Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Being in charge

graphite 18 x 24
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I've started making some decisions around my art career that I hope will push me further forward. Some decisions are small ones, some are larger. Some have risks associated with them and others are risk free.

I've started with resigning from my position as drawing instructor for my tri-weekly classes. The numbers of people attending are slowing, yet I still do the same amount of preparation work for minimal return. I need to recoup that time to invest in areas of art that will have higher yields, such as workshops and tutorials. I'll consider my private classes and whether they will provide what I want or still more of the same - lots of prep and little return. I'll finish my commitments to registered classes for March, but after that, I'm on my own.

I prefer the idea of larger groups in a one or two day format. Once I have the formula in place, it can be done again and again for little pain. It also would leave me with a lot more time to concentrate on my art, which has been slowing due to all the time I spend creating lesson plans.

Then almost as a portent, Alyson Stanfields' I'd rather be in the studio book arrived in the mail today. It my birthday present to me (I always buy myself the nicest things...)

The first statement in Alyson's Principles of No-Excuse Self Promotion is:

You are in charge of your career.

I am in charge and this is the beginning of the transition phase. You can look at some of Alyson's principles on art marketing in her blog post here. They serve as good beginning thoughts for forward movement.

The sketch above is of last night's life model. We had a small group and I was leading them. I wanted to draw and sneaked in a few sketches in the longer sessions between going around the easels to provide direction to others drawing. I brought along my nephew to his first life class. He hopes to get into a fine arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell in September and this will be good practice for him and hopefully provide some fodder for his portfolio.


Robyn said...

Anything that frees you up to create your own work has to be the most important step. It's amazing how the rest follows. Of course not turning on the computer too often works too ;)

Stacy said...

Jeanette, I'd love to hear what you think of Alyson Stanfield's book. I read her art marketing blog and have been considering buying the book. I've held off mainly because I don't want to be tempted to use my art time for reading!

I also want to say good for you for taking charge of your art career. I hope you find a teaching situation that gives you the return you are looking for.

Tracy said...

Three cheers to you Jeanette! Sometimes the hardest steps to take are the lifesaving ones we cherish and set us on the right path. Mine was. (when I gave up teaching) Freedom.......!

Jeanette said...

You're right Robyn, free time is essential to be able to move ahead.

I'll let you know about the book Stacy when I've had a chance to delve into it a bit more. I don't think reading will dip into my creation time,but everything else seems to!

Thanks Tracy. You know I hear from more and more teaching artists who have abandoned teaching because it became too time restrictive. So I'm feeling good about this decision and will think carefully before I make any next moves into that area. I still have some commitments and a workshop, but I look at those as building blocks, not obstacles.

Chris O'Byrne said...

I'm looking forward to your review of Alyson's book, it looks like it will be a good one.