Saturday, March 27, 2010

Creative Spring cleaning time

"Flowers of Sulphur" ATC
Supplies: collage sheet images and ephemera from Collage Stuff; inked background collaged with paper stash bits; roses sticker from Current.

Sittin' here on this early Saturday morning listening to the radio playing old school rock. Gettin' up every 15 mintues or so to work on the quick random chore and think about what to write next...this post could take the entire morning to write, winkwink.

You may recall me mentioning that I needed to reassess where my creative time's going...that's I would stew on it and see what solutions I could cook up. Well, been there and done it, finally. All that's left to do is the doing of it.

I weeded out my membership in my Yahoo and Ning groups last week. I left about half of them. I left one because I was just irritated with it more and more. The mutual back-scratching, the encroaching commercial marketing posts rub me the wrong way sometimes. Since I'm not into this hobby to be published or seek design teaming, it detracts from my available time and energy. To each his own, it's nothing personal. I'll miss some nice swaps and artwork being shared, but there are only about 50 bazillion other sources out there when I need inspiration.

I'm thinking I also need to temporarily limit my existing involvement in the groups that remain, more specifically in the 3 groups I most actively participate in. Since these have my heart and I would never want to leave them for good, I want to disrupt my space there as little as possible, so I'm going to first try to change my email preferences. I've always chosen to have every message emailed to me as soon as it's posted to the group. That makes for a huge inbox at times and is a time taker. So, I will try getting a daily digest instead. That may be all I have to do.

I also want to keep a presence in the swaps albeit a minimum one. In my stamping group, I've committed to making birthday cards for the RAK list and will continue that. I will also keep doing one card of the month and one ATC. In my altered design group, I will continue the weekly ATC mingle and the monthly lottery. And in my paper trader group, I will keep doing that monthly lottery and the occasional swap. There is a spring cleaning recycling swap coming up to stuff a 9x12 bubble mailer full of goodies that should be easy to do and good for me.

I don't think I have mentioned it, but I signed up for and paid $120 for two classes back in January that I have not done one thing in. One is a Remains of the Day journal-making class taught by Mary Ann Moss, and the other is Kelly Kilmer's A Life Made by Hand journaling class. Thankfully I have 3 more months in Kelly's and even longer than that in Mary Ann's, and I didn't sign up for either to participate daily in, so both are saveable if I act now. I also have subscribed to Vamp Stamp News and Rubber Stamp Madness, and I need to devote some time to trying out the techniques and ideas they have. And then there is my year-long subscription to Technique Junkies, which is probably the biggest treasure trove of educational goodness. While I have done a few labs, there are a zillion more waiting.

I had bought all of these with Christmas money and hadn't really paid attention to the cumulative effect. They were all things I really wanted, so now's the time to take advantage. I'm actually looking forward to the change of scenery, but that's me. I'm a fickle little winch sometimes.

The biggest behavior change is going to be my stopping all the challenges and sketches, and that will not be easy. I figure I'll first employ the Don't Ask, Don't Tell rule, which means I'll check out the sketches and use them but I won't tell anyone. It's like dating someone hot and heavy but not committing. It also lessens the time it takes to be involved in yet more communities of people. I hate it when people post and run in a group, so if I'm gonna post my work I try to praise others'. If I don't post my work there, I avoid that altogether, yet I still get the design foundation I might need on a card or other art.

I've been in the mood lately to be more free creatively, so I am hoping these changes to my daily art goals and activities will let me do my own thing more. This will either work, or not, but it's my plan and I'm sticking to it, winkwink.

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