Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Review of the January 30 in 30 Painting Challenge.

January 31st

It's official, the 30 in 30 challenge is over.
And although I didn't paint 30 paintings this challenge, I am most proud of this one out of all the other challenges that I have done. I ran my art business during the month of January and I spent a good amount of time painting. What I struggle with the most is balance; time painting, marketing, getting ready for shows, personal goals etc. The 30 in 30 challenge forced me to look it how I spend my time. I don't have any of it resolved but I know I can run my art business and continue to paint. Sometimes I feel like the business is taking over and leaving little time to paint.

What I do know is how important it is to keep painting. It is the whole reason I'm doing this in the first place. I also know how important it is to keep exploring and trying new things. I didn't reach my goal of doing oil paintings, painting bigger, try a mixed media collage or doing batik paintings. I understand how important it is for me to continually have new pieces for the shows, galleries and shops let alone my web page. But on the other hand it was a pretty busy month for me and I fared okay. And in the end I tried some new things.

This month I:
 Spent the first seven days on a family vacation, worked one painting party, held 3 alcohol ink classes, did 1 show, took 5 art classes for enjoyment and exploration, registered for 3 shows while mapping out the list of shows to apply to this year, worked on 1 commission, gathered work for 4 different venues including the framing and matting of several new pieces, developed a new class for February, finished my finacial reporting, paid sales tax and had a marketing and financial meeting concerning goals for 2016 with a consultant, put out a newsletter, had a birthday full of fun with friends and family, took a mother daughter wine glass painting night, had a root canal, went out twice with friends for lunch and went to an art guild board meeting. 

I list these things for my benefit, to remind myself that even though there always seems like so much to do, I am accomplishing a lot. I should also mention that I have an assistant, my daughter, who is a tremendous amount of help in all of this. Without her the list would have been smaller and I have to remind myself that one day she will be off working elsewhere so best to get a hold of things now.

But the point is, the balance is not quite there. I'm not getting on my bike as much as I'd like to and on busy days there's no bike at all. My house is a bit unorganized... my desk is hard to find under the piles of papers and art stuff, my kitchen table seems to be the catch-all for all my framing work and my studio needs a good once over. One of my goals for 2016 is to loose 1000 pounds of junk from my house. January didn't see much of that going on. I want to declutter and organize, not just my business but my personal life too.

I would be remiss if I didn't say that the boundaries between my business and play are always a bit fuzzy. In truth, I love what I do. My art is my play and work at the same time. I know I need to write a blog post today - but I'm having a good time with the self reflection. My sister says I work all the time. What is it? Do I work all the time or do I play all the time?

So here I am looking a new month in the face.
I've written out a few personal goals - a few places that I feel I can improve for the month of February. I have a monthly calendar where I get to look at these goals and plan how to make them come about.

In short my goals are: 
Spend less time watching TV and playing games on the I pad. Relaxation is great - plan it better. 
Spend more time on my bike. Read more. Organize my bedroom. Clean and organize my studio and office. Finish my commission.  Try some abstracts, batiks and mixed media. Get new works for Spring Art Scene in April. Organize my business into one note book where I can keep tract of things a bit better.

So thanks, 30 in 30 challenge for reminding me that I can have it all with just a bit more time management and some good planning.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you achieve balance? Leave a comment please.