Thursday, January 6, 2011

Take a Step Forward

Here at Monkey + Seal, we think we're off to a pretty good start for 2011. We just published two free guides to help other artists sell their art, and bum-ba-da-dum! We're here to announce that a full course on how to start selling your art is in the works. It'll be at least a few months worth of materials, advice, how-to's, worksheets, and more, starting from the very beginning, assuming that you're starting from scratch.

Anyhoo, we just wanted to take a bit of time to talk about the necessity of moving forward. Often, we think to ourselves "Only if X was true, we could do Y." But in reality, we are probably making excuses for ourselves.

Sometimes the "X" seems like it's something that we could never get. Whether it's a million dollars, or job security, or more free time, or feeling less tired after work, we always seem to talk ourselves into thinking that there will be a better time to do something. "If only I could save enough to quit my job for a few months, I could finish my portfolio." "If only I had more energy after work, I could work on my art." Phooey, we say.

Like we've said before, it all comes down to a matter of priority. If money is in the way, then I suggest you take a good hard look at your budget. How much do you spend on coffee, or eating out or on drinks? If a lack of energy is your issue, what sort of behaviors (like staying up late, or going out to party) could you cut out so you'd get more rest?

Often at Monkey's retail job, when he starts talking about the opportunity for people to take workshops, if they aren't interested, they usually give the excuse "I don't have enough time." Well, while this may be true for some people, Monkey seriously doubts it. How many hours do you spend on facebook, or watching TV, or playing video games? How many movies do you watch? The truth is not that they don't have enough time for workshops, but that they choose not to make time for workshops.

One thing to note is that while we highly endorse prioritizing your art (that's what we're here for, after all), we understand and recognize the need for a life as well. Sometimes you need that coffee, or need to take a break and spend an hour (or two) playing video games. We just hope that if you're really in pursuit of a more artistic life that you learn to strike more a balance between your art, other fun stuff, and the stuff that pays the rent.

That said, when you're going to sit down to work on your art, how many times do you let something (a phone call, or a text message, any sort of interruption, really) distract you? Now think about when you're hanging out with your best friend or you're on a date (an enjoyable one, that is), how often do you let something interrupt you in the same way? Chances are, not as often. While we don't endorse necessarily putting your art over the rest of your life, we do want you to analyze your priorities.

It is an amazing human quality to be able to somehow find a way to make things happen if you really want them to. If you can see your dream in front of you, all you have to do is take that first step, and you'll start setting things in motion that will make it easier for you to progress.

If you start managing your priorities today, you'll start to rewire your brain in order to make new habits and new routines that will be more conducive to your art. And if you think it's too late, you're wrong - it's never too late. It'll just be later.

Let us put it this way. If we could guarantee that if you worked hard for 5-7 years to chase your dream you would get it, would you start today, or wait a few years? You always need to start sometime, so why not today?

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