After running on empty for far too many days –and procrastinating for almost a week– I forced myself off the mountain and down into civilization. There I found what I needed: turpentine, permalba, ivory soap and Aqua Net.
No. I’m not switching careers. Aqua Net is actually a great fixative for pastels, and although it stinks, it’s much less toxic than the workable fixative I used to employ. It’s pretty hard to find Aqua Net these days though. And I think —save some 80s hairband reunions, and perhaps a few octogenarians— I may be their last customer. Someone in Rite Aid is now looking at an inventory sheet, wondering if there is a Kiss concert in Keene, New Hampshire.
I thought I might reflect a bit on “Thirty in Thirty”, and what it was like to make it through the self-challenge.
1) Challenging! First of all, I admit that it was much harder than I thought it would be. But that’s good. It was hard to post something every single day. But, getting into shape can be a little bit difficult, and sometimes painful. In the end, some interesting things happened over the course of thirty studio days.
2) Productivity: It was an amazing work month. I finished many unfinished pieces, and I started and completed a number of new pieces. I like that.
3) Structure: Through this exercise, I realized that for me, any kind of structure is actually more helpful than harmful; even self-imposed deadlines and rules can work if you make yourself somehow accountable. This is really important for me, because there are many things competing for my time and attention, and my artwork must always be my highest priority.
4) Organization: I found myself thinking about how I work in a way that I’ve never done before. My thoughts centered not so much my artistic process, but on my space and ways in which I can make things easier for myself. Some things came up that I want to address right away; like finding new ways of organizing and separating office space from work area.
4) Music: I love it. I need it. I want to improve my studio sound system. I can’t imagine working without music.
5) Support and Community: It really mattered to me when I heard from friends via email and on various social sites, cheering me on. Studios are lonely places. And much as I am a lone wolf, I also need the pack more than I realized. I need to make it a point to get out and get together with my artist friends, see shows, and breathe life into my world.
So, thank you friends. Thank you for your words of encouragement, music recommendations and for following along.
Onto a new month, a new year, and a whole lot of new artwork. I will be committing to two posts a week in the month of February, and setting some more normal studio hours!
Phew. Good bye Thirty in Thirty!