Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Consequences of "Yes"

May I, once again, plug Jackie Battenfield's book, The Artist's Guide?

I received my complimentary (ahem) copy yesterday and immediately had to make a nice cup of tea and sit down and read, well, at least the introduction.  And having read the introduction, I can say with certainty that is a lovely book.  In fact, I think every artist should not just read it, but follow the damn advice already!  I can see how some people might recoil at some of her practices because they are business practices not art practices but, if I may quote from one of the artists in the book, "All my decisions come from wanting to make art for the rest of my life" (Janine Antoni).  If that isn't your story, then what exactly are you doing calling yourself an artist?

Read the book!

For myself, staring at calendar for the next year that is jam-packed with exciting projects that will take me across Canada as well as to Portland, OR, Boston, MA and Riverdale (in the Bronx), the book came at the perfect time.  Never have I been so busy as an artist and it scares the bejeezes out of me.  In many ways rejection is easier to handle than success.  The word "NO" is pretty clear cut and it gives one something to fight against.  "YES" on the other to handle "yes"?

My challenge seems to be time management.  Time management.  Kind of an odd phrase, really.  I am a believer that multi-tasking is an oxymoron, so this will be an interesting time.  The nature of my work means I need to be in the place where the work is happening.  It means I can't just ship my paintings off and move on - I have to be in residence.  Just me...and my two children.  Just me and my increasingly cranky, almost teenaged children. 

But this is what I have worked for decades to attain, so it is a total thrill.  I am ready for it.

And yet....

Jackie tells me that what I need to do is some planning.  Short-term and long-term and keep track of stuff.  

Yes, I can do that.  

Thanks Jackie!


Unknown said...

There is nothing better for teen age children than for them to be teen age semi adults.

To gain responsibilities, and self confidence--to become functioning members of a family, not just passive ones.

Your children are of an age where they want to test there wings.. and you are going to have to let them fledge and fly--(and still keep them safe in the nest!)

Ask them what they want to do--what jobs do they want--and what rewards to they reap for taking on these responsibilites..

A kid who show they can be responsible for laundy --for sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting it away, is a kid who is responsible..(maybe to head off on his/her bike far out of sight..
or is responsible enough to do?

and a kid who can't get wash (or dishes) or any other simple around the house done, Obviously can be trusted to...

Get a white board, and make up some calenders, and some responsiblity charts..

Kids shouldn't be paid to participate on household responsiblity.. *but responsible kids should have an allowance. (you have spending money you don't have to account for.. they, too, should be able to indulge in, in not fiber, what ever they desire (in my son's case, Lego's (he's as close in age to you as i am, and still buying lego's!)

I know, you've just mastered mothing kids, and now you have start over and learn how to mother teens.. but have fun!

Robyn said...

Lots of wisdom there, Helen...thanks! I am happy to say that both F&L can and do wash, dry and put away both dishes and laundry. They have ridden their bicycles out of sight (just recently - oh me heart!). It is hard, this getting old thing, getting old while your children get old too... I am hoping all our travels together will expand their horizons in ways that can't happen in NYC or Newfoundland. We shall see!