Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-FRESH

So, this has been a recurring issue within the art circle. Sustaining creativity.

The main problem with creativity is this. It’s not consistent and that is the reason why many in the profession of doing creative work tend to struggle with, especially with the conceptual department.

But there is a simple strategy that can be used to alleviate the issues that is to be discussed with it.

Use FRESH.

It’s abbreviated as

  • Focus
  • Relationships
  • Energy 
  • Stimuli  
  • Hours

they are the building blocks to help you sustain your not creative juices but rather flow.

(creative juice is a lie by the way, it’s mostly about observing and looking at ways things around you can be made different, and build something not new but fresh or not really developed before to solve problems.)

Focus

There are usually big 3 things you want to work out on. It’s the case of using the 3 major things that bother you, always at the back of your mind. And tend to be the biggest challenges with the situation.

Use them as filter to seek out, and get insights in regards to these big 3 issues….

like common artists problem that could be part of the Big 3.

  • New Direction their art can go in.
  • Wondering if they should continue to invest in their current projects
  • Finding new clients that might like your portfolios.
  • The list can go on and is often dependent on the artist’s situation in mind, let alone if they are aware of what’s actually bothering them…

Relationships

So, this is were who you know really helps…

like, think of your peers, clients, friends, etc. They might give you insights from their perspective if you ask them one of the Big 3.

  • So, seek out people who are on the higher level, mentors, and ask them. So that way you get a faster lead and result on what needs to be done.
  • Perhaps, ask your art peer on how to find a client who will look at your portfolio…
  • Or the customer on your online store, ask them what new series would they like to see…

Remember, Questions are your Pickaxes…

Energy

This is more on health but, the rundown is simple.

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Exercise

They will be the groundwork for you body and brain to work at an optimal level.

It’s underrated, and if your body doesn’t work at the optimal level, it won’t deliver as well. Remember, creative work is energy draining especially if you intend to do this almost daily. You’ll thank me later for this one. There are more resources in the back but keep to the 3 big basics.

Because, you simply can’t beat the basics.

Stimuli

So, people think that inspiration is all random and luck based. Let’s challenge that.

Be aware of what you’re taking in mentally.

Use the media, search engines, and books. Looking to seek what the new trends of art in 2020s will be like? Or How to make your portfolio noticed? Search and read them up. Write down the Big three and use them as a checklist when looking out there.

Let me repeat that. Be conscious of what you take in, so it will reflect what you will take out. Use the Focus section to filter out what you want to look for. Use your brain. You want to solve the problem on time and with ease here. So, stop being so distracted and get those 3 things done.

Hours

If you managed to use the calendar properly and with intent. You may well get somewhere.

But, to emphasize. Make time to work on the Big 3 throughout the week. Use them as your priority or the biggest grind per day. 2-3 of these should take your daily slot. And to add to the daily grind.

You only need to do 2-3 big things really. The rest is like trivial and has little actual effect on the big 3.

have time to do all the above.

  • From checking the Big 3 on Monday.
  • Asking People in your circle about Finding new Clients for portfolio showing on Tuesday
  • Take your basic essentials to get your mind and body moving to reset Wednesday
  • Use the search Engines with intent to seek more leads and results one of the Big 3. Thursday
  •  and the week is focused on finding ways to tackle the Big 3.

The Final take is this.

If you managed to leverage this weekly mindset to figure out what needs to be done.

Your creative work will be better managed and your life will get that 3x results.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and strategy to the one and only Todd Henry (author of The Accidental Creative) and the Productivity Game for the video links.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdx3haOx0Ng

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hWRva_sPeE

Roughs Works-stuff that didn’t make it

Well, this is a thing where not too many people actually are aware off.

But, I have made a lot more art than people think.

Maybe about 2.5 times more than they think actually.

So, this goes into the world of rough sketches.

So, with the line of works like designers, character development, etc.

It’s key to well, having a place to start from.

Rough work is well, like the foundational, it’s so raw, that not many people will get it.

Unless the rough sketches are more or less done in a way that isn’t so abstract.

So, it’s the concept of drawing so raw that people can’t help it but notice it. Often with both

good and bad reception in mind.

It’s mostly catered towards the concept of filling in the blanks and see what direction or branch and idea can go.

Mind you ideas is the key, but designs and refinement makes it a reality.

