expenses is marketing or presentation.  Marketing is all about presenting your product or service to the marketplace with the intention of drawing customers in.  Artists accomplish this in many ways including  promotional post cards, professional stationary and framing their work (in the case of 2D artists).   The intention is to create a recognizable brand that conveys value to collectors.

The front of my two-sided business cards, created by graphic designer Charlie Stover (503-951-8919).

Post cards, business cards and letterhead are all used to create strong branding and exposure for an artist.  The best examples show consistency throughout, with similar colors, patterns, logos, and images.  These are often developed and created by graphic designers, who have to be paid for their professional services.

Creating a strong identity package can be a major up-front expense, but worth it.  Fees for professional graphic design can run into the thousands, and printing these items can cost hundreds for a run of 500 or less.  Though the cost is sometimes high, the return on investment in terms of increased level of professionalism and better reputation is well worth the cost.  It can help turn a potential collector into an actual collector.

Another key part of the identity package is found on the Internet.  In today’s market, it is critical that an artist have a strong web presence.   The most effective presence is consistent with the rest of the identity package and easily identifiable as belonging to the same artist.  Although it is possible to build a strong web presence on your own it takes time and a level of comfort with technology that not everyone has.  For those who are unwilling or unable to create and maintain a web presence themselves, paying a qualified professional can run in the thousands each year.

Even if an artist spends the time, effort and money (if using professional web design software) to establish and maintain his/her own site, the cleaner, more professional looking sites usually cost at least a small monthly fee.  These sites are free from advertisements , clutter and competition for attention with other artists.  For example, my site is housed on Yahoo Small Business and costs approximately $14.00 per month.  That is very inexpensive, it can cost much more.

No matter how well a website, blog or social media is prepared and presented, it does no good without excellent images of the work.  High-quality photography presents a critical part of a professional appearance both on the web and in print materials alike.  A stunning photograph can sell a piece sight unseen to someone half a world away, while a poor image can turn off someone who may already be interested.

Professionally photographed image of my painting, “Sailing Honu”. This piece was purchased sight-unseen, with this image (at full screen size/highest quality) as their only guide. “Sailing Honu”, acrylic on canvas, copyright 2004 Amy Buchheit All Rights Reserved.

While there are artists who have the skill to create a lasting photographic image, most are better suited to paying a professional photographer specializing in capturing art.   A quality art photographer doesn’t come cheap, but the investment can be an important part of launching a career.

Once the work is made and photographed, 2D artists must consider framing their work.  Whether or not to frame is  up to the individual artist.  The key is determining whether doing so would enhance the work.  If it will, most professional artists will pay what is needed for quality framing.

Even for the savvy shopper, custom framing often costs $100 on up – usually much more, depending on the size of the work and the quality/design of the framing.  When done right, the presence of such presentation enhances the aesthetics of the work and increase the likelihood of sales.   The cheaper option of the standard frame is sometimes utilized, but having a custom framed piece of art, with quality materials specifically tailored to have the piece look its absolute best, is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Now that we’ve explored the cost of materials being far higher than many consumers think, and the thousands of dollars that can be spent to market the work in a professional manner, next Wednesday we will explore the value of the artist’s time in Part Four – Time is Money.

© 2011 Amy Buchheit All Rights Reserved

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“Why Does Art Cost So Much?” Part 2 – revisited

The continuation of this “classic” series proceeds while I am on hiatus.  Enjoy! – Amy

“Why Does Art Cost So Much?” (Part Two – Materials)

Acrylic paint
Image via Wikipedia

A picture is worth a thousand words “* – but why does art cost so much?  This is part two of a series that attempts to unveil the mystery that surrounds art pricing (to the extent that we can here).

The creation of art involves the purchase of materials, the time to produce the work, and in many cases, framing or other presentation costs.  After the piece  is complete, there is the expense of entering traditional exhibitions, the cost of a professional photographer to shoot images of the work, time spent on marketing, more time on creating non-traditional exhibition opportunities and the general expenses of running a small business.  Last, and certainly not least, is the commission that galleries take when the work sells.  In this installment, we will look at the cost of materials.

