It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of Nike, a student at the Academy or jobless and receiving welfare — a day only has 24 hours. If then, you want to make something out of your life, time management is imperative.
While all of the people who work a 9-5 job have time management enforced into their lives by their workplace, those of us who are self employed don’t have a boss to tell us when to work and when to have our lunch break.
And with no HR person breathing down our neck and telling us what to do and when to do it, we have to do this ourselves.
From calculating taxes, checking contracts, planing meetings to learning about our craft and following some sort of news platform so we actually know what’s happening in our field. Oh, and making art, right?! Sometimes freedom can be quite constraining.
Ask any big corporation, they’ll tell you that for what we do as one person, they have a team. So, we creatives do deserve a pat on the back for putting up with our enormous work loads and still finding time to make something from nothing that genuinely intrigues the minds and bodies of our followers.
But where in this incredibly dense equation of the-things-we-should-be-doing and having-no-time-to-do-them should we squeeze in the most important job of all — marketing?
Not as cool as being a bohemian artist, not as rewarding as making a sale or signing a new licensing deal but probably much more important than everything else mentioned, marketing our work is the only functional way to propagate our ideas into the world.
And today’s world is already quite full — full of people like us, doing things that are similar to ours — so saying we need to have a strong game would be an understatement.
But while many of us think we need to be creating Hollywood-like movies about what we do or making some blown-up statements on how our work will “change the world as we know it”, it really could and should be much simpler. Like, really simple.
There is a divide between art producers and art consumers, more or less caused by the misunderstandings amongst the two groups. One feels the need to have to defend its reasons for even existing and many times overly complicates its own production just to feel like its work isn’t obsolete and useless.
The other of course isn’t really that knowledgable about the theory and elaborate ideologies that such overly-complex products describe and instead of applauding the producers for being such maestros, they shun them a bit. Naturally, nobody wants to feel stupid. The least of all cultured and wealthy individuals.
So, my take on the situation:
Make art simple to understand. Make the process transparent; not by showing boring two hour videos of us mixing paints and priming our canvases, but by maybe sitting down in-between the drying coats of paint and speaking about our work.
We should be documenting our process — not by defending our right to have one, but by explaining our motivations with simple language and a good story.
And when we don’t have time to set-up a video camera; why not take out your phone and make a short handheld IGTV video or Facebook video on any topic that you like — connected with your art or maybe even just about what makes you tick.
Give those who are interested in your work a glimpse into your mind and your process; document how you clean your brushes (or how you never do), why you use a certain brand or type of canvas (even if it’s because it’s the cheapest — sincerity is gold) or show pictures and write about the books you like to read.
Some people religiously reread a few books that are special to them every year (something I could never do), and the intentions and the drive behind doing so are actually fascinating to people like me, who after finishing a book usually toss it away and find another one to read. So even the minuscule things that we do in our lives can be immensely interesting to some people!
We shouldn’t just be painting pictures on canvases and Fabriano paper, we should be painting mental images onto the minds of our followers and soon-to-be-followers. Only so can we ever succeed in expanding our reach to the people who really care and genuinely like our work.