It always starts off with ideas and well, that is how inventions, concepts, books, etc are all made.

With ideas, it’s thanks to the creative process of the modern era that these ideas can be realized in either psychical form or digital. And that’s what counts.

But, the rough ideas are still needed to make it.

So, in defense of the rough loose squiggly, they will be key to making a solid cool thing one day.

The freedom of rough sketches.

Well, it’s a type of thinning that comes with experience and trying to recapture that carefree attitude.

Like since it’s just copy paper with ballpoint, there is very little at stake here, the worst you can do is make a thousand mistakes and get the last few right.

If anything, roughs are great for practice and exploration of designs. Like, the possibilities are only limited to the type of tool, techniques, and ideas and visual pool you have at your disposal.

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-Deep Work

So, Most artists tend to be these kinds of people who are all like, wishy- washy and easily

distracted. As a result their work’s quality and ability to turn out in decent numbers tend to diminish because of well, their stereotypes they tend to have nowadays.

DeepWork isn’t really a true cure but can be integrated in a way that allows them to at least get the actually important stuff done.

Working and Hardcore Hobbyist tend to have this trait already, after a certain level they get to, they have this knack to just grind down on the piece or project for hours on end, and ends up pulling off a fast too along the way.

But there are a few factors at play that makes this DeepWork actually possible.

First. Let’s start with the fundamentals.

  • Less Distractions
  • Music/Track-list
  • A suitable working area.
  • A set time and phase.

These things tend to be really critical to get the heavy stuff done and if the artist can leverage these starting points off right, it’s much easier to pull off the deep work state.

Some things are obvious.

Just turn off the phone, not just social media, but the phone. people. Like, it will save you hours if you turn it off and stack that by like the rest of the year. The data shows it.

Your Music or Track-list. Make it either minimal and have it ready to go for hours on ends.

Podcasts works too if one knows that it’s not too engaging. So, avoid that infamous Joe Rogans, because it will take you off course and next thing you know, you’ll want to listen to his crazy guests instead of drawing or painting.

A nice cool area. This case is more personal but a slightly cool quiet working area is best for me.

That is just my peak operating temperature actually.

A Good spot. Could be in the private room or studio, or if one is really rich. A Villa or Cottage somewhere Bob Ross must have painted with a bunch of Happy trees.

So, after Setting up the foundations and starting. Assuming you actually did all those things and not check you phone for the tenth time this day.

You’ll enter a state that is trying to do more stuff. Instead do this. Concentrate. Be disciplined and make it through the 20-30 min mark called the concentration threshold. It’s like a barrier of where one is too distracted and doing stuff, and the other is well just them and the work in front of them.

Some tips to sustain the deep work may include, using 5-10 min breaks to have water or stretch. Avoid food. If so, make it light.

Use this strategy of using micro breaks and the deep work to get sections of the project or piece done in no time.

In this day and age, Deep work may well be a skillset on it’s own. So practice.

Like, this skill may well take weeks to get good enough to use often and learn to integrate parts of it in you life.

In my case. I tend to start in the morning and finish my projects or mini grinds by the lunch-o-clock mark. Perhaps 2-3 hrs isn’t enough but for my project’s case. Coupled that with 7 days. 14-21 hr on it would be more than enough from my understanding. If it was for large scale paintings with oils or acrylics maybe double or quad that.

Deep Work only works if one knows their effective range. So, use it not like a tool or technique but part of you life.

So, the final takeaway?

  • Have a Good Starting Point and State
  • Break the concentration threshold
  • Enter Deep work and use micro breaks to sustain it.

Eventually you will get good and get much done.

for the video essays here are a few.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTaJhjQHcf8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX_2a_jsGYw

*Deep Work was coined by the term Cal Newport, and the Author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Sketchbook works-it was a thing

So, before starting inks and drawings on lone papers and Bristol.

Well, there was a phase that was focused on sketchbooks more or less. And well, it’s a thing.

All started a few years ago and it’s run was well for a couple years before deciding that it’s enough.

So, the idea behind these sketchbooks is well simple. Freedom, Less Restraint, and just focused on being so-called creative. It’s a case of, me just seeing what I can see in the sea of squiggles and so forth.