If you have ever stepped into an art supply store, you may have noticed the high cost connected to anything having to do with art.    One such example is something called an “Art Bin“.  These are portable plastic boxes, each with one or more trays to hold a variety of supplies.  One in particular reminds me of a standard, inexpensive tackle box.  The only real difference is the word “art” on the side of the Art Bin, and the difference in price.  The Art Bin, essentially the same item as the tackle box, sells for almost twice the price!

While the experienced artist looks for comparable items (like the tackle box) to save money, until a lower-priced item is located, they’ll need to purchase something that works.  That often means buying an item sold for far more money simply because it is targeted toward artists.

Copyright 2010 Amanda J. Mersereau All Rights Reserved. aMERSEREAUdesign.com

There is also a big difference between what a student/hobby artist pays vs. what a  professional pays for the same type of material.  For example, I have paid $20.oo for a 2 oz. tube of professional grade Cobalt Blue acrylic paint, where the equivalent student grade paint costs as little as $1.99.

For the most part, the quality of professional grade supplies is vastly superior to lower grades.  In the long run, that means a far better investment for the collector.  The difference in the quality of materials is  so big,  it justifies the jump in cost for both the professional artist (who is committed to their client’s long-term satisfaction) and savvy collector.

What about photographers, you ask?  Can’t you just get a digital camera for a hundred bucks, take a ton of pictures and print them at WalMart for a few dollars each?  Yes, but again, the quality is much lower than images shot on higher quality equipment and printed by a knowledgeable print shop.  While some photographers use the lower-quality cameras to interesting effect, most all will use a professional printer that is vastly superior to your corner drug store – again for the purpose of durability and overall quality of the image.

Digital SLR. Copyright 2010 Amanda J. Mersereau All Rights Reserved. aMERSEREAUdesign.com

A low end digital SLR (the variety of camera used by most photographers) costs around $1,200.  That doesn’t include the tripod (can cost as much as $2,000), extra lenses (can cost over $1,000 apiece), and the bags to haul gear around (hundreds of dollars more for quality bags).  Add in photo editing software (up to $2400), calibration software (around $300), a higher quality computer and monitor to hold and display all these images, and that is a lot of cash!  This is before the cost of paying a high-quality photographic printer to produce the hard-copies.

It is possible for a photographer to shoot hundreds of pictures in a day’s work.  But the ratio of images that are of high enough quality to be printed is quite small in comparison.  On a photo shoot where I take 260 images, it is unlikely I will find more than five images of high enough quality for me to release.

Most professional photographers keep their fine art images to a limited edition.  I personally am working in editions of five, meaning I only sell five of the same images in any one size.  (That edition size is extremely low, to keep the value of each image high for my collectors.)

I can’t speak to the cost of creating bronze, stone or other traditional forms of sculpture.  I can tell you that  I had the intention of creating a 4 foot by 6 foot hanging sculpture out of Styrofoam – until I found that materials cost – $700 to $900! The project I made in its stead consisted of bubble wrap, cardboard (to stiffen the interior), canvas, molding paste and acrylic paint.  It still cost close to $150 and took four weeks to make.

Now that we’ve nailed down the high cost of materials in a professionally created work of art, we can talk about the price of presentation.

Continued in part three – The Price of Presentation.

* – Napoleon Bonaparte

© 2010 Amy Buchheit All Rights Reserved

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Replaying of an Old Favorite: the “Why Does Art Cost So Much” series (part one)

Hello all!  As promised, here is the first part of the six part series, “Why Does Art Cost so Much?” that ran earlier in this blog’s history.  I am staying extremely busy, and have written some (very) rough drafts for a few upcoming blogs, to run after this series ends.  Enjoy the series and please, feel free to comment.  I will be here to read them, promise!  🙂

“Why Does Art Cost So Much?” (Part one – Intro)

Monk piggy bank
Image via Wikipedia

“Why does [art] cost so much?”  This is a question that I have heard more times than you can imagine over the last 10 years.   So often, I am choosing to  address this query here, where I can reach a larger audience.

This conversation cannot start without discussing the most prevalent myth about artists – that all (or most) artists starve and live as paupers, mooching off those around them.  The perception of the starving artist is a cultural conversation, most prevalent in the United States.

