I got a call from DIY's Craft Lab and they accepted my submissions to tape on their second season. Yay! I was in the first season (which will start airing in Sept) so I am glad to get to go out there again. Then I started to get a migraine thinking about fitting everything in as the taping dates are right before I go to Portland to teach at Art and Soul and tape my third DVD. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
Yesterday I had a great session with my coach. She was talking to me about the possibility of hiring an assistant.
I probably need some help but, I am one of those people who just finds it easier to do it themselves rather than to explain to someone else how to do something.
Plus I am a teeny bit of a control freak, ahem.
But I can see there are things I could get help with which would give me more time to make art. Like packing and shipping the commissions, filing the photos that go with the orders etc. We'll see, right now it makes me all squirmy just thinking about it.
You could still do the packing and everything else. I'm a control freak also and would worry myself sick that the wrong commission was in the package.
Once this list is created, it becomes easier to realize that it is more important for you, as an artist, to make work - NOT pack boxes. It is more important for you to gain inspiration - NOT wait in line at the post office. It is more important for you to be fully focused and engaged in your work - NOT be distracted.
Whenever I have a big show coming up, I always hire an assistant. Do I really need to apply every layer of gesso? Do I really need to waste time picking up dry cleaning or getting groceries? Not if someone else can do it.
It's hard to trust people to do their best. But the truth of the matter is that if you continue to grow in celebrity and demand, you'll eventually implode without getting help.
Trust me... you'll still be in control, but the pressure will be much less and you'll be able to do much more!
I have a long story about an artist who I assisted when I was in college. Someday I'll tell it. It could make a good podcast! It was a nightmare! LOL!
My big hurdle is getting over feeling like I have to entertain everyone. I know if I had an asst I would feel like I had to chat and be entertaining. I do this to everyone who comes in the house, the guy who came to fix our router, I was all worried that he felt bored when I left him to work on our computer. When I go to the hairdresser I come armed with "talking points" so I am not a boring customer! LOL!
I guess all that can be worked through with my coach, she's great with helping me with my neurosis!
Thanks again for the tips and suggestions! Has anyone else out there had an assistant? Let me know how it's working for you.
Anyway, for real. I run a small arts non-profit. Every now and again a well-intended performer decides they want to "assist" administratively. My vote: find someone, anyone, who's a self-starter. Doesn't matter what they experience/expertise is, but if you have to monitor their every move, then they're more trouble then they're worth!
It's a challenge, but it will be good for you because as someone else mentioned, they can pick-up dry cleaning, chat with the repairmen when they do come for you and even make that grocery run.
Anyways, since I've lived in New York, I've had 4 assistants. Not all at the same time of course. I usually hire one when I'm preparing for a show or find myself overly busy. They can be super helpful! I've gone about two different ways of getting them. One is to hire someone you already know. It makes the interview process a snap. Two is to post an ad and conduct interviews. The problem with number one is that if you know them and like them enough to ask them for their help, you'll end up getting distracted by them. The problem with number two is that it'll take a fair good bit of time to sort through the applicants, but you'll usually find someone who at least pretends to be professional in the beginning.
I hire them for short term projects only! I refuse to pay someone to check their email and chat on the phone with their friends. I give them a rough estimate of how long I'll need them for and what they'll be expected to do during that time. If they work out, you can always ask them back.
The first day, if they are unfamiliar with the studio or my apartment, I give them the grand tour - noting important things like, where the bathroom is, what is off-limits, and what beverages and snacks they can help themself to. I give them a list that's broken down into two catagories: time sensitive projects and regular duties. Time sensitive projects are all marked with windows in which they must perform their tasks. I usually build in buffers, so as to account for any unforseen obstacles like traffic or a twisted ankle.
The most crucial element of the introduction is that I tell them that I already have enough friends and I'm not paying them to be my companion. Sounds a little evil, but it quickly solves the problem you mentioned before about wanting to entertain them. I tell them to ask questions if it's serious, but to otherwise leave me to my work. I'll usually take my lunch/dinner break with them and chat with them a bit, getting to know them and also getting a mid-way report. At the end of the day, we quickly go over what they've done (good and bad) and what they need to make their emphasis for the next time they come in or any changes to the regular routines, such as, "I'm going to be hosting a cocktail party. Instead of coming here, I'll need you to go to such and such address. Pick up this catering order on your way."
I feel that a structured time saves time and reduces room for error.
That's just the way I do things. Hopefully it'll be helpful.
Love your images!