As an artist, I am compelled to create things; mostly drawings, paintings. An early incentive to keep up the work was in the early days when I started making my work for other people. This usually came out as a birthday card, or making mix tapes; anything creative really, that I could make to brighten another person up. It felt great when my work was acknowledged and appreciated.
I later learned to transform my work into a commodity. Basically I got good enough at drawing/painting that people would come to me with requests. The challenge here became one of communication; I was learning to listen. It became less about what I wanted to paint and more about the client. I learned to be up front about my abilities as a producer in order to provide my clients with the info they need in order to make an informed decision. My goal now as a producer is less about 'what' I want to make and more about the quality of what it is that I'm making.
The next challenge, my current challenge, is in my work flow management. There is so much work to do! There is more than could ever be done, really. The task here is to develop an effective strategy rather than overwhelm ourselves by chasing every opportunity that crosses our path. We remain grounded, we make a list of job prospects, and arrange a set of priorities of what needs to be done and when. We are making a map - this approach is crucial. I remember in my early days, the appeal of a fresh new job prospect: they are exciting, fun! I would take most jobs that came my way as I had little else to do. Now I have a lot to do. It has been a flip to learn a more conservative approach to new business ventures. I do take on new projects, but am less likely to get carried away. I know that I have others who are waiting on me. I have previous engagements that I would do well to honour. I have found wealth in my relationships. A healthy relationship will pay time and time again in the long run. It is important to honour these relationships in their turn in order to keep them healthy and engaged. This approach leads to stronger communities. This is where I am at.
I'd like to emphasize the importance of being grounded. As I write, I am in my office, warm with a cup of tea and the gentle sound of nature in the background. At these times I will revisit my text messages, all of them. I will revisit my emails, my chat convos. I also revisit my portfolio, reminding myself of who I am, what I am capable of, and how far I have come. I brush the dust off of my life, pulling out the weeds, I flip the stones, as it were. It brings light back into my life and into my network. Life is so abundant! Opportunities are abound and there is no shortage of things to be grateful for!.Sometimes it takes some real homework in order for us to gain this sense of clarity. It is truly a process of 'cleaning'. We first clean the space for ourselves (take care of yourself!) then we are able to clean our relationships with others.
This is an empowering process, both professionally and personally. It helps to give us a sense of clarity and direction that is easy to lose sight of as we go through our daily motions. We must return home, and we must clean! We must de-clutter. We must organize, strategize. We must, that is, if we wish to have a sense of clarity and direction in our lives. I'm grateful to be at a point in my life where I've acknowledged this and begun to implement it. The potential for growth is astounding! That said, let's get back to work :) Blessings, Allan Turton