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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

13 Tools for Productive Procrastination

Productive Procrastination

Alright, we all know that being a working artist is a real job.  With it comes all the responsibilities of any other job AND the responsibilities of owning your own business.  As creative people we all need time to relax our busy minds.  Some, maybe all, of us need time to process or generate ideas.  I am using the term procrastination in the sense that it is not producing work that can be sold (not because it isn't or cant be productive).

The relaxation process, in this post the procrastination processes, can help us to be more creative and productive in the long run.  The business of art is not just about creating work (though creating work is the most important part and should be done when you have the most energy).  You often times need to learn how to keep a database, how to enhance your SEO, or how to market for a show.  Once you  learn you must also do.

Keep reading for 13 ways that I step back from my work, process, relax, and be productive at the same time.

1. Blogging (my Photo blog

Blogging encorages me to create projects and constantly learn about topics I that interest me.  Blogging is also a way to keep your artwork (cause, or business) at the top of Google and other search engines (SEO).  I have a personal religion blog as well; I love learning about religion and sckrlgn is the perfect chance to explore my own belief systems and those of others. 

I enjoy blogging, so it is relaxing for me as well.

2. YouTube.com

You Tube has some great tutorials and can even be a great research resource.

Videos like this give me ideas about how to store my old sketches.

3. New Projects

Taking a break from your work is often times more productive that you would expect.  When I go through a crafty phase (just create work to create work), I tend to come out this phase more creative than ever.  Alyson B. Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach from ArtBiz.com talks about this in step 5 her 10 Paths to Help You Emerge from a Creative Slump blog post.

4. Craigslist.com

I tend to use CraigsList to find freelance projects and gallery spaces.  I sometimes post that I am willing to give lessons and have had great responses and gigs come out of it (just remember to be smart online).  I also found my summer internship, on CraigsList, when we were in WA state last summer.

5. Reading

I could read forever, sometimes it inspires work- Check out this post from the Art Biz Blog about creative slumps.

6. Read this blog post about not procrastinating

While procrastination can be just fine, it is also important to not procrastinate for 3 or four hours a day when you should be working in your studio.  To avoid this, I create daily to-do lists.  An example might be I will spend 30 minutes creating a blog post, 3 hours on project one, 2 hours on project two and 15 minutes organizing.  (To-do lists could be a post on their own.)  Setting timers also works for many

7. Writing Poetry (or just writing)

It is extremely important to write about your artwork (this audio clip talks about the importance of writing about you work), but writing also boosts creativity and can work well when integrated into your artwork.  Conceptual graphic design is about 70% brainstorming.  Writing often times helps me with the process more than sketching does. 

Blogging is a great way to write about you work.

8. WIRED Magazine

This technology magazine has great page layouts, design, and articles.  It is intelligent, fun and humorous all at the same time.  What other magazines inspire your creative side?

9. FaceBook

Since I created a page, I have been on much more.  I try to update my wall every couple days.  Be sure to check out my Art Page and "like it."  A.B Stanfield's post on why you need a fan page.

10. Go for a walk, run, or go sit in a nearby park

You can also take you camera, sketchbook, journal or a book to read.

Not so Responsible (but still may be inspirational or relaxing) 

I know that producing art is a fun job, but there are times when it is very difficult.  I am in no way going to say that you don't need to be spending an adequate amount of time in your studio, because like any job you need to work.  However, there are times that getting your mind focused on something other than your work can actually improve your work.  I will talk more about this when I post about Kevin Sloan.

11. Addicting and mindless games

AddictingGames.com and AlbinoBlackSheep.com Be careful not to spend too much time in this.  Set a timer.  The only arguable benefit to this is that you can clear your mind.  I think I prefer yoga (but this is a post about procrastination, not health).

12. Bubblewrap

This one truely is great!

13. Video games -

My Star Wars, Batman, and other super hero obsessions come from playing X box games such as Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and Justice League.  Playing video games together means a lot to my husband, so it is arguably not even a little irresponsible, but an important way for us to build our relationship.  I typically can't play more than one level without getting a headache, so that acts as a timer.


My blog and website have moved. Be sure to check out www.Feliciafollum.com