The way I see it, we each spend far too much time focused on the ‘have to’s that have to get done that we don’t make the time to follow our ‘must do’s’ that feed our soul.
So to combat this, I’m getting accountable and holding nothing back in a series and exhibition called 'Balancing Act,' a behind the scenes insight into balancing commitments and creativity.
This is how I balanced May
May Review: On Shipping
Author and Educator, Seth Godin, advocates shipping, the part of the creative process involved in releasing a new product, idea or thought into the world. Not waiting for something to be ‘perfect’ but to instead honour the deadlines of the shipping process.
But this is harder than it sounds because just before shipping, self doubt, procrastination, fear and self-sabotage arrive in the form of Resistance, which stems from our Lizard Brain or the Amygdala. This part of our brain fears things outside our control and so it finds ways to stall us from putting out into the world such things that could cause us harm or danger - whether physical or emotional.
Resistance can be so instinctual that we often fail to override it and so we retreat. We hide out in our comfort zones, waiting in the hope that one day the time will feel right, feel better and be without fear.
Shipping overrides this resistance and makes fear irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how loud the Lizard Brain shouts ‘Resist’, because you’re committed, you’ve signed a contract; you’re shipping regardless of how you feel, regardless of constraints or excuses and so you’d best do as good of a job as possible.
So now I have a shipping contract - two emails and at least two new website entries per month. No longer can I keep the 100 odd drafts in my folder and wait for the ‘right time,’ or for them to be ‘perfect’ - I must ship.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles get in the way, like how I’ve had 4 hours sleep last night after one too many southern comforts leaving me with a self-inflicted sore head, or how I am tempted to curl up on the sofa, I’m writing this instead because - shipping!
Godin brings this shipping concept to a whole new level. For over a decade he has shipped a new piece of writing each and every day. That kind of commitment is a truly prolific and generous way of sharing art to the world.
And this month, I’m delighted to share a new artwork called ‘Interconnected' displayed as part of an outdoor exhibition this month called ForM. The sculpture is not ‘perfect,’ and there’s parts I would change, but I’ve fulfilled my end of the contract and cared enough to ship.
When and what will you next ship?
Inside the Studio:
Week beginning 6th: was spent finishing off my large ‘Interconnected’ sculpture to allow it to dry in time for it’s exhibition debut in ForM at the end of the month.
Week beginning 13th: Much of this week was spent in meetings discussing a new Maternity Hospital Mural and coming up with a workable design to show the board. Began work on a wax model for my mini sculptures and the first of a two part workshop on sculpting a dog at Songbird ceramics took place.
Week beginning 20th: My term time classes started back this week at Ards Art Centre in both Oils and Acrylics and Sculptural Ceramics. The second part of our Sculpting the Dog workshop finished and you wouldn’t believe the results. It amazes me how that extended and focused time really impacts the quality of learning. The sun was out this week so I took it as an opportunity to get the easel out in the garden and begin a preliminary sketch of my next commission - an A1 Oil portrait of a brother and sister.
Week beginning 27th: The ForM exhibition launched this week so the final glazing touches went onto the sculpture alongside getting plinths ready for installation. Teaching and studio time felt balanced this week with progress on my next big sculpture.
Next Month: June sees my final teaching month before the summer begins and attention moves to paintings, holidays and the big push for the solo show.
May Website Updates:
On the Journal:
Balancing Act Quick Links:
If you’re just catching this now, here’s what’s happened so far:
January Tactic: Balance and Accountability
January Review: White Space
February Tactic: Define the Pace
February Review: Wrestling Resistance
March Tactic: Action Versus Reaction
March Review: The Knock-on Effect
April Tactic: Go Wide or Go Deep
May Tactic: Sow a Mustdo Seed
What about you?
Let me know in the comments below how you found this month, what you’ve created, or what you’re struggling with and particularly how you deal with resistance before shipping.
And if you want an added dose of support, sign up to Studio notes to receive free tips, lessons, discounts and insights into the studio right to your inbox.
I hope you have a creative June and stay tuned for the second part of Balancing Act - a thought, tactic or strategy to help you make time for your he[art] coming out on Monday 17 June