Since it’s “just a sketchbook” that type of mindset allows me to work with less pressure in mind. And well, that’s the beauty of it actually. Sketchbooks are not only underrated nor misused. But can be pretty handy, especially for the traveling artist or for those who have too much ideas in mind per day.

On the bus? It’s fine, just draw,

In the food court? Draw while having your munchies.

Where else? Almost anywhere as long as it’s dry, clean, and has enough room to permit to use.

Like, Sketchbooks. It’s a good thing.

As for my end, well, it’s acting as a visual library of how it can hold in a few design sketches and concepts I’m rather fond of.

I can simple open up one, and see from years ago now, that I get to see what I was thinking of at that time.

So, it’s a case of me just brushing up what i know and adjust the issues.

Although nowadays, I simple resort to copy paper since I draw more simpler and focus purely on capturing the initial ideas more often before even considering a full on render or ink.

It’s all about intent really when working on your paper or surface, how far, or simple jolting down ideas.

Key word?

Freedom-anything goes….

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-The 5/25 Rule

Well, this is a recurring issue with almost all artists unless they really are deep into their career/projects.

They tend to all well…Dabble. And that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Like projects, careers, pieces, and anything that needs a level of completion all needs this rule  and to make it better too.

It’s Called the 5/25.

Pick out the top 25 things you want to make, or advance on. And make it a thing that you can see in the foreseeable future.

Perhaps it’s the completion of you first artists website, or the creation of your next big series….

But, you have like, several other things in mind that you want to try out.

Well. First things first, write or type them out. 25 things you really want to do. Next number those things from 1-25.

the Next step is somewhat harder but, use the rule of the highest priority and wants to shift them out, if not the ease of completion.

Have like the top 5 things you have in mind.

They tend to be series that you are really stoked for, or the dreaded artist website, or even applying for a Grant, either way. Those top 5 are something you should have written on a note and taped unto your bedroom wall.

The rest of the 20 other things. You simply want to avoid at all costs, like, the plague keep those other distractions at bay.

That is the basics of it. Pick the top 5 things you want to work on, and Ditch the other 20. And grind down on the top 5 until completion.

This rule can be applied in other ways too. Like, the scale, or time. Think, getting the first 5 things down for the week? The tasks needs to be smaller and more manageable to offset it. It can be

  1. completion of a small-one off
  2. tend to a Workshop
  3. Chip away at a large work for 4-8 hr for the week
  4. Studying a technique
  5. or Posting the Complete work from last week

So, the final take away if this. List out 25 things you really want to achieve or complete.

Pick out the top 5, and Ditch the rest. You will get stuff done more efficiently and effectively this way, and get more clarity on what matters.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and strat to the one and only Warren Buffet (Billionaire Investor and author of The Snow Ball)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkhtYs22bLI

 

Operator vs Operator-Parody or Pastiche?

16

So, why this?

Why OpvsOp?

Well, let’s use spy vs spy as a base to start off,

spy vs spy was an allegory for the futility of the coldwar. And well it’s a reflection of it’s time.

Explore the future with a few familiar but fresh faces?

However, since we are still in the last days of the decade 2010s, there is the cash in and influence of nostalgia, so having familiar faces or characters to well, give insights into our times is key.

Like, with the countless reboots and remaster of various series and franchisees there is a trend of old faces appearing.

But, unlike what we remember them as, they are a bit of a fresh or far-cry take on what we used to remember them for.

It’s simple.

People want familiar grounds to go back into since we live in an age where almost any information is possible. and we are talking in the fact we can listen to old music from Mozart’s time to even listen to the soviet anthem, the variety and the culture and era that drove it’s creation is seemingly endless!

So, this leads to another thing.

Why I choose the Op vs Op series is this.

I grew up with things like Starcraft, CnC, HALO, and Gears. Not to mention that I grew up in the Bush-Era, so pro-war tendencies is a thing for the culture of the time. Especially post 9/11.

A thing for well. Military hardware and the romanticization for commandos and commanders was a deep rooted thing for me. Since I tend to take those roles in games or see their exploits in Films and Shows.

So, in a time of where almost everything is abundant(and I mean too abundant), I just wanted to hearken back into a place and time in my life where I felt nostalgic basically.

Basically I grew up playing army man or war games.

Parody or Pastiche?

Op vs Op is like spy vs spy. But it’s about the times of today and what might in store for the future. The Future Marches forward.

