Monday, October 1, 2018

Productivity in the Studio Part 1

Welcome to  my version of Productivity in the Studio.  These are the practices that help me.  Yours may be different.  Feel free to share in the comments.  I'd love to hear from you.



I am known as a highly productive, multimedia artist who shows a lot.  I am self-represented, showing mostly in academic settings and artist run spaces. In my 40+ year career I have exhibited in well over 200 exhibitions, with 35 solo shows, from coast to coast, with a brief foray into Mexico.  I am also a former gallery director working over 12 years in Michigan and Minnesota.

First and foremost:


It is not a matter of waiting for inspiration.  Inspiration will find you in the act of working.   I often say every artist needs a "mug."

What do I mean by that?  I mean that we all need something we can DO artistically when flow appears to be absent.  For a potter, that would be a mug.  For a poet, that would be a journal entry. For a painter that might be drawing.  In working and playing with our materials routinely, new ideas will pop-up.

Let there be ORDER

We all have varying needs for order.  Some of us need visual chaos to work (Think Francis Bacon!).  Some of us need ascetic, Zen-garden surroundings.  I need well labeled boxes and drawers of materials.  I need tools quickly available at the point of use.  I need a moderate amount of visual stimulation in the studio...but not too much mess.  This allows me to approach the state of flow much more quickly than if I have to search all over for the right tool or material.  However, from time to time, elves do seem to come in the night and move things.  Currently cannot find some important scissors!

Learn your needed degree of order and organization.  It will help you be productive.

Do you have a mission statement?  I usually have one, re-evaluated every couple of years.  It helps me to look at my work to see if it "belongs."   I find it useful when I feel lost or stuck in the studio. For me it is a way of providing order.

My current mission statement goes something like this:

I create objects and experiences from a variety of media on the themes of nostalgia, feminism and age.  It is my mission to gently involve all sorts of people in these discussions with the goal of helping them regard on another with empathy.

It's a little out of date, but still functions pretty well.

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