Productivity in the studio came up in conversation last night over dinner at our house with some friends. The consensus around the table seemed to me that we all struggle with making our work but we're also capable of getting incredibly productive when we need to. We were sharing book titles that have influenced how we get to work and our scheduling practices for how we actually get to work.
I am not anywhere as productive or organized as I would like to be; although, with our friends I am getting known to being obsessed with organization. One of the contributors to my reputation is my laser label writer birthday present my wife bought me on request a few years ago. Having printed neat labels is a recommendation of David Allen's in his 2001 manifesto on personal organization 'Getting Things Done'. Merlin Mann, a hilarious and bright independent creator of an array of things described GTD and the impulse to organize as a way to take that strength compensate for where you need to get better.
The thing is I seem to be able to keep on top of the administrative side of my art career: keeping the emails moving, completing grant/award applications, keeping track of the moving parts of projects related to exhibitions which in turn makes it possible to create studio time. I applied and was awarded a Canada Council Emerging Artist Grant and am looking forward to the time that I have coming up between May 1 and October 31 when I am on leave from my Government position. Pretty sweet.
Receiving a grant I feel is a huge responsibility to carry out what I have proposed. I have a tonne of work ahead of me. Coordinating the trip back to Hopedale, getting the proper ventilation set up in the basement studio, and on and on. With my labeller, some folders and my Remember the Milk app I'll be staying on top of those as best I can. In the interim there will be small scale studio investigation and production through paintings and my near daily sketchbook practice. While I can't be in the studio full time at the moment I am organizing and completing all that I can for when I am.
By the way. Some of books about organization and creative process that came up last night were:
Getting Things Done, David Allen
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
On Writing, Stephen King
I have not read all of the Stephen King book yet but I have read and love the other two.