Wanna Meet at the Progress Bar?
This one is about motivation.
If you’re an artist or work as an independent filmmaker, you have to constantly motivate yourself as long as you ever want to finish your projects. The less outside pressure you have (say, other people’s money involved or a tight schedule), the more true this becomes.
I guess the most common advise is to simply get started. But for whatever reason this sometimes doesn’t work. So I wrote a post about being gridlocked some time ago because I know a lot of artists having gridlocked moments from time to time, and so have I.
The other day I read an article in which the author mentioned a very helpful trick. I’d like to share this trick with you because it worked pretty good for me, and for my spouse as well. Hopefully, this will be helpful for you, too. Okay, ready?
Perhaps you now think she’s nuts. Why should you limit yourself if you haven’t even started yet? The idea is simple: Take any alarm clock, set its alarm a good hour from now, and start whatever needs to be done. You have just this one hour. Nothing more. Do you feel the pressure raising? When the alarm starts to ring, immediately stop. Have a break.
If you love what you’re doing, you’ll definitely want to spend some more time doing what you’re doing right now. You could set the alarm for another hour straight away (though I guess, you won’t need that anymore…). If you’re doing something because you simply have to, just relax. You did a great job so far, you worked on your project for at least one hour, and I’m sure you have some results now. Reward yourself with something nice (nibble some sweets, have a walk, work an hour on beloved projects…). If your unloved project isn’t finished yet, work on it for another hour later (hey, it’s just one hour!), or try to finish it within those initial 60 minutes when possible…
Here’s a list of things I successfully completed during the last three days using this technique:
- a website design for a client
- an illustration layout for a client
- some video editing for my students
- some garden work being absolutely overdue
- some more designs and ideas for the film and
- this blog post.
For me, it’s working amazingly well… Let me know when you tried it, and if and how it works for you. I’d love to read your experiences in the comment section.
It took me one hour to draw this draft of the entry to the underworld and by this, realizing some other important things about my set design. Before I did it, I wasn’t sure how Orpheus would know where he has to look for his beloved Eurydice. I hadn’t a clue of what the entry would look like – Tim Burton-esque with screaming colours and a lot of dancing skeletons, or more simple, empty and calm like the rest of the graveyard? I decided to design it the latter way. The skull embracing the door and the crematory-like chimney are the only references to death here.
When I scaled the drawing to the buildings final size, I found out that my set will be much bigger than I believed so far. The final premises are about 40 cm high. Since I’m now going to build the big stuff, I’m getting really exited… It’s fantastic to see what one could achieve in just one hour!