August 31, 2007

Organizational Skills...


I've always wanted to be organized. A statement which should tell you that I have yet to make that goal. Raised under the theory that it was easier to do it yourself than to make a kid do it, I blame others for my inability to stick to a plan. A story I tell on myself goes back to our first year of marriage, "The Year Of The Great Compromise!" Being neat and orderly comes natural to J and I worked hard to reach his expectations. He realized this and didn't make a fuss about my lapses, he just went in and did what needed to be done... as I sat at our little portable typewriter making schedules as to when I would dust, mop, wash, iron, etc... all the while dust bunnies were rolling, dirty dishes were stacked and the ironing board stood untouched. (We were a young military family on the move and no job ops for this soon to be mom.) But I had plans... and certainty that a typed out schedule would get me there!

Fast forward to today's efforts to 'get shed' of a career's accumulation of reference material... man did I get organized! Not always neat by a long shot... but I've got files out to yin-yang! With various moves over the years I've whittled out a lot of excess but there was this one last milk crate of file folders in the studio. It would take whoever only a moment to toss in preparation for the inevitable 'estate sale.' But I guess I need to be sure it's all trash worthy.

So there I was, shuffling through the past. The folders were three legal size sets of A-Z, one for Alabama artists, one for New Orleans artists and one for National artists. This is what you do when you're hungry to learn and a formal art education is out of the question... you learn from your peers, you are an apprentice to everyone who is higher up the ladder than you. You must know them by name, identify their work and follow their careers. Invitational cards, newspaper clippings, magazine tear sheets... lots and lots of those. I pulled a short stack of cards of favorite artists I'd forgotten about with the intention of Googling their whereabouts... and realized that this was all collected before I'd ever heard the word Internet... indeed, I ceased collecting such trivia once the 'net became a primary source of info on anything and everything. I also let my art mag subscriptions lapse... but there's still a dated stack waiting to be gone through, ripped out and filed... I'll toss them but not before I flip through once more.

There's one folder remaining... there were a few artists I just couldn't trash. These were good friends, mentors or were just special in some way. I'll stuff it into my office file drawers... yet another depository of vital yet useless information... sigh... well, one crate down, a dozen or so file drawers and shelves to go... and that's just the paper stuff.

3 comments:

CMC said...

he he he....boy do i recognize some of what you're saying. Although I have to admit I'm sort of an organizer type. In my old age I'm a lot less so. My problem is not wanting to waste anything. I remember when I used to subscribe to all the Artist Mags, etc. I had years of them all arranged by years. Finally, one day I decided this had to stop. So, for one more time, I went through them all and found a few more good tidbits to add to my reservoir of knowledge and gave them all away to a school.
Now, I do this periodically but I also take fewer magazines.

On the list front...mine are scribbles but maybe I should go back to doing them as I used to get more done.

Annette Bush said...

I'm terribly disorganized, so for years, I used a 5x7 lined notebook as a calendar -- a page a day (two on weekends) which I divided in half for household lists at top and art lists at bottom. It was wonderful got keeping me on track. Rarely missed a deadline. Now I use a 8.5x11 page per week which I print out with specifics. I clip a months worth on a clipboard and then transfer to a 3 ring binder. Gives me room to keep information, artists' brochures and records/receipts right where I used them and it's easy to backtrack. It has been a great system for me, but I'll admit I have been shredding/trashing papers for days lately.
A

KJ said...

Good tips, Annette... I'll put them on my organizational list... which tends to get lost as soon as I put the pen down. Sigh...