Monday, May 17, 2010

Focus

“Sand Dunes” ©Dianne Poinski

I am not a very good multi-tasker. If I try to do too many things at the same time, I lose focus, productivity and purpose. This is very evident in my art career and the reason for a decision I recently made.

When I first started showing at art festivals I displayed my hand-colored black and white photographs alongside Polaroid transfers and some of my recent portrait work. If you didn’t need wall art, maybe I could offer you a hand-colored portrait of your child. One stop shopping.

I clearly remember the moment I made the decision to limit what I was showing to just my hand-colored photographs. Once I became clear about this, it was easy to move in that direction and improve my skills along the way.

As most of you know, at the end of the 2008 art festival season I made the decision to take some time off from shows. I believed that a break from festivals would lead to relaxed weekends, lot’s of new work and time to develop a new business model that would be more satisfying and help decrease my debt. That’s not what happened. In fact, the way I have been working for the last year, reminds me quite a bit of how I operated during art festival season.

At the same time I made the decision to take some time off from shows, I started teaching hand-coloring workshops out of my studio as a way to supplement my income. There were a few months there where I had a class scheduled every other weekend (just like I scheduled my art festivals). In addition, the week leading up to the class would get crazy as I prepared for the workshop right up to the last minute (again, just like I did when I was doing shows).

Don’t get me wrong, I loved teaching and am so grateful for the wonderful people that have taken my classes, but I have found it very difficult to balance workshops with my intense need and desire to work on my own images. I know artists that have been quite successful blending both worlds and for a time I thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t able to pull that off. I have been trying to accept that it’s just the way I am and that I do much better when I can focus on just a couple of things.

After giving this a lot of thought, I have decided to take a break from teaching until the fall (probably October). When I start up again, I will try to limit myself to one class a month and attempt to be more organized about it.

For now, I have a project I want to work on in between taking care of myself and relaxing on the weekends. The “relaxing” part may prove to be a challenge but I will keep you posted on how that goes.


4 comments:

  1. Hi Dianne. I will be waiting to see what you are cooking up. The photo on this post really provoked an emotional response in me. I think that is what art should do. Take care and enjoy some "down time."

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  2. Thanks Beth! I appreciate your comment. Sharing your response to "Sand Dunes" meant a lot to me. Thanks again!

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  3. Sand Dunes feels like a promise of long, carefree summer days. Relaxing and focusing sounds like a rewarding plan!

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  4. Thanks Katherine, that's what I was feeling when I posted "Sand Dunes".

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