As for the concept of war?

War, War never changes….. only thing that changes is the gadgets and the attitude towards it shifts.

 

 

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-The Slight Edge

Lemme Guess you must one of those aspiring artists that looking up the masters of their crafts both from antiquity, and the centuries that rolled with them all to today. So, one must be thinking how to get there. How to achieve that mountain like state that many dream of.

Well, the answer is simple but not as historical sounding as it it.

The thing about every human that works on their lifestyle, projects, crafts. They all have a thing called the Slight Edge.

The formula goes like this.

Do a series of mundane/boring actions in small routines daily.

It’s not about the biggest tasks but the small subtle ways to get to a larger thing.

Some calls it a mini-grind, or chipping away, but the ideas are all the same.

Build a great achievement with boring but countless series of actions that got there.

For artists this can be applies like this.

  • Doing the gestures or studies daily for like, 30-40 min after your morning routines.
  • Posting only once on Social Media per day or whenever you routines it for the week.
  • Perhaps sending at least a few emails to companies or clients seeking your works daily.
  • Working on the larger piece for an hour or so.
  • Making a series of works where one prompt or piece is made per day for a set amount of periods.

The Final Takeaway is this. If the artist have a large goal in mind, don’t try to rush it. Instead. Work on the project in incremental, least resistant, boring, but easy to enter into routines.

It’s as easy to get into the routine and it’s easy to slip out of it, so be aware of what you are doing. Have a note of what result you want to give you a proper road map.

Use this rule for either Project Development, Skill Building, or Creating a large Collection of Works.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and start to the one and only Jeff Olson (author of The Slight Edge)

Links to the terms and further explanations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLwpQz2lT08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi7yB7wH3to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKcHX_5dxdI

Curated Inked Works of this year so far. 2019 ver.

well, it’s just a collection of works I found to be rather fond of personally.

What do I like about them? Just something about either the composition or the way I put more creative effort into these particular ones.

Simply put it, I relish mostly in conceptual ideas, not so much the overarching story, but scenarios or situation is key too.

 

 

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-The 20/80 Rule

Well, it’s a thing that Tim Ferris often talks about so, let’s dive into it shall we?

The problems with most artists is that they tend to dabble in the wrong areas. Always trying to so-called experiment and play around. But getting nowhere anyways.

So, for the artist that want to get somewhere faster and more effectively, use this.

The 20/80 principle goes like this.

Only 20% of what you do leads the 80% of the results. It sounds dumb at first but it does make sense. Since only a few selected efforts matter.

In the artist’s lingo that 20% would be akin to the rough sketches-i laying down the groundwork for finished prices, saving time and effort in advance on what the finished product may look like.

Perhaps it’s looking at what type of subjects gets you the most fulfillment or something. Maybe drawing people in watercolor style sketch gets you the most results for you, so funnel down on it.

The 80% of artists, it maybe the marketing that drags on, or rendering the pieces. These tend to be more of the mundane work that is akin to a day-job of sort it that makes sense.

Or even working on projects or pieces that isn’t giving you the most ROI or fulfillment.

Either way, they tend to be the things that many artists target for the wrong reasons and it’s easier to just focus on the actions that is either,

fundamental

productive

innovative

20% of what you do are fundamental, doesn’t take that long, and are usually the key things. But are considered challenging.

80% of what you do are trivial, takes out too long, and wastes too much. And are easy to get into and have to struggle to break out of.

20% for artists

  • planning out sketches or paintings
  • posting the best work online
  • calling up high-level clients
  • using the few essential quality tools needed to get the work done
  • being an expert in your niche topics and subjects were clients will come to you for

80% for artists

  • rendering, polishing up the pieces
  • slugging through social media and not getting somewhere
  • tending to too many small gigs and low-level clients
  • playing around with the latest medium or toy and not really putting you head down to get the hang of it
  • topics or subjects that you know you have either no interest in or will get you flack

So the final take away is this. Only a few things will actually bring in the biggest results. And just try to stick to those 20%. It will get stuff done for you with less effort and time for the better.

For more information and links it’s down below.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and strategy to the one and only Tim Ferris and the original Plato’s Law.(author of 4-hour work week, and Tools of Titans)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG4N6zGCjAs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAynHZE-lK4