Thursday, October 20, 2016

Finished the Three-Ring Binder Project!

What was it like for me?

The seed was planted to do this while visiting numerous artist studios and I would occasionally come across one or two artists who had three-ring binders of their artwork that covered the development and span of years of created works and I was fascinated to see the progression in these binders!

I took on the project of  “the three-ring binders” to inventory my early work/style from 1982 - 2015 (the tightly rendered - illustrative style artworks) I knew I wanted to do for my work. 

It was hard. I don’t know why it was so hard. Or why it took so long. Why each page could take over an hour to create. Well, it was reflective on how much photo-editing an image needed.

It was also hard because of growing pains. Learning how to work in different software programs. Which software to use for which element of the process to get to a finished page. 

Looking at the five completed binders my inner critic pipes in and says: Really Lisa? This took you how many years to complete? Really? 
Well - yes, because there were huge learning curves to address.

First I had to go through all the folders on my computer to find images of the works.
Then rename and create new file folders for art images. 
Then take photographs of works I did not have image files for, download images, change the image size of the photos to make different image sizes for each work.
Then measure each piece to fit within the framework of the page.
Then create a filing system.
Then create an inventory list.

The computer reached its memory capacity and an external hard drive had to be purchased. 
A printer died and a new one had to be installed which took over two hours to hook up with technical support.
Learning curves marketing classes, updating my website, blog, and researching other artists online with their websites/blogs/social media presence… 

I’m not sure why it was such a struggle. But for some reason I have been fighting a war within myself. I knew I wanted to do this project, but, it was not easy.

What did I learn?

I learned I had to get really organized with my computer files. 
I had to slow down, do one thing at a time, not multi-task doing three things at the same time. Know that things take three times longer than you plan for. 
I remember saying to myself, o.k. try to process five images/pages a day. I would be lucky if two got done. Over 200 hours went into this project. Probably a lot more considering the learning curve.

Download the image.
Upload the image. 
Create different size image files of the same image.
Open up Photoshop and clean up an image. 
Create file folders for each image. 
Create a page for each image that includes the image, its title, medium, size and year created. 

What do I notice?

A calm feeling of accomplishment and small sense of confidence that I completed this project.

A feeling of delight and pride in completing this undertaking that felt daunting at first.

I have gotten much better at photographing artwork, photography in general, and am quite the photo-editor if I do say so myself. 

Now that there is a “blue print” - it should be much easier and faster to do the next binder series. 

I feel lighter as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. 

I feel peace and an inner quiet. I did it. I tackled that big project that felt overwhelming at times, but, I bit off a little bit each day, and got more and more organized and it slowly got done. 

I feel a bit more confident moving forward. It should be easier to keep this process up.

I got over the many hurdles it took to complete this project. I stuck to it, even with life’s daily struggles and tribulations. 

How doing this impacts my art now.

Now it is almost like second nature that I do the “15 steps” after completing a work of art. In my case, it’s 16 as I want a print out page of the image to put into a three ring binder of completed works for that year. 

I am aware of how much documentation work needs to accompany every completion of a work of art.

I am a bit more surrendered to the reality that this is part of the process in being an artist. 

One doesn’t just make the art.
One has to document it, and get it seen.
There are many steps in the business of being an artist.
Being an artist is a full time job. 


Kathleen O'Brien said...

I am in awe that you accomplished this, Lisa. Thank you for detailing each step. I have documented my art since 1968 by writing in pencil in notebooks. It wasn't until much later that I realized I needed to photograph everything. My records are so willy-nilly. Your project inspires me to do something similar, it might take me the rest of my life!

Art as a Path said...

Hi Kathleen,
Have fun doing it!
(Note to self... I really ought to check my blog more often... I just saw that you posted your response to my posting a year ago! Jeez! Better late than never!!!)