Fly or Flow?

Apple sketch

Did I mention my resolution for this year was to Simplify?

My attempts haven’t quite gone as expected these past few weeks as I have more commitments rather than less.  So I’ve been asking myself: “Is it better to spend a few good hours on a project, seeking flow?  Or is a quick sprint better for productivity?”

I’m currently practicing quick sprints, setting my timer so I jump from one activity to another, and rushing to finish before the buzzer.  I also gave myself permission to complete even the simplest sketches over several consecutive days, rather than putting them off because I have a heap of other priorities.  I’m not sure this was the best strategy as a drawing that should take 30 minutes is dragging on.  But I’m drawing daily, and that’s a good (re)start.

Footnote ~ I can recommend this apple drawing tutorial which I found on the Will Kemp Art School website; it’s part 2 of 3.  Part 1 explains the theory of shadows, and part 3 is an acrylic painting tutorial.

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Keeping it Simple

I believe in fate, and sometimes things happen because the timing is just right; things are just meant to be.

With my life feeling more like an ongoing game of Tetris, I’ve decided I need to simplify.  I feel like I’m at that point in the game where you’re a few levels in and you’re just about managing to maintain some control, but those blocks keep appearing and stacking up around you.  Imagine those little blocks are the things you want to spend time doing, and the longer you go on the more they stack up and although those stacks keep going up and down you never quite clear all of them.

Over the past two years my (almost) weekly blog posts have helped me identify my real and imagined obstacles, and led me to make some remarkable changes.  But catching up with my resolutions last week, I realised I’ve spent more time writing blog posts than I have being prolifically creative.  So, in order to simplify things I’ll be posting here on a monthly basis.  For now anyway.

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Thoughts

Sorry for my absence last week; I was still here in spirit.

As my blog approaches its second birthday I’m reviewing my own advice, and considering how I’d like me and my little niche of cyber space to evolve over the next year.  Two things I’m currently focusing on are the benefits of To Do lists, and working to a timer to quicken my pace and get more done.  Nearly two years’ on and I feel like I’m heading back to square one

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Mini Marathons

hourglass-time-hours-sand-39396.jpeg

Timing is everything when you set yourself a dozen deadlines in one day.

My daily drawing habit has slipped.  But I know I can do it again, if I follow my own advice.  More recently housework has kept me distracted for the best part of a morning, so it’s usually mid-afternoon before I settle down to draw, if at all.

To quicken my pace I’ve been setting a 20-minute timer.  It’s amazing how much you get done when you know you have a deadline; you make every second count.  I’m allowing myself short bursts of housework alternated with creative work.  I’m getting better at not putting off, and scheduling ‘mini marathons’ of activity is helping me get more done in a day.

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All for One?

I’m almost done.  My casual winter wardrobe is set aside, and I’m reviewing a few other items that I haven’t worn for a while.  The rest will have to wait until spring beckons.

Focusing in on just one project isn’t such a bad idea.  I see that now.  Picking a wardrobe category and giving it my full attention has helped me get close to this particular finish line.  But I’m not sure whether I could approach my creative work in the same way.

  • How do I balance building my technical skills with the joy of exploring an illustration or design project?
  • What if I get stuck?
  • How do I make the smooth transition from one finished project to a brand new one?

Seeing how my wardrobe has benefited from my (almost) undivided attention, I’m sure my sketchbook would appreciate some quality time with me, too.

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