I’m a busy guy. I own and run two galleries, blog and share videos related to the art business, am a husband and father of four, and strive to spend significant time volunteering in my community. I have a lot I’m juggling, so I must stay organized. I have robust systems for my calendaring, task and project management, and communication.
For many years, I’ve been an active student of organizational gurus – well-known authorities, like David Allen, and more obscure experts, including many YouTubers who share tips on being more productive. The knowledge I’ve gained about organization has helped me get a lot done and has allowed me to remain relatively sane.
As I’ve studied, I’ve developed an affinity for exploring and understanding different approaches to organization. Not everything I learn directly applies to me and my circumstances, but I find people’s attempts to order their lives and activities endlessly fascinating and often helpful.
Working closely with artists, I have enjoyed learning that the stereotypical image of creative people being scattered and unorganized often isn’t true. While there are certainly many artists who enjoy leading a life unencumbered by structure and planning, I have worked with plenty of creative people who are both highly creative and highly organized.
The most successful artists are usually the ones who can strike a balance between creativity and organization. They can be creative when they need to be, but they are also able to be organized and disciplined when it is necessary.
One of the most important things I have learned from working with artists is that creativity is not an all-or-nothing proposition. There are many ways to be creative, and not all of them require a lot of spontaneity or improvisation. Sometimes the most creative ideas come from carefullly planning and executing a vision.
This leads to today’s discussion questions:
How do you organize your creative practice?
How do you organize your time and creativity?
Do you have a structured system, or are you more free-wheeling in your creativity?
How do you balance creating with promoting and selling your art?
What tools have you found most helpful in getting yourself organized?
What do you find most challenging/frustrating about organizing your art practice?
Do you always have a plan for what you’ll be creating next, or is your subject matter spontaneous?
Join the conversation in the comments below.