Monday, February 8, 2010

Struggling with Juggling

No, I haven't taken up a new sport. This is about juggling priorities - deciding which balls to catch and which to let go. A conversation I had with an artist friend a few weeks ago helped me articulate what I've been feeling for awhile now. I just don't seem to have enough time. (I know, you're saying "join the club"!) I've been feeling that although I am spending a lot of time on my art, I'm not accomplishing what I want to. What am I juggling? Developing, teaching and promoting workshops, studio time, administration (maintaining my website, keeping records of exhibitions, photographing my work), professional development.

As I look back on 2009, I feel a sense of lost opportunity. I was very busy exhibiting throughout the year, but I didn't complete many larger pieces. My last series was created for a local exhibition last spring. The rest of the year I worked on smaller pieces. They are fun and fast, but not really where I want to go with my work.

I think what was missing was a clear set of priorities. I'm feeling I need to really examine each opportunity/obligation that comes my way and ask, "Is this bringing me closer to the life I want or taking me away from it?" Of course, doing that successfully means that I need to know what it is I do want. More studio time is one of the things I know I want. I am tempted to take a semester off teaching to devote to studio time. Of course, I've already got things booked into this fall, so that means I couldn't take that time until next spring! And there's that pesky mortgage to consider.

So, as you can see, I'm still struggling with how to move forward. I'm taking some time this afternoon to look at the year ahead. To review my obligations, my opportunities, my aspirations and try to determine what is most important. I realize that I will have to let some opportunities pass me by. But I feel it is better to do it intentionally - to choose what is most important rather than try to do it all.


  1. Lisa, I think we all stuggle to make the time for ourselves and our art. I have resisted doing any exhibits right now as it is more important to focus on finding my way to move forward. Unlike you, I am finding smaller pieces more satisfying at the moment, mini-pieces that can be quickly done, but with more thinking about design and materials used. No more stitching for a year or more on one piece. Which has meant working more in solitude, and trying to avoid the other distractions...and yet they constantly pull at me, taking time away from doing this necessary work. Somewhere there is a balance, I just haven't found it yet. Mary Ann

  2. I appreciate your words, Mary Ann. We all have to find the direction that makes the most sense for us. And then have the courage to commit to that direction without being distracted or led astray.


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