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Organise my life and get more done, not just with Art.

Abstract painting advice personal art journey

I was going to do a blog post on using transparent and opaque colours this week. But I have something else on my mind lately.

With Print Ondemard at Redbubble you can even make your artwork into stickers.

You may have noticed that I have not been on line much in the last three weeks. I have been feeling discouraged by my lack of progress with online sales even though I have been spending hours and hours marketing my art on social media and making connections to the detriment of nearly everything else. I have been feeling overwhelmed and dissatisfied with my life.  

For the last two years I have been working on my art increasingly to the exclusion of all else. My painting has been progressing in leaps and bounds. But lately the computer side of the art business has been taking over. I find myself doing more and more art marketing, especially trying to be social on social media to try and build relationships and "put myself out there" Writing blogs, making YouTube videos and less and less painting. 

As for the other things in life, Ummm..... What other things, no time for anything else. I did read somewhere that to make a success of this art business you have to be committed and do it full on, devoting your time to it. Well I have done that full on for two years now. I am now feeling there is no balance in my life. My house is a mess, my garden which I loved is a wilderness,( not a single vegetable in the vegetable that hasn't self sown itself there.) I have been wearing the same three outfits for months now and bored to tears with my clothes. Me who loves clothes and sewing. ( I'm feeling like that saying." I have a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear.")  I just haven't had the energy to care what I wear of late. I am spending little time with my family, I'm always "working". As for that exercise routine I keep promising myself it's down to just walking the dog each day.

I have been forgetful even more than usual. Even forgetting appointments which I have never done before. And running late all the time, which I hate, and again I never used to be like that.

I kept thinking I just had to work harder and just get it all done. The red danger light started to come on for me when one Saturday I woke up and just didn't want to get up. So much so that I didn't until lunch time. Just as well it was the weekend and Paul was home to take care of the netball run. I have struggled with depression in the passed after my sister died and I don't want to full back into that so I am always on the look out for signs I am slipping. So changes need to be made before it goes to far and I end up burnt out or in full on crisis mode.

I made new years resolutions to be more organised and concentrated on my art first and house work later. I have day to day to do lists which I am super good at making just useless at follow through. There are just to many things on there I can never get them all done. Then I get discouraged, try to catch up, get more behind then give up and just do my own thing or nothing at all feeling depressed and overwhelmed. So, not working for me right. Time for a change. I need to work out how to fit in looking after the house and some me time. while still getting the art done.

Go back to, why am I doing this anyway?. Do I still want to do it? 

Well yes I still want to paint. I am a stay at home mum and want to stay that way. I have elderly parents that will need increasing care. My Mum has Parkinson and although Dad mostly looks after her at this stay I try to help him when he lets me.  I would still like to sell online if only I could figure out how to find any customers.

Why because I want to make some money with my art to help with the household expenses and get our savings on track. I want to do that doing something I love, which is painting. As soon as I get an outside job I know that would be the end of my art, I know my limits. My energy would go into work instead.

But being a stay at home mum the household is also my responsibility and I want to spend time with my kids after all it's one of the reasons I am a stay at home mum. But as the kids get older I struggle with that old demon of what is my worth in the house if I am not earning any money. Do you ever feel that way? That may just be my hang ups.

So what to do????

First I do research. I'm a collector of information and this is where I always start in solving a problem. I read books and go on YouTube. I wrote a blog post on my new years resolutions at the beginning of this year. First I went back and read that. Oddly enough It did help me to feel a bit better but didn't solve anything of course.

Resolutions that I am achieving are:  

I have found more art shows to  participate in. I have started my YouTube channel. I have been posting to my print ondemard shops. Maybe not as often as I should though. Need to post more often on my website to. But I am finding I am doing less and less painting instead of more as the computer work increases. 

How do I find some balance with my art and home life? Every working mothers question I know.

Well that's just it!

To do this I need to treat it more like a job. I can't be doing it all day every day. I need time off to recharge and do other things. How can I organise that to stop feeling overwhelmed. I'm finding myself feeling guilty about all the things I haven't done.

So I started with baby steps. What would be easy to start with. Maybe my wardrobe. 

Why am I doing this?

Well I want to feel good about myself when I get up in the morning. It's a chance to rekindle something I enjoy.

