Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Do It!

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines, submissions and proposals. I know they're good for me. I'm a procrastinator and seeing a deadline looming in my near future is often the shot of adrenaline I need to get the job done. But the extra biochemical push that gets my heart racing towards the finish line also prompts me to just drop the ball and let it roll away. Sometimes it takes a lot of willpower to overcome.

Saturday night I got the last minute idea to propose some classes for an event in Houston. When was the deadline? Sunday at midnight! Luckily online submissions were requested. Today is the last day to send in images for the next PMC Guild Annual. I have all my photos on CD and filling out the paperwork is not much of a stressor, but do I have it done? Uh - nope. But I got an email version of Fusion last Thursday giving permission to submit via email "next week". Does that mean today? Monday is "next week". Or does that mean the entire week? I'm shuddering. Now I think I have permission to put off till Friday what I should have done a long time ago. I'm gonna wise up and get the job done today though. Right after I finish writing this post. Which was due last Thursday. Sigh.

So, why should I bother? Why create so much angst for myself? Why submit anything, for any one, at any time, in the first place? Here's where the love portion of the equation comes into play.

I love the opportunities that submitting presents. I love the way I feel after I put the envelope in the mail. I even love the anticipation while waiting to see if my work has been accepted (which is not always the positive surprise I was hoping for). I believe that it's part of my job as an artist to improve my visibility in any way possible. Submissions are part of my marketing plan. I love to teach. I have an ego that likes being stroked, just like everyone else. I love to see my work in print.

What about you? Why should you submit? What does the very act of submitting, proposing and putting yourself "out there" accomplish?

10. Beneficial for your brain matter. Risk taking creates new synapses and releases dopamine which makes you feel good.
9. Presents opportunities in arenas that you might not otherwise have been exposed to.
8. Broadens your list of accomplishments.
7. Invites you to think about your work and how you can develop new and exciting designs.
6. Builds self confidence.
5. Allows you to look at your work objectively.
4. Encourages you to take more risks.
3. Very satisfying.
2. Makes your Mama proud.
1. Gives you bragging rights until the next submission is due.

So get on board. Research the opportunities. Find your venue. Then pull out that pen, limber up those typing skills and take a risk.

Start with the Annual this week. Plan for Holly Gage's calendar.  Check Lark's Calls for Submissions. Play along with our Creative Key challenges and stay tuned for an exciting new PMCC contest partnership soon. Share your artistic wealth!

From Fusion:

"In order to make this as easy as possible, we're going to allow people to send images as email attachments for the next week," says Communications Director Tim McCreight. "People need to understand that the size of their images is important. Each image should be about 6-8 megabytes (MB) in size, and at this size they should attach only two or three images to each email. Larger files will sometimes crash an email program or simply fail to transmit. Small files will appear fuzzy when printed."

Send your images as attachments to and remember to include your name along with title, size, materials, and photographer information.


Wanaree said...

Amen Sista!!

Cathy said...

You said it! Been there, done that, thinking about making a t-shirt... love the top 10. :)

Diane said...

It must be an "Artist Thing" because I am the SAME WAY! Yes, I sent my Houston app out Sunday night, and was so happy to see the the Annual was accepting e-submissions...sat up past midnight sending and resending till they would go through! I recently posted a pic of all my apps laid out with their dated sticky notes. This year I did 3 years of taxes that got me caught up (finally)...we need personal assistants, this isn't art!

Lorena Angulo said...

Totally right my friend!!
As my mother always said to my sisters and me: "Opportunity does not come and nock in your door, you need to go out there and look for it yourself!" (hmmm it sound better in Spanish ;o) )

Joy Funnell said...

Well said - so glad I am not the only one! Great post thanks. You have given me some early morning inspiration to pull my finger out and get on with things!

Jane said...

Lora, you and I are so much alike! I only do things at the drop dead moment too, lol.

Great article! I'll remember it every time I'm too scared to submit something.

s said...

Thank you for the post, Lora!

If it were not for your post, I would have missed the email announcement for the Annual. I had resigned myself to not submitting anything because I was swamped, and the I read your post and off went the pictures by email!
I suppose we are all the master procrastinators...but we are in good company, just read about the Renaissance painters and sculptors :)

Alison Lee said...

Well put Lora. It's always somehow figuring out how to "Get Your Butt in the Chair". xo

Yvonne said...

Your post just relit my flame. Thank you. I wish I could say I understood the phenomenon, but we 'masters' have a way of tripping ourselves up just before the finish line...

Alice Walkowski said...

Wow, glad to see there are lots of us procrastinators out there. I thought I was the only one. I'm all the time telling myself to "Just Do It!" The brain resists and like you said it sometimes takes lots of will power. Thank you for a great post (and for doctoring my thumb at Arrowmont.)