Professional artists are just that, professionals.   Many of us are educated with degrees in our field.  We pursue continuing education in business development and the expansion of our technical knowledge.  We not only manufacture the product (the art), we also handle the marketing, managing, finance and every other aspect of our business.   We work hard to produce excellent quality art and position ourselves in our own unique niche in an expansive marketplace.

Artists in the United States often have one or more jobs to support ourselves while we develop our business.   (I cannot speak for artists in other countries, which is why I am working hard to get “Ask an Artist” going.)  It takes a tremendous amount of courage, dedication, wherewithall and a strong work ethic to achieve our goals.

Now that we have established professional artists as business people, we can move on to discuss the details of why art costs what it does.  Stay tuned!

Continued in Part Two – Materials.

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On Hiatus – Read On!

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Dear Reader, s, Vincent Van Gogh’s Dr. Gachet is a bit meloncholy today. “Portrait of Dr. Gachet”, Vincent Van Gogh. You know the signs.  A skipped week here.  A rushed post there.  Before you know it … the blog slows … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Scheduling and Staying Focused

Vancouver, Washington artist Katie Berggren in 2010. Used by permission of the artist.

This week’s post is by fellow Vancouver (Washington) artist Katie Berggren, best known for her paintings of intimate moments of motherhood.  I encourage you to follow the links at the end of this post to find out more about her poignant and whimsical work!

A recent ponderism: Schedules and Focus

I’m creating a list of Focus Items – items/tasks (such as specific research, communication, organization, product development, art techniques) that I can focus on for a series of days while the kids are at school (this will be the first time that both of my boys are away from me for school for more than just 8 hours a week).

I’m using this list as a way to stay on task while alone and get some goals accomplished vs. flying around like a multi-tasking freak-a-zoid.  I also have a schedule posted to my desk that reminds me that time is money – so don’t waste it!  It reminds me to get on the computer to respond to folks, then get back to creating/packing orders/learning/researching and developing as an artist (and of course, as a mother and a healthy human being as well).

I shared my scheduling inclination on Facebook not too long ago, and received some great ideas from some other mamas and artists that are clearly focused and organized as well. I shared my schedule on the Etsy Forum (with other artists & sellers) and was SHOCKED to discover how many shop owners responded that they do NOT have a schedule. They flow freely throughout the day, some admitting to not getting much done.

(Attempted to reach image owner at rightattitudes.com, website error. If this is your image, please contact me.)

For me, when the school year begins and gathers pace, I’m anticipating that my brain will start to meander, overwhelmed by all the Internet and world has to offer.  In this event, I can glance at my list and quickly get back on the trail to something I’ve always wanted to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not about accomplishing non-stop, or creating until creating is no longer fun. It is about pinpointing just what I desire, and attacking it while training my brain to stay focused at the same time.

What about you ~ do you keep a schedule for yourself?  Do you give yourself time allotments for social media and online research?  (Or maybe, you are not prone to getting sucked into the Internet.)   At the end of the day do you wonder where all of the time went and what good you did?

About Katie:  An internationally recognized and award-winning painter, Katie Berggren’s art career began in high school when she launched a pencil-portrait business. Graphic design and illustration took her to Central Washington University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  After a brief career in graphic design, Katie was drawn to focus exclusively on painting.

Her days are spent with two young boys by her side, while she strives to balance simple, loving motherhood with the discipline and craft of painting.  Always interested in the dynamic relationships between those around her, she narrowed that focus to study the intimacies between mothers and their children.  The resulting acrylic portraits reflect intimate moments of motherhood through gentle, whimsical compositions and soothing tones.

"Whimsical Mother", Katie Berggren, 24"x24", acrylic on canvas. Copyright Katie M. Berggren 2010, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of the artist.

You can learn more about Katie and her magical motherhood paintings on her website as well as her blog, “Painting Motherhood”.  You can also find her work and related products for sale on Etsy.

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Death by Erasure

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  ~Ambrose Redmoon

If you erase TOO much, you'll wear a hole in the paper.

