Two words that often invoke a sense of dread in artists - ‘getting organised’.
If you are anything like me, being organised is something that happens sporadically in between bouts of creative activity. But being consistently organised can help us get down to business each and every time we enter our workspace.
We’ve compiled our top five tips that might help you kick off 2022 with some new streamlined work practices. In these tips, you will find ideas that can help you spend less time searching for that tube of paint, locating that invoice or, my most disliked job, cleaning-up!
Tip #1: Prioritise your tools: from most used to least used. Think about what you use and when, then group your tools accordingly. Have those you use most positioned closest to your work space. Consider whether other less used tools can be put into cupboard space or stored underneath your work table to be brought out only when they are needed. You will find that this opens up your work space, giving you a bigger area to make your art.
Tip #2: Search up available technology to see if there is new software out there that can help you. Technology is changing so quickly and new tools are emerging every year to help artists with their work. Go onto the App Store or google your dream artistic tool. You may find that someone has created it! Adopting new efficient creative practices can open up blocks of time for us to pursue other aspects of our work.
Tip #3: Buy those cleaning products. All artists need cleaning materials. They enable us to keep our tools in the best working order. Stop waiting for your cleaning supplies to run out before you buy some more. Have a stock of your most used items-whether it’s compressed air for your key board, lens cleaner for your camera or solvent for your brushes - make sure these products are available and handy to you when you need them.
Tip #4: Create a specific space for your reference materials. Whether these are photos, torn out pages from a magazine or sketches, keep all your reference materials in one place. For electronic materials, create albums and folders clearly labelled so you can find what you need when you need it. Some artists like to tack their reference materials on the wall, others store them in a draw. Whatever your preference, keep them together and accessible.
Tip #5: Keep your documents up-to-date. Don’t groan, we all have to do it. Every artist needs to have a current curriculum vitae and artist statement. If you like to have statements about each work you create, decide when you will write these and make sure you do. We all love to hear about the meaning behind art: where you were when you took that photo, what inspired you to create that ceramic, or who is depicted in your latest drawing. Keeping your key artist documents fresh will enable you to respond quickly to gallery enquiries, enter competitions easily and ensure your online profile enables prospective clients to reach you when they need you.
While there are so many other tips we could give, especially if you’re selling your art, we hope these five will start you thinking. Being organised can actually help you create more art. And that’s something we all want more of, both as artists and lovers of art. So give it a go- and see if 2022 can’t be your most productive year yet!