It may even encourage me to exercise more as I will want to look good in my clothes. I watched the Daily Connoisseur on YouTube. I saw her Ted talk and then went to visit her channel. She talks about the 10 item wardrobe. You have 10 items of clothing for each season and wear it for the three months then change to the next seasons clothes.

Although the 10 item wardrobe doesn't really do it for me something she said resonated with me.  

Why do we dress up?

Well because we want to look nice and show respect for those around us. Such as when you go to a wedding you dress for the occasion to show respect for that occasion and honour the people there. Instead of just dressing up when you go out, what about dressing nicely everyday. Showing the people that matter most to you  ( your family)that you respect then enough to put your best face forward around them everyday. Also honouring and respecting yourself. You do deserve it. She explains it a lot better than me but you get the idea.

 This System  reminds me of a seasonal capsule wardrobe which I have done before only not with 10 pieces. Wasn't sure I could do that few pieces but I could try and see if I could do smaller capsules than I had done before.

So sorted out a autumn wardrobe, put my summer stuff away. Put the winter clothes to one side as I was pretty sure there would be some cross over as I was already halfway though autumn then anyway. I don't really like putting clothes away as I prefer to have it all out where I can see it and mix it up a bit but I didn't have enough room for that at this stage. I did get rid of some things, but not enough yet judging by how little room I have  in my wardrobe still.  Was finding getting rid of clothes oddly difficult. I looked up Pinterest to get me inspired with looks for the clothes I already own. That whole shop in your own closet idea.

Did some rearranging in my closet too. Well when I say closet I don't actually have one. It just some clothes racks in the corner of the room. I can never find my shoes at the bottom with out fighting through the clothes and it's been driving me crazy. I have a book shelf in the bedroom that is full of books I have picked up at book fairs to read. But guess what I have hardly read only of them in the last three years. Time to declutter those and put that book shelve to  better use. I put my shoes on there along with some other things that were hiding in the back of my closet. Wasn't sure if I would like waking up and seeing my shoes every morning but I am finding I don't actuality mind. Being able to get to my shoes easily everyday is great.

How does this help me with my art. Well it doesn't. But I feel good when I get dressed in the morning and it is fun for me so a bit of me time really.

Now getting sucked into the YouTube suggested watching it was leading me to Decluttering and minimalist video's.

Yes I do need to declutter but no there is no way I could ever be a minimalist or what I believe that means." Have less stress and find what truely matters to you" they all promise. Sounds good. I need less stress and want to be doing what really matters to me. Although I thought I was already doing that just need to figure out better ways to do it. And I feel I need to get my mind in order as I'm having trouble sleeping. I wake in the middle of the night with my mind going over and over everything I need to do.

I then found David Allen's talk and his GTD method That stands for "getting things done" 

Yes I need to get things done.

He talks about the fact that "your brain is for having ideas not for holding them"and your brain can't remember more than four things at once effectively. Sounds about right for me. Just remembering one thing at the moment is a challenge.

He recommends starting with a mind dump or brain dump if you like. Write down every idea you have in one long list. No matter how small or crazy. including everything you need to do.

Then break that list up into what needs doing now! If you can do it in one step or it will only take 2 minutes do it now.

If it will take more than one step put in a projects file. Here you will brake up each task into the steps you need to take until it's finish and you only write on your do it now list the very next step you need to do on that project. When you have done that  you add the next step for that project on your list until that task s finished. Do that with all your tasks.

Another file is your maybe someday file. Write down all the things on your mind dump list that you might like to do one day. At this stage you don't have to do anything with this list.

Lastly if there is anything on your mind dump list that you know you will never do you can cross that off and forget about it.

Every time you have an idea you are suppose to write it down and check regularly.

Okay this sounded interesting. I started with the mind dump. That night I slept through for the first time in a while. That was encouraging. Maybe I am on the right track here.

 This isn't the end of my journey but this blog is getting to long and I'm hoping by the time I get it sorted I will have a more balanced life and be finding painting regularly fits in better.  So if you are interested in where I go from here stay tuned for next week.  If nothing else writing this all down has been good for clearing my head. If you are struggling with any of this maybe you will pick up some helpful tips. I hope so..

So to be continued.................. 





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