As my writer friends know, a lot has to happen before an article of any sort comes into existence.  First, you need an idea.  An outline can work wonders for developing longer writings, creating a sort of skeleton on which to hang the meat of the article.  Once the framework is in place, the article can be fleshed out, then edited.  For a blog article you then look for images to compliment the content, edit again and then edit some more.  But while brevity and clarity are admirable traits in most any style of writing … so is the author’s voice.  The challenge I face is not to edit so much that I delete my personality entirely.

Until the launch of this blog last year, the last bit of “creative” writing I had done was my thesis statement in 2006, which was largely autobiographical in nature.  Aside from that, most of my writing from 2000 – 2010 consisted of fact-filled research papers.  In that format, there is little room for dashes of personal wit and sprinkles of personal anecdotes.   Just the facts, ma’am.  That, along with a sneaky underlying desire to remain somewhat hidden behind a a logical, “normal” facade (whatever normal is!) creates a tendency toward deleting the best of myself out of my articles.  It takes courage to swing out there and lay it all on the line.  I’ve not yet concluded that I am ready to be that courageous in my writing.

What is your biggest creative challenge?  Do you over analyze or over think your work?  Do you tend to rush it, or send it out into the world before it is ready?  Or is your biggest creative challenge that you don’t challenge yourself?  Or “worse” … you don’t allow yourself space to explore the creative side of you at all?  We are all on this big blue spinning ball together … I’d love to hear your experiences!  🙂

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Just. Let. Go. (The Path to Serenity)

“In business, you have to look at whether or not you are going to make a profit.  There are two kinds of profit – monetary and emotional.  First you have to determine if you will make any money.  Then you need to look at whether the emotional cost is worth it.  If it is something that is going to make you absolutely bat-shit crazy, choose the path of serenity.” – Ed Harris

I choose the path to serenity! "Spirit in the Sky III", digital photograph. Copyright 2009 Amy Buchheit, All Right Reserved.

“But … but … what if?” …

Over the last year or so, I have been in conversation with a potential client/family member about doing a commissioned painting that would be close to both our hearts.  Although I was a bit nervous about doing it justice, I was excited about the prospect of doing something that would enrich my client’s life!

When the time came to talk about the contract, my (anonymous) family member  insisted on sending his/her own, rather than using my standard form.  I thought, no problem!  We can negotiate and make changes as we go along.  But guess what?  I had made an assumption.  Turned out I was wrong.

Two things that hadn’t occurred to me:  a) he/she had no background in art law and b) he or she might not be interested in negotiating.  (I often forget that not everyone operates the way I do.)

Taken unawares, I was shocked at the terms included in the contract – as well as what was left out.  I was even more surprised when he/she refused to talk about wording that made no sense to me.  I was told that if I didn’t like it, he/she would find another artist to work with.

At first I was taken aback.   I had *both* of our best interests at heart, but I didn’t get the impression the family member felt I did.  I was baffled when attempts to discuss the contract were rejected.  I spent hours crafting and editing a response.  That night was long and sleepless, tossing and turning as I tried to figure out how to get the point across: that all I wanted was a contract whose wording reflected the intent.

My cat Bitsy thinking, "For God's sake ... just ... let ... go!!!"

When I awoke I thought perhaps I should just let it go.  Yet I worried … what if?  What if she couldn’t find another artist to do it justice?  (Arrogant, I know.  And, this project *is* close to my heart.)  What if he/she gets upset that I decline?  What if this is the only path to making money as an artist, ever, and turning it down will leave me completely destitute for eternity?  (Yes, my mind goes down dark tunnels like this sometimes.  Thankfully, I know not to let it linger.  Its scary and full of cobwebs.)

Luckily, that day  I was having a social visit with an expert contract negotiator.   Over coffee, I presented the dilemma and asked for advice.  He offered suggestions that would help me move the negotiations forward.

About half way into the conversation, he furrowed his brow and began to question what the other party had been unwilling to change.  Eventually he said, “If you are willing to, I would suggest just letting this one go.”  Since that was exactly what I was thinking, I thanked him and walked away feeling confident in what I needed to do.

Due to the nature of the project and who I was going to be doing it for, declining the job wasn’t easy.  But I felt that there was too much of a chance that even negotiating the contract could damage our relationship, so I chose to pass.

