“Our lives take us in all different directions. Detours are a part of life but it depends on how you view them that tells the difference. Some detours have enriched my life with information that I would not have had any other way. Some detours were not as productive. Experience lets me readily identify them and decide how long I am willing to travel on that road.” That is a description of the painting above, “Up, Down and All Around”, one of my latest acrylic/mm creations on canvas, 24″ X 36″.
Many of my non-representational, abstract paintings show twists and turns, lines going in different directions, vertical then suddenly horizontal, shapes breaking through another section and turning into some other shape. And it turns into a pleasing landscape of colors, shapes and patterns that work together to create balance and purpose.
But, is that how life is today? All these things thrown at us to make our lives more purposeful and balanced. Think about it. Everyday I get tons of email from marketing solicitors wanting to make my business more productive or giving me advice on how to make social media work for me. This is where I took my detour in December 2013. And I am quickly getting out of that line and back into my more productive pattern.
For example, they send screaming headlines that you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and have a blog and website, etc., etc. and how to make each of these better for you to get LIKES and more followers. whether to use #’s or not, FB is a Must, Twitter is a Must and How to Use It, Is Everyone Leaving FB and Should You (this after I had just signed up & paid for a FB class on how to use it???), Twitter is Going Down (just after I purchased their stock for my retirement portfolio???), Tips to Boost your Twitter Conversations, Topics to Make a Great Blog and Get Followers, How Often to Post – I could literally go on and on. And at the end of each of these is an advertisement that wants you to buy a book or sign up for classes or listen to a free informational video and then sign up for their class. Oh I forgot, I need to make videos now to engage people to my site. Just signed up for that course!
They are out in full force lately. And now want you to be one of them-they offer a course on how to do that; a coach selling your advice on whatever you know about. And I know a lot about various subjects because I was a graphic designer with my own business, a professional illustrator illustrating for many big magazine companies and a fine art painter. At one time I worked in marketing research for a large company doing statistics (I am good at math), I know how to market, I’m a mother, etc., etc, etc. But I would not want to inflict myself on the masses in the same way as these marketers are doing today just to get a client.
It is enough to make you go crazy. Anyone trying to market their small business probably knows what I mean. I question myself, am I doing it right, did I say the wrong thing, am I supposed to post this here, and the what if’s . . . There was an article I read just recently talking about decision fatigue and how making many choices saps your willpower. Are any of these things adding anything significant to your business other than more work and a stress-filled schedule? That is the important question for each of us to answer for ourselves. Come on be honest. Are you just a slave to these new things that were supposed to make our lives easier to market ourselves or stay in touch or do you really enjoy them.
I, for one, am going to be much, much, much more selective. Why? Because to be a painter and run a business you need to FOCUS. I am going to sign up for less because when I read these advice blogs and take the coaching classes, I realize that in most cases I already knew most of the information or the information does not apply to me and my business. I am going to take a cold, hard look at what is working and what is not and let go of the baggage, the extra stress and the lack of focus.
Social media is still a good use for marketing but I am not going to get crazy about it and give more importance to it then it deserves. My website and my blog is most important and those are my priorities. Who is deciding FB is great one day and dead the next? That little guy in the corner office? (You know guys, this would make a great little humorous, illustrated book. And I might just create it. Would you buy it? OMG I am turning into ONE of THEM.) FOCUS
My new pledge is: if I need more information on a subject, I will buy a book. They don’t leave email and they just sit on my night stand. If I get stressed seeing them there because I haven’t read them lately, I will move them to another location, preferably under the bed. See I learned some information that enriched my life from this detour and I am once again focused!
Please comment below how you feel about the detours your life is taking lately and if they are productive or making you go bonkers. I love to hear from other people and learn from their perspectives.
Usually my paintings let loose a philosophy lesson as I splash on the paint (I loved my philosophy courses in college). So I am starting this as a series. Every time I finish a painting, I am going to do “An Artist’s Perspective” article explaining what the story is behind the painting or what feelings or questions on life the painting brought out as I was creating. Each painting on my website has an artist’s comment but this, “An Artist’s Perspective”, will elaborate on the subject.
I guarantee you won’t be bored. You don’t have to agree with my ramblings because that is what makes us individuals but you will get a first-hand view of my thinking as I paint. Please become a “follower” and sign up to get a notice when it arrives. Thanks for your support of my art and vision.