Monday, August 09, 2010

Organizing production

There are so many ideas in my head right now, I'll be busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger by the time my holiday rolls around.  Productivity and deadlines suit me. Without them, I'd slide into a level of comfort that would soon lead to discomfort by not producing.

However, producing creates its own level of chaos and work when I'm trying to juggle several balls in the air at once.

I've been spending some time this past weekend organizing myself.  I start off with good intentions of cataloguing pieces, sales, workshops, etc. but it tends to slide in favour of more interesting things.  However, this time I will put the system in place and make myself use it regularly so that I can have a history of what I have produced, sold, sketches, etc.

My production count so far is 38 pieces so far this year.  That is not counting sketches, photographs, gyotaku or other printmaking pieces.  What I class as a production piece is something that is saleable - at least to my eyes.

I've created a simple spreadsheet to track information which consists of the following headers:
  1. Title of artwork
  2. Date completed
  3. Medium
  4. Support
  5. Size
  6. ID #
  7. Exhibited
  8. Purchaser's Name
  9. Price
  10. Date Sold
  11. Reproduction quantity
  12. Cards or prints
Like many artists, I take a lot of photos and lately that is coming together for me as I play in Photoshop to find the perfect composition, adjustment of colour or contrast to make my mark on the world.  Black and white images, especially of simple objects or scenes appeal to me.  I drive regularly past an old farm that I keep meaning to stop and photograph.  There isn't much stopping space on the side of the road and the road is fairly busy, but on a Sunday traffic is slower and I was able to get a few shots.

This one of the old gate posts, a vestige of tried elegance against the backdrop of a fading barn I found interesting and poignant.  The concrete shapes belonged in another era, and the roughness of the workmanship said country through and through.  It is solid and has withstood the elements, but its partner not so, either through weak concrete or an accurate hit by a tractor or wayward cow going through the gates in the past.


"JeanneG" said...

Wonderful old barn and the old ones seem to be vanishing. Lots of character in this one.

Margaret Ryall said...

love the textures and composition of your barn pic. I'm glad to see you are making our learning from Marlene's workshop concrete. I had every good intention of getting myself this organized in tracking my production. You're ahead of me and setting a fine example.

Jeanette said...

Old anything always draws me in Jeanne. I think I was born 200 years too late. :) It seems the world is intent on demolishing anything with age and character and building a shiny ugly structure in its stead.

Margaret, that weathered look on wood is so interesting. A macro view of one piece of that wood could have me lost in a drawing for weeks.

Marlene's workshop was wonderful and being organized will help a lot. I just need an official nag to make me keep on top of it.

Jan said...

Wow, what an inspiration you are! Never thought of a spread sheet to keep track of paintings and art!

Stacy said...

"Productivity and deadlines suit me. Without them, I'd slide into a level of comfort that would soon lead to discomfort by not producing." --- Jeanette, this is so me. I work great to external deadlines. Unfortunately I don't find setting my own deadlines to have the same effect - something I am currently struggling with.

You are working just slightly faster than I guessed. I estimated you finished one saleable piece a week. I am in awe of your productivity and how you keep yourself on track. I know it is something you consciously work at. You inspire me.

Jeanette said...

It helps a lot at this point to keep track Jan. I also have introduced an ID system so that, should something happen to me, others could identify the pieces using the spreadsheet as the key.

Stacy, for me its all about an internal want and desire to do this. We all have that at different levels at different times in our lives.

As for deadlines, yes some are my own but many are external. I look for exhibitions, grants, commissions - they create the stronger deadlines and push me forward.