Since turning down the job, conversations between myself and said family member miraculously resumed their natural lightness – and my time has been freed up to continue laying a strong foundation for my business.  It is likely the other path would have driven me “absolutely bat-shit crazy”.  It wasn’t an easy choice … and I’m happy to have selected the path of serenity.

Is there anything now or in the past, that would have given you peace if you had just let go?  Did you hold on for dear life anyway?  Or did you chose to trust that all would be well and release it?  What was the outcome?  I’d love to hear your experiences.

© 2011 Amy Buchheit, All Rights Reserved.

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The Art of Prioritizing

If I look in the mirror and this is what I see - I'd get scared because that isn't me!!! (Oh, what if it WAS me? I would say it's time to prioritize!) "Overwhelmed" by Walt Stoneburner on Flickr

So … you have 30 tasks you feel MUST be done today, and time to do about 20 of them.  What do you do?  Work yourself until you are so exhausted you can’t remain upright any longer, then claw your way out of bed to do it again the next day?  (Is this sounding like the voice of experience?  Hmmmm …)  Go to the movies because there is no way you could do all of it, so why even try?   Do the 20 things you *can* squeeze in, then beat yourself up with a (hopefully) imaginary cat-o-nine tails for failing?

For 15 years or so, I most often worked myself to the bone or beat myself to a pulp for failing.  I flailed around without much of a plan, or one that was so unrealistic there was no way I could possibly accomplish it all.   But as I get older (and feel less indestructible), I find the sane approach to getting things done is utilizing the art of prioritization.

Why do I call prioritizing an art?  It isn’t just to fit it in to the theme of this blog (although, that does work out nicely).  I label it as such because in my experience, there is no one right way to do it.  It is a generative, even somewhat creative act.

Sometimes, the best place for weary bones is watching a good movie in a comfy theater. "Old-school Movie Theater" by Daveybot on Flickr

When prioritizing throughout the day, I ask myself, “What do I need, right now?”.  There are times the answer *is* to go to the movies, because my brain and/or body are on overload.  The priority is resting and taking care of myself.  Sometimes I put the tasks at hand in order of importance, accomplish as much as I can and put the rest on the “to do list” for the following day.  At other times, a deadline is looming and work becomes the top priority, so I push myself to accomplish the goal.

I don’t operate at random any more – I choose the direction my life will take.  I ask myself – What exhibitions are right for me, and showcase my work in its best light?  What grants should I spend my time applying for?  What marketing is likely to make the most difference?  I ask these questions before selecting what to do, and make sure my actions fit my priorities.

While prioritization is a shifting, generative act, there are things I use as an overarching guideline … a master priority list, of sorts.  It, too, can change as situations arise, such as a when a friend or family member is grievously ill and needs my support NOW. But in general, this is the list I use (in order of importance):

  1.  My personal well-being
  2. The well-being of living things in my care
  3. Generating enough income to pay bills, eat, have clothing and a roof over my head and yes, even PLAY on occasion
  4. Supporting friends and loved ones in times of need
  5. Growing my business

It may seem surprising that growing my business is on the bottom of my “Top 5” list.  But without personal well-being, I won’t have the energy to do anything!  If I don’t take care of the living things around me (my dog, my cat, my plants, friends and family in need), I will eventually feel guilt and remorse.  If I don’t generate enough money to pay the bills and provide the basics, I will, at some point, be worried.  Worry, guilt and remorse are all energy drainers that work in direct opposition to creating a life that works.

Don't let the pretty lights fool you. Bumping around in there would hurt! "Pinball Bumpers" by Kapungo on Flickr

I’m not saying that prioritizing comes naturally.  My tendency is to work furiously toward a goal until I’m  exhausted.  So now, when life isn’t going according to plan I have to stop myself to ask – what is really important? Sleep, or getting the blog posted this week?  (You may have noticed that lately, the answer has been sleep!)  By asking the question, I give myself the opportunity to choose.  I find that to be much more powerful than being bounced amongst the bumpers in the pinball game of life.

Do you take the time to prioritize things in your life?  If so, what are your top five?   If not, does it work for you to always just “go with the flow”?  I’d love to hear what works for you.

