4 Simple Organizing Techniques for Artists

Owl-Mask-LeatherWorkingEighteen hours from now, I will be hanging pieces at my first solo art show in over five years. My artwork: 20 masquerade-style leather art masks currently in various stages of completion. And my studio? After an all-nighter to get everything sculpted so it could dry in time, my workbench was buried.

Was. Last year I would have shoved everything aside and struggled to work in a bare corner. But it’s a new year and I’m developing new habits.

Here are four simple ways to increase productivity and organize your space:

1. Put everything in its place. Even if I knew I would need it again, it went back in its drawer, on its shelf or wherever it goes when my studio is “clean.” It seemed overwhelming and time-consuming at first, but only took 15 minutes or so. Now the entire work surface is available and I know where everything is, which will save precious time later. I also took a moment to sweep up yesterday’s scraps, making today’s work feel like a fresh start.

2. Separate the art into categories. I made little groupings of the pieces that still need paint (all of them). Realizing this wasn’t going to help, I further categorized them by how they’ll be arranged on the wall tomorrow. Five traditional Mardi Gras styles, four birds, four dragon-like creatures, five gargoyles and two so odd they don’t even have category titles.

3. Choose a subset to begin with. At first I thought the Mardi Gras styles would be best, but quickly realized these will require the most time to paint. I set them aside and painted all the birds first. This gave me a sense of accomplishment early on and filled me with excitement to work on the next batch. I wanted to see how my dragon would turn out, so I painted that next.

4. Take (healthy) breaks. I drank two glasses of water instead of the second cup of coffee I craved. My body needed water more. (Technically, as I write this, I’m still on break, but I wanted to share these thoughts while they’re fresh).

Past art shows taught me that if I can’t finish all 20, no one will know what’s missing from the display except me. And if I don’t finish all of them, it just means I have a head start for next time.

Take it from me: Start fresh. Break the work into smaller components. Take care of yourself. And don’t panic.

Brown Paper Tickets‘ Doer: Maker Advocate Tamara made the super-cool owl mask above. She’ll be sharing more tips, thoughts and words of advice from her life as a leatherworker and her involvement in maker communities.

Arts >

Artist Ticket Picks: A Sinful Tour of Portland, Dance in Ann Arbor, Musical Legend Linda Perhacs and more.

marys-club-225x300Welcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Saturday, March 15 I Portland Sinful Walking Tour: Shanghaiers, Saloons & SkullduggeryPortland, Oregon

As a nexus for labor and shipping in the Pacific Northwest, Portland often had the repute of a rugged, rough and tumble town, more than willing to allow the miners, loggers, and fishermen an opportunity to part with their hard earned cash in whatever debaucherous manner they chose. In addition to the shanghaiers and con men, always on the prowl, saloons, gambling halls and bordellos also thrived in “Whitechapel,” “The North End,” or Old Town, as we know it today. Some of these storied establishments have come and gone, but others have survived, and many say that Portland, or “Strip City,” still has that vulgar and rugged reputation to this day.

Join Historian Doug Kenck-Crispin as he visits locations of famous saloons, bars and bordellos, card rooms and gambling dens, some of which are still in operation today! The tour will meet at Thirsty Lion Pub (71 SW 2nd Ave.). Feel free to stop by early for a pint and grub! Walk-ups are always welcome! The tour will “end” outside of Mary’s Club, one of Portland’s most hallowed strip clubs*. At the conclusion of the tour, you can join Doug inside for an adult beverage!

*This tour is best suited for those 21+
Read More…

Arts >

Artist Ticket Picks: Getting Back to Abnormal, Roxy Music, Body Painting and more.

getting_back_to_abnormalWelcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Sunday, February 3 I Getting Back to AbnormalSeattle, Washington

New Orleans’ long history of political dysfunction gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after Katrina. Four years later, she needs to get black votes to be re-elected. Getting Back to Abnormal follows the odd couple of Head and her irrepressible political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans’ complicated political scene. Featuring provocative commentary from New Orleans cultural figures like David Simon (Treme, The Wire).

** WARNING! This trailer contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **


Read More…

Arts >