Part of making more time (and space) for art involves being absolutely ferocious about decluttering. I like this article by Merlin at 43 Folders, in which he says, “If the stuff that you accumulate doesn’t help get you closer to the life you want to have, it’s simply not worth keeping. Period.”
I look at all of my stuff and how much of it is about the life that I currently have.
I look at how much I justify with the idea, “Well, if I use this stuff to make something, and then I sell it, I might make the money that I need to live the life that I want to have.”
And then I spend a week (or two or three) making whatever-it-is. I spend money on additional supplies that I’ll only use half of… and then the rest of those supplies go into my boxes, with some idea that “I might need this some day.” (I really hate buying supplies twice… especially if they aren’t things that I use in art that I’ll keep.)
I drop everything else that I’m working on, to get whatever-it-is completed and out the door. I throw it on my blog, or into etsy or eBay.
And then it doesn’t sell. Or, it sells for less than the hours that I put into it, even at minimum wage. Or, I just break even on the supplies, period. The time is gone, forever.
Hello, why do I keep doing this?
I think that I have to be even more harsh with myself. I may need to wholly eliminate anything that I’m working on with some idea that it’ll make the money that I need.
I think that I should start living the life that I want. I need to trust that the wherewithal will show up, or I’ll see opportunities within the context of the life that I want… not the life that I’ve had enough of, thank you very much.
When I’m creating something, if it’s not something that I’d want to keep/own myself, maybe I shouldn’t be making it. I need to quit looking at what other people are doing, while I’m thinking, “Sure, I could make something equally as good, and then I could sell it at a profit, too.”
Whether or not I can make something well is not the issue. It’s coming down to the energy in whatever-it-is, and if I see real value (as opposed to “that’s nice,” commercial value) in it.
Even “cute” art needs to be taken off my to-do list.
If it’s not about painting and making fabric art (quilts, wearables, wall hangings, very artsy dolls/figures), I think that it has to go away.
In a comment at the article linked above, someone named Cora said, “I got out a few sheets of crisp paper. I imagined my day and then my year, and wrote down the stuff I thought I’d need. Then I wrote down all the things I planned to achieve that year, and got rid of anything that didn’t fit, even things I really wanted to do or new things I wanted to learn. If it was unlikely I’d pursue it in the next 12 months, I just let it go — stuff might be outdated by then anyway.”
I think that I’m going to do that, but for six months (in keeping with “The 4-Hour Work Week”), and see what I end up with. That’d be interesting.