Creative Working: Getting Art Done

by Annie

in creative working

I‘ve been an artist most of my life. First it was acting, which I did throughout high school and college and for a few years after. And now, it’s writing. Actually, all along it’s been writing, but that’s another story altogether. Very left brained, you could say.

But I’ve also got this keen yen for the subject of productivity, organization, and marketing ethically. Total right brain stuff.

Up until recently, I tended to think about these two lines of interest in very divergent, compartmentalized ways. It didn’t seem like one could apply to the other, except in very specific or very general ways.

Lately, however, I’ve begun to realize that this is a false dichotomy. That I — that anyone, really — can overlay the principles of one to the purposes of the other.

In other words, you can be organized, productive, adopt schedules and adhere to routines, and still be your fabulous creative self. Far from stifling creativity, it seems (at least in my experience) that a productivity mindset applied to creative work is quite liberating.

But you can’t just go devour Getting Things Done and implement it wholesale. That won’t work so well. GTD is great for most businesses and professions, mind you, and the precepts themselves are fairly universal. Just about any time-management school of thought or system or approach will work to some extent.

But we artists — well, we’re a little special.

C’mon, admit it — you’ve always suspected as much.

And it’s true. Creative work is different. Forcing it into tightly segregated segments of time and colored blocks on your calendar app is stifling.

So what’s a creative type supposed to do?

Well, that’s kinda what the posts in this category are all about: how to get creative work done effectively and productively, and how to market it to your audience, without trying to become this right-brained, super-organized superfreak — a persona that (let’s face it) does not come easily to most of us scatterbrained art nerds.

What I’ve learned in my journey as a whole-brained art nerd is this: embrace both halves of your awesome brain. When you get to the point where you can view and think about your creative work in an organized and mindful way, you get more art done — more good art done, to boot.

That can only be a good thing.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

paigan June 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Another great post that my left-brain will attempt to share with the right. Perhaps writing it with my left hand (being left-handed and all) will help?
paigan recently posted..Likes-Disliks- Music


Annie June 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

You know, it’s interesting you write that. I realize you are left-handed, but one thing I tell my creative clients that can help shake things up (which is the first principle of unleashing creativity – getting out of ruts) is to try writing and watercolor painting with the nondominant hand. Give right-handed writing a try and let me know how it works!


pat July 10, 2012 at 2:51 am

Looking forward to a getting it all done newsletter


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