Monday, March 23, 2009

Week 11 Happenings in the Studio

Old Habits Die Hard

This is my first semester out of college and yet I still took a Spring Break to recuperate. (And I continue to think of time in 15 week chunks. I can’t wait for that to change.) I planned on staying in San Francisco for three nights but it evolved into five. There were just so many things to do, places to revisit and friends to catch up with.

The reason for the trip was to see Ian's brother and cousin who were out from Colorado. The highlights were playing four player of Little Big Plant on the Wii and chasing the Frisbee at Totem Pole Park with the guys. One whole day I got to spend the day with Andy, painting trim and installing blinds and shelves. As always, she spoiled me with vegetarian delights all served on her pottery. New experiences are what I look forward to and hanging out with Luke this week more than filled my quota. He had some friends over to brew and bottle beer. Everyone’s beer was at different stages, so I got to see the various steps of brewing. I got to do some capping and taste testing!

One of the many things I picked up this week:

Zenbe. I set up a free online account for this list making program. It even syncs with your iphone. That will come in handy when I get an iphone. (I also learned that it's iphone and not eyephone. LOL. Good thing my friends keep me in the loop.)

Weekly Goals

Typically I plan out the week on Monday, but I was in San Francisco and setting goals wasn’t on the list. In fact, there was no list! In a retroactive sense here are the “goals” for week 11:

1. Relax. Socialize. Recharge. Get encouragement and ideas by talking with fellow artists.

I know it’s silly to put socialize as a “to-do” but often I don’t make time for it. Last Saturday back in Sacramento was the first social thing I’ve done in Sacramento in almost 3 months that didn’t involve my family or family friends. I’ve been way too focused on my art and marketing, to venture out of the house.

This “socializing goal” is staying on the list, along with take 1 day off a week. Workaholic, I know. I’m going too finally get around to making some calls and hang out with some friends. :-)

Visiting my old home, San Fran, made me finally accept that the kinds of friends that excite me are those that are adventurous, risk takers, creatives, curious, ambitious, focused, and driven. This makes for endless story sharing of random experiences and things being learned. I feel encouraged, energized and fearless. Thank you for this my friends.

2. Asses the progress since starting HITS

The drag about evaluating the progress of one’s efforts is admitting when things aren’t progressing fast enough or not working at all. Over the week, talking with friends who are in the film biz or photography world, they know their worth and have no problem setting a limit on how little they will work for. I know it’s only a matter of changing my mindset, but I want to help anyone who asks. Often, this means working for less than I feel I am worth. Now that I have a degree, I feel like I can and should charge more, but currently I’m lacking in the gumption to set my hourly rate at least $20 hour. It’s even hard to write. Ahhh!

Now that I’m tracking my time and what gets accomplished, I figured out how much I’ve been making. Money is not bad. It’s necessary for me to travel, pay rent, eat, pay off student loans. The assessment showed that the reward and hours of work are grossly disproportionate. I put in way more time than the fun I get out of it. Rewards are lots of things to me: sharing what I’m learning (like through this blog or with studio visits or talking with friends), excitement of creating (not mass producing) in the studio and of course, money. Having a lack of reward is burning me out. I’m losing steam. What would really help would be to raise the traffic to this site, so advertisers would want to be on this blog. Continuing to make the site attractive to advertisers is a goal for this current week.

I work hard now, to establish a business that revolves around freedom. Being able to travel spur of the moment or changing around my days, is what I love. I don’t want to continue working 6 days a week. The plan is to structure a business or work for someone, where I’m working 4 or 5 days a week. The big question is what will the business offer?

Photos of San Francisco, redwoods and French birthday party are here.

Biggest Weekly Challenge

Enjoying the Journey

As a kid I'd always want to be in the older kids group, just like my brother. At Easter egg hunts at Leads Castle, I'd get confused and end up finding the Cadbury eggs in the big kids section. I always want to hurry up and finish, so I can go onto the next grade. I'm done with school, but the mentality is still here. How do I slow down and enjoy the journey?

It's funny (and irritating to my mom) when I pick up advise from other people, when she's been saying it all along. Why is that? I don't intentionally do that. Last Thursday, working for Andy, she shared that you only start out once. So enjoy the time and let others support you. My mom has been invaluable and incredibly supportive of me while I'm trying to figure out what to do next. She's knows I'll take care of her in the future when I am better established. She is absolutely right. But how do I figure out what to do next?

In the last week and a half, I've planned out three scenarios on what to do next. This is nothing new. I'm constantly planning up random and exciting paths. One idea hit me while walking around the rooster park in Old Fair Oaks. There is an airplane hanger that would be ideal for an artist's studio and office. I mentally ran through the steps to get the loan, approaching the current business in the hanger and making them an offer and envisioning how to best set up the furniture in each room.

Then I saw Coraline and my dormant passion of working in stop motion animation was rekindled. I looked up Laika to see if they're hiring, the requirements and then thought about which district I'd live in up in Portland. I decided to not get a car, but bike. And to join the juggling group and find a club to fence at.

Right after that, riding on the train from SF, I remembered my idea of working for Amtrak and traveling around the US. I'd stay over and explore cities and get to see the East coast. I'd just have a backpack of possessions to keep track of. I'd blog about my travels and the interesting and random folks on the train.

All of this dreaming, planning and brainstorming is tiring. My original plan when getting out of school was to pick up odd jobs that are art related and improve my blog to bring in more business. I thought by giving myself time and the freedom to dabble here and there, I'd figure out what to do next. Instead, I'm exhausted and unsure of what to do next.

I've known that a successful business finds a niche and spends their time on exceeding expectations. I don't know which one thing I want to offer as a service. Lots of things interest me. It's just a matter of time, before my eye catches something else I want to learn. I like the freedom of constantly learning new things. I don't want to be tied down to just one service.

This weekly challenge is just that, a challenge of the week. It is currently unsolved. Being a human is an ever evolving and refining process and I'm starting out and figuring out what to do next.

Related Posts:

Mr. Linky

Week 12 HITS
Week 10 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

1 comment:

  1. So much going on, it really sounds like you're mulling a ton of things over. I am too. I'm just hoping with enough mulling and keeping busy in the meantime things start falling into place...