Tag Archives: procrastination

Nine Inch Nails, Procrastination, and Deadlines

To start, I will admit it. I suck at blogging. Or rather, I suck at blogging regularly. I am not going to make anymore promises about blogging more, because I can’t seem to keep them. I have been doing other things regularly – meditating, 365project, dancing – these are the things that feed my soul right now, that give me pleasure. Blogging would be up there if I didn’t have to do it on a computer. Someday, when I can blog from my brain directly to the world wide web, then I will be a regular blogger!

This week I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Well, mostly. I started the week off by attending the Nine Inch Nails concert. LOVED it, LOVE Trent, but have a little bit of disappointment, because Calgary didn’t get to see the mega-awesome light/video spectacle that was supposed to accompany it. Now I KNOW it is about the music, and it IS, but having seen them before, and having been blown away before by the visuals, and having read about how spectacular they were this time around, I couldn’t help but be disappointed when it didn’t happen. Poo. Next time, I’m going to Edmonton or Vancouver, too.

Then, I had five paintings to start (and finish) in four days. I did it, but not without some procrastination. I was worried at first about the deadline, but then I remembered that I used to finish two paintings in two hours at Gorilla House on a weekly basis, so surely I could complete 5 paintings in four days. I love having the deadline – it gives me that push I need to get something done. I can procrastinate quite a bit when I don’t have a deadline, to the point of getting nothing done. Somehow, when I do have the deadline, I still procrastinate, but within limits. I know my limits, and somehow know just how much time I really need to get the job done.

I went through the awkward phase of painting, like I usually do, but set myself the goal of remaining truly authentic to whatever is coming up. I don’t try to please people when I paint, but I do sometimes have thoughts like, “This isn’t real art”, or “Nobody will like this”, or “It’s too colourful” (HA!). I really tried to focus this week on being me, without apologies. I know having all the colours of the rainbow in a painting isn’t for everyone. I certainly don’t like every painting I see. But this is how I paint, and as long as I enjoy painting this way, as long as I am happy with the process and (usually) the end result, then I am being authentic. And hopefully, a few people will like it, too. Oh, and yes, I listened to NIN while painting, the entire week.

And here’s what happened this week:
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And here are the final paintings. They are all for sale, and are going to be on display at a coffee shop in Calgary for December. Yay!:

“Universe” 12″ x 36″ $390
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“These Three Things” 12″ x 24″ $260
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“Underneath It All” 12″ x 24″ $260
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“Roots” 12″ x 12″ $150
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“Chaos” 12″ x 12″ $150
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Post Vacation Hangover

Post Vacation Hangover

Symptoms (may include but are not limited to):

  • Procrastination in the extreme. This includes checking your Facebook/Twitter/blog comments/Pinterest/Flickr every 1/2 hour. This would also include extensive research (and by “research” I mean watching videos) of puppies.
  • Thinking about what you want/should be doing instead of actually doing it. In my case, this means think about how I would like to be painting, but time is running out to get in a good session, so it’s not worth it. Then, feel guilty about not doing what you should be doing.
  • Eating. I don’t just mean meals, I mean eating to fill up time so that there is no time to do what you want to do (see above).
  • Thinking up excuses reasons why you need to “take it easy”. After all, you were just on vacation. Life is tough. Seriously though, I always seem to get sick after a holiday, so now it’s time for a second vacation! Getting sick means taking a break from working out, which means lower self-esteem, which means feeling guilty about all the above.
  • Wishing you were where you were a week ago (see below) instead of where you actually are (oh yeah, and then feeling guilty about not living in the present moment):

At Hollywood Studios (fake San Francisco!)

Cure:

Start doing what you want to be doing. For me, this means painting. After painting for 2 hours today, suddenly I have ideas, I want to work out again, I stop feeling guilty about procrastinating, and my self-esteem goes up. Yay!

 

Paintings and Procrastination

I just had an exciting day! I am showing some of my paintings at the Signal Hill Library for Alberta Arts Days. I was there this morning, along with many of the other artists showing their work. In the first hour, I sold 3 of my paintings! One of them is a framed watercolour for $300! I am super excited about selling that piece, because it is from last year, and I probably won’t be showing those works again! Most of them I now donate for silent auction events. What else can I do with art that hasn’t sold? Any ideas? I also had several people who took my cards and seemed very interested to purchase at a later date. I’ll be back there again tomorrow from 1-3. I hope it’s as successful as today was!

About a year ago, a good friend asked me if I would make a painting and incorporate one of her poems into it. I procrastinated and then I let the email get lost in the forgotten land of “come-back-to-later” emails. Then I recently decided to start reading email only if I am ready to take the action required by reading it (inspired by a podcast I heard over at Creative Coconuts). With this in mind, I cleaned up all the old emails, and found the one from my friend. Yikes. Had it been a commission from a stranger, it surely wouldn’t have taken so long. Why do friends and family get such poor service? It’s so easy to say, “They’ll understand”, I guess.

