Friday, April 01, 2011

Every step toward the end gets me closer - March Action Steps

I spent time over this month earnestly assessing what is priority in my life. The reason is that I have found I have been seriously overcommitted and fragmented too much to work properly or keep up with all the important things. I made a list and decided to let some things go. I am passing my web design business over to a generous Christian man I met recently to bless his business and know that my clients will be well taken care of. This was hard for me but essential to freeing my time enough to concentrate on children’s books. Many things were consuming my time and pulling me away from my direction and important commitments like my children. 

This was a productive month in so much as I have been catching up on paperwork, settling into our new home and working on setting myself physically and emotionally for a more balance lifestyle. I have committed to exercising and eating better and my surroundings are far more organised now. My husband and I are almost finished our renovations. We have the kitchen to do so there are still some disruptions to get through. After this I can focus on painting more. I seem to prefer to work on the business side when my environment is in anyway disrupted.

In this process I didn’t get a great deal of sketching or artwork done but I did read many children’s books and spent some time writing rhyming stories that were manifesting in my imagination. I am involved in a production piece for my church this Easter so that is a commitment that has taken some of my time this month too. This will need my attention over the next 2 weeks. I admit I was a little shocked that when I counted my sketches I had only sketched out 3 pages this month but I can see why. My web work had quite a bit to do with that too but it was a month of information gathering, promotion and organisation.

I have had discussions with an animal toy manufacturer this week, who want me to design some dog toys and have a meeting next week. I will keep you informed. I also had a lovely lunch with an author friend and she shared industry tips, She was helpful with the publishing side and I helped her understand the internet marketing side a bit better. She encouraged me to subscribe to an industry newsletter “Pass It On” and I did. Additionally I have spent some time giving back to others I corresponded with as I believe community friendship and support is important.

There is a list of other things I did this month below, The things I didn’t get to do was blog entries on Watercolour Wednesday or Art Monday and the lunch-box notes for the last 2 weeks. I do feel a bit unhappy about the lunch-box notes I started even though the kids understand how hectic it has been.
  • Finished page No6 for Book A
  • Visit to library and borrowed approx. 25 books (children’s picture books and books on the subject)
  • Competitions: Entered The Artist’s Magazine 28th Annual Competition
  • Artists Visual Diary Blog March posts x 4
  • Blog hits March: 1637 (up by 15)
  • 14 posts Facebook Fan page and increased my Facebook connections
  • Illustration Friday entries x 2 (Swarm & Toy)
  • Daily drawing in sketchbook while watching TV and any semi-idle moments. (3 pages)
  • Internet research: Finding all the portals and advertising avenues for illustrators, assessing fees and free options. Worked on backlinks and profiles on other sites. Downloaded software to assist me in this. I also tested some database software for organising contacts etc.
  • Paid for and downloaded a 1 hour audio and workbook on 15 steps to freelance Illustration via Escape from Illustration Island blog; a very informative and active blog. (Still to read through)
  • Blogcasts: Subscribed to Drawn and Escape from Illustration Island blogcasts and opened up a Zazzle account.
  • Created 3 folders on my desktop for URL links as I find I don’t look at my bookmarks – forget about them ( Follow up links, frequently visit, Portals & Marketing locations)
  • Added several more books to my reference library.
  • A little more active at JacketFlap
  • Stocked studio with painting material only available from the US.


Anonymous said...

Well done Kayleen! I'm totally with you on the getting your priorities straight and becoming more focused.. it's so important, especially with kids. Every spare hour counts!

I've recently cut back on my art for this reason, nothing seemed to be working... so I've been cleaning out cupboards and starting to paint some furniture for my own house which has opened up a whole heap of new ideas of things to make. Sometimes it just works out for the best when you let some things go.



Life's Beautiful Path said...

It seems we get too busy where it takes us away from what we love to do. Everyday unexpected happenings jump out to take up our time. We quit some things and very quickly we take on new projects without knowing we have said,"yes." When I feel I haven't accomplish much, I write a list like you did and I am suprised and happy.
You are doing great!

Mary Nida

Kayleen West - Children's Book Illustrator said...

Lauren I do find it tough sometimes letting things go. It seems that time is not what is use to be. Picking out tasks is so important. Our home and work environment is crucial to our productivity too.

Mary I am so glad you are writing the list. It does take time and is would be easy to let that practice slip. However when you read how much you got through each month you soon realise you have been more proactive than you realise.

I know for me it gives me a sense of achievement in sometimes a haze of miscellaneous activity. March was like that for me and April has started this way so my list keeps me on track.

The Positive Spirit Blog