Part One of this post dealt with how I use multiple Filofaxes to manage my artistic life and focussed on my two studio planners. Now we turn to my learning and design binders:
My Wine A5 Holborn is my Textile Course Planner. This one tends to live either on or in the 'Filofax station' sideboard in our front lounge or on the coffee table in the other lounge as I like to curl up comfortably and think with this one.
Left untamed I am a bit of an education junkie and every now and them I get tempted by diploma and degree courses. However, I know deep down that (a) these are unnecessary as I am very autodidactic anyway (b) don't exactly meet my needs and (c) costs a huge sum of money better spent elsewhere.
So I sat down and designed a perfect textile course setting out what modules I would choose if anything was possible. And some that would not be my first choice but I knew I needed to grasp to be good. My plan is to allow this to run for three or four years then replan as if I was moving on to a graduate course. The sections are:
At the front I have some Success To do lists. On A studio Day/ weekend my goals often span learning, wet and dry studios so I put a checklist here with time estimates and work through it. The dividers then are:
1. Overview: Mindmaps, ten year plans etc also, the modules I created for my self teaching course. Photo: Textile course mindmap
2. Journal. A general creativity journal where I reflect on art I have seen, unformed half baked ideas and inspirations, my feelings and fears about making art etc
3. Themes. A bit if an. overlap with Series in the Osterley (see part One) but here I tuck research notes etc about the themes, like the historical research I did about Brick Lane
4. Artists. This module is inspired by what is done on the City and Guilds Diploma and the Masters Degree I have in Novel Writing ( I have one in criminology too - told you, education junkie!!). I choose an artist and research his or her work and here I make notes about what I learned and crucially how I can apply that to my own work.
5. Surface design. I admit - this section is otiose since the aqua malden was set up!
6. Creativity. A module in which I read various texts about the psychology of creativity and the advice of creativity coaches
7. Design theory. Reading lists and notes about formal theory of design (like line, colour, proportion etc)
8. Studio practice. Reading notes etc about the business side of art. Not necessarily money making but being a professional artist showing work in galleries as well.
9. Drawing. Again there is now some overlap with the EDM section in the Aqua Malden (see Part One) now but here I keep goals and plans and the Malden has the actual doing notes
10. Technology. A module about websites and photoshop skills
11. Jottings. As above
12. Inserts. Spare paper.
You should know I am not working on all those sections at once. But having a place for them means (a) I am more at ease not trying to do everything all at once because I am assured that I will get to the due course so I am not missing out by declining to focus on them right now and (b) as I read and web browse these topics all crop up. Making notes and parking them means the resources are all there organised when I decide to give that topic focus. It also means I don't waste time reading the same material over and over again.
Those are the main three filofaxes but others play a supporting role:
My personal planner for life in general lives in a rotating set of personal binders, currently a Gold medium Mia Cara Gillio. Every Sunday I plan the week and make appointments on a day per two pages for myself in the studio fitting it in around work, exercise and family. I also mark on my month per two page tabbed and weekly pages a longer range plan for 'studio weekends' shows and group meetings.
My A5 Grey Malden has all things Internet and is where all the passwords,account details, lists etc are to maintain websites and blogs. This has a monthly diray for noting blog post schedule (sadly neglected recently) but is mainly reference, ideas lists and to dos.
My caramel Finchley currently holds some design work, including these type of print outs. One of the themes I work to is about shacks in South African Townships. These pages stem from a Google Earth photo of a township which I manipulated in Photoshop and may in the future use to make a thermofax screen to allow me to print the pattern onto fabric.
My Ochre Malden needs a set up makeover and dividers but at the moment has some colour mixing charts, small samples from my fabric dying and also my experiments in making wood look surfaces from brown paper bags for use in quilts featuring South African township shacks.
I am aware that people tend to be flabbergasted by the number of binders I have on the go. However, I have learned that spending time on planning and organisation makes me mentally much calmer which aids my ability to create in short blocks of time. I also find that if I allocate a topic to one (or several) beautiful binders it is a way of stating, 'this aspect of my life is important and should be honoured and respected'. Creating that mindset is also a good step to success. Which surely means that if only I had every Gillo they made I would be David Hockney personified....?!!
Thank you Helen for your great contribution to 'Guest Post Thursday' If you would like to provide a Guest Post for Philofaxy then please contact Steve: philofaxy at gmail dot com