I think I procrastinate with commissioned work because I am worried it won’t work out, or the customer won’t like it. It’s so much easier to have people just like the work I make for myself, and that’s that! But anyway, I really wanted to do this for her, not only because she is my friend, but because she said I inspired her to write the poem. How cool is that? We used to dance together on a weekly basis at Core Connexion (BTW: my hands are in the banner of the Core Connexion website – how cool!), but she doesn’t come out much anymore. I miss seeing her there!

What I learned from this experience: nothing ever takes as much time as I think it will. Turned out that I had a painting that was all ready to go, and just had to add the poem on top! I am happy to say that my friend was very pleased with the result. Yay! Here is how it turned out.

Creative Coconuts

I have been in a bit of a rut lately. Two kids were sick a few weeks ago, and stayed home from school. For some reason, I got lazy and didn’t keep up my painting schedule. Being off the art wagon made me rusty, and I felt like I could do no good. No good art, in particular. It’s easy to fall into the negative talk and spiral into a dusty (and by dusty, I mean cheezies dust) world of procrastination and extensive computer use, and eating more junk food. Somehow, when I feel bad about one thing, I may as well make myself feel bad about it all, right?! All that computer use made my back go whacko again, too. Crappy! I know… poor me. I can hear the violins playing!

I’ve known all along what it would take to get out of this slump – PAINT. Easy as that. It’s true, and it’s happening. I still have some blah moments (actually, right now it’s more blah that not, but I’ll get over it eventually!) where I wonder why I bother, or think that no one will like it. I’m also still eating too much candy. But then again, who’s to say what’s too much, right?!

Anyway, in the midst of this negativity, I have always been able to sail away to my “island in the middle of the internet” – Creative Coconuts. There is so much support, love, beautiful art, and positive energy there! I love it, and am glad I joined! Marisa Haedike and Sean Hogan started the Creative Coconuts. They are inspiring and talented people.

Creative Coconuts!

Here’s a list of the Coconuts – please visit their blogs and see what amazing things are being created! Be inspired!

Top Row (L-R): Jane Davenport, Faith Evans-Sills, Sarah Stevenson.

2nd Row (L-R): Andi Dargin, Belinda Fireman (that’s me), Suzy Enyon.

3rd Row (L-R): Niki Jackson, Mairi Alexopoulou, Monica Soeldner.

4th Row (L-R): Stacie Spencer, Anne Weil, Kristen Walker.

Bottom Row (L-R): Stephey Baker, Beki Lambert, Denice Brown.

No More!!

OK, that’s it. I am not going to spend so much time clicking around the internet to check all the things I am always checking. I seem to be addicted. It has to stop.

My name is Belinda Fireman and I am addicted to procrastinating and avoiding the things I really want to be doing. That’s the first step, right? What’s the next step? From now on, when I am in front of the computer, it will be to do something useful. No more checking item views/hearts on etsy, no more checking blog stats, no more checking facebook, no more checking checking checking. If I am here, it’s to write a blog post, or list an item on etsy. I will leave the stat checking for once a hour day week (i can feel the withdrawal already).

When smokers stop smoking, they eat, or chew gum, but what do computer users do instead of using the computer?

Play with their kids, that’s what.

Need to take my own advice!

So, after whole summer of doing nothing, that is, no PAINTING (ok, ok, I did, like, TWO pages of my sketchbook), I am sick and tired of bitching to myself about how I should be doing more. Tired of hearing myself think. My friend Sonia is so encouraging. She said, “Your time is coming, baby!” and she is right. School starts in another week (YIPPEE!) and I get free time once again. It’s amazing how much I accomplished in the past year with just 7 1/2 hours a week. I went from thinking about making art, to actually making it and selling it, and now I have a show coming up.  I am starting to think this sounds like I am bragging. But really, it’s me trying to convince myself to keep going. As Mike said at dance last night, “Your past is there to support you. Without it, you wouldn’t be here now” (I’m paraphrasing a bit).

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about nitty-gritty things, like to how to market my art more, how to get better exposure on etsy, etc. I am forgetting one of the main things I learned in my reading (most recently, “Letters to a Young Artist” by Julia Cameron)  – that I won’t get anywhere without MAKING ART. Making more art. And then, making some more. The other stuff will happen alongside that, but they aren’t my focus.

So now it’s time for me to take my own advice. Well, it’s really Thomas Edison’s advice, but it’s my art.

Out of the Groove

I’ve only painted once in the last week and a half, because we’ve been on holiday. I was reading instead of painting. Ok, I was being lazy. I brought my mini watercolour set and sketchbook to the beach each day, but I only pulled it out once. No, I mean… I brought my paints to the beach and I painted once! Yay, me! I am going to do more during this week at my mom’s house, because it’s a year since I started painting in my sketchbook. It’s the one year anniversary of getting back into my art, so I am going to spend it..getting back into my art.