Christmas seems to be fast approaching, and with it comes the chance to catch a break and recoup following an incredibly busy period of work.
With Embracing The End (still a really early working title) still in it’s very early stages, this week has focused on what I hope to achieve through this project, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time putting together a map of what the next 12 months might look like.
Mapping my year ahead helped to give a much clearer sense of what I want to achieve as an Artist, and also got me thinking about what I don't want to achieve - the things that don't seem as important. There are so many ways you can carve out a career, and lately I've noticed a real shift in my thinking, a kind of clarity that I didn't have when I first started out as self-employed. This "pruning" process (through mapping) led me to start implementing some big changes;
- Delete some accounts, such as Society6 and Redbubble; There’s probably a valid reason why I never begun to upload works on either of these accounts. Standing where I am now, the mass-availability/mass-production of my work just doesn’t fit in the style of practice I want to cultivate. It’s great to see other artists using these platforms and doing well, but for me personally it’s just not my cup of tea.
- Overhaul my personal website: I’m planning to rework my website over Christmas to reflect the A/R/Tographic way in which I work, as right now the website doesn’t match up to the way my practice is beginning to take shape. Right now, I think that my website isn’t adding to my online presence or helping to inform my practice, and is very much secondary to accounts such as my Instagram or Twitter. My wix site seems to just replicate my social media accounts by uploading the same images for the same reasons, which made me wonder – “what do I need to do to make this page something I value?”. By completely embodying my A/R/Tographic practice through my website, I can bring my values through and make the page a supplement to my work.
- Continue sketching until January: Through sketching, I want to continue playing with ideas until a clearer project begins to emerge. I’ll be recording/documenting all of this process work to go towards a funding proposal, hopefully in February. Some of these sketches I’ll share here in detail, with the rest appearing on the (newly refurbished) website.
In making these changes, I continued to ask myself what I valued about myself and my work. What felt important enough to grow, and what felt like something holding me back, or something I needed to prune so that other areas could truly expand? I'd not really asked myself those types of questions in detail, and in doing so it began to inform the way I plan to develop, propose and fund work.
In amongst all of this, there still seems to be a lot of admin and set-up to do with becoming self employed – however, after meeting with an accountant things are making a lot more sense. For anyone graduating and looking to move into self-employment, I really would recommend talking to an accountant. Money, money management, taxes…all those kinds of things made me so nervous starting out, but speaking to someone who works with these things as their career really helped to give me the clarity I needed.
I’ve also begun to reach out to people to begin having conversations around endings, and think about how this theme might overlap between us. At the moment these are all early emerging conversations, but it’s exciting think about what might come next. The conversations I’ve had so far – even brief ones that have happened by pure coincidence – have been a real pleasure.