Neu Fibers

Quilts and Fiber Art by Julie Brown Neu
Creativity

Creative Play Newsletter – Taking Stock

I’m still in my period of planning and assessment, trying to figure out what my new studio practice looks like now that I have a full-time job and a commute (though it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the order to work from home to avoid the Corona Virus comes down). And while I am still freaking out a bit about not getting a lot done, I am also finding the time that I have taken to step back incredibly useful. I’m taking the time to take stock, which I think is something that I should be doing more often.  In this down time, I have stopped moving long enough, stopped trying to push forward on my To Do list and list of projects to accomplish, to really think about my art and the business of being an artist. I am quite literally taking stock, pulling the quilts out of my closet and deciding which ones I would like to sell and which ones I should keep for lectures. But, I am also considering questions like:

  • What kind of art do I want to make?
  • Am I being creatively fulfilled by the work that I am making? If not, what isn’t fulfilling about it and how should I change my practice?
  • How effective is the art that I have already made? Is there anything that I would change for the next piece in the series?
  • In my now-limited amount of time, where would I like to focus? (Constraints are wonderful for helping identify what’s really important!)
  • Are there techniques that I would like to learn or improve?
  • Where do I want to focus my marketing efforts?
  • Is social media worth the time for me?  Which platforms are most effective and which do I enjoy using the most?
  • Should I be participating in shows? If so, which ones or what types?  (I’ve already decided that multi-day shows are not for me right now. Our weekends are too busy with kid activities and trying to make headway on the piles of laundry that no elves are folding for me during the week.)
  • What are the different income streams that I want to pursue now? (In-person teaching and lecturing, online teaching, in-person sales, online sales, publishing books or articles…?)
  • Do I even want to pursue income from quilting?
  • And perhaps the most important question – why?

Why may be the most important question because it’s too easy to get caught up in trying to do everything and in trying to keep up with the Instagram Joneses. So it’s useful to jump off that path for a bit to stop to take stock and consider the path that is really right for me. Remembering why I quilt and using that as the yardstick against which I measure all of my other answers will help me make sure that I am consciously making choices that are the right ones for me and me only.

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