© 2011 Amy Buchheit All Rights Reserved

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Organization Supports Creativity

How to organize your acrylic paints

Image by ♥ Melly Kay ♥ via Flickr

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. ~ A. A. Milne

People often imagine artist’s studios strewn about with tubes of paint, various trinkets, well-used paint brushes and drying gobs of clay or other goo.  They picture a general wreck surrounding the artist either for inspiration, or perhaps as a consequence of the artist’s lack of care and single-minded focus on the work.

I wish I could say this is never true for me, but there are times when it is.  My tiny dedicated art space, a 8’x10’ room, also serves as both storage and my business office.  Art supplies, ephemera, canvases, sketchbooks, seven different types of glue, scissors and other tools of the trade have to be stored alongside tax records, contracts, instruction manuals and exhibition records.   When I get focused on a project, items sometimes get out-of-place to the point where it looks as if a bomb when off in there.  Given the scarcity of space and the suffocation of creativity caused by clutter, I eventually have to deal with it, regardless of the importance of a deadline.  (Needless to say, it is easier to simply put things where they belong.)

This isn’t to say the space has to remain pristine or untouched.  I like my studio to feel alive and lived in.  The walls are covered with small original art works and decor that inspires or interests me.  A cool midnight black velvet cloth dotted with circular reflective discs drapes atop some stark white plastic storage bins.  My “Nightmare Before Christmas” votive candelabra means I can have five scented candles burning in a relatively small space.  The shelf-unit stereo provides a variety of tunes to keep me inspired as I work.  I also have a section of wall with art-related awards so when things get challenging, I am reminded of accomplishments and buoyed by acknowledgements received thus far.

Organized but lively bookshelves! 🙂 (The blue and black item at the lower right is an action figure of "The Invisible Woman" from Fantastic For that fell over. Goes to show - organized doesn't mean perfect!

With all of the interesting and useful things in my studio, the most important “thing” is how organized it is.  While I’m sure professional organizers could teach me a thing or two, for a greenhorn, I think I’ve done quite well.  The one closet has a built-in organizer with drawers and shelving to separate different types of supplies.  The drawers hold items ranging from small office supplies (binder clips, rulers, etc.) to collections of seed pods and other objects from nature that I feel will be useful soon.  Some shelves in the closet hold office supplies such as reams of paper, where others house small plastic bins with drawers, each containing small art supplies such as charcoal sticks or adhesives.

The wooden six-drawer dresser holds many things from mailing envelopes of all sizes to loops for viewing photographs.  Sitting atop the dresser is a wood flat file holding large sheets of paper, sketches for ideas-in-progress and completed projects yet to be given away or framed for display.  Each drawer in the dresser and flat file are clearly marked with a large, easy-to-read label listing items contained inside.   I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

So what does this have to do with creativity?   In my mind – everything.  That isn’t to say that you can’t create in a messy space.  I have done it before, and if needed, could do it again.  But nothing stops the creative flow quite like not being able to find that glue you’re sure you had, or … by the time you finally find what heap the glue is in, realizing you are almost out and have to go to the store.  I can’t tell you how many times I howled in frustration when I can’t track something down, something I *know* I just saw, but end up spending a half hour trying to find.  Before my space was organized, that was my life in the studio.  When I couldn’t tolerate it any longer, I got smart and started labeling.

Some see this as over-the-top. I see it as working smart.

Once I got organized, I was able to shave off even more time from my work day by setting up structures that not only kept me organized, but helped me find ways to improve on my current system.  I came up with a series of steps where I set out everything I would need for the day prior to putting brush to canvas.  In doing so, I can determine if there is anything needed prior to beginning the work, run errands first and thus reduce the risk of interrupting my creative flow.  Once I start, if I decide I want a bit of ephemera, a special paper or some other small object to attach to the canvas, I know where to find it.  I simply walk over to the clearly labeled drawer or shelf, take out what I want and get right back to work without disrupting my the project.

So yes, I can sometimes fall into having the stereotypically messy artist’s studio, and yes, I can work in that type of space (to a point).  But I often find myself frustrated when I do.  To me, organization supports creativity so much that it’s well worth the effort to put in place, maintain, and improve over time.

Do you find it’s important to stay organized, or can you produce equally creative results in a messy environment?

© 2011 Amy Buchheit.  All Rights Reserved. 

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