You may remember me showing you my studio filofax over on the blog I share with Diane Perin Hock. After that post I took Lisa Call's Working in a Series class. One of the early questions I had about working in a series was how You avoided simply making the same mediocre art and the same mistakes over and over again. I learned that self-critiquing was the answer to that. Taking that thought I combine it with some other desires I had : to set parameters for each piece, to have a record of what I was doing, particularly in terms of time and costs, and to subsequently track what happened to that piece be it sale, shows or the bin. So, I made some new template pages for my filofax.
Each project now gets its own little four page booklet. On page one I record its working title, which series it belongs in, estimated time before I start, dates it starts and finishes ( Ooops. I see that is incomplete on this example!) following Lisa's advice I set my goal, my parameters and my intentions.
On page two I set out the steps I need to take to finish the quilt with target dates so that it completes before any deadline. I also capture any ideas that occur to me as I work relating to this quilt or series like ideas for future pieces or things I could do differently.
I have not yet filled in a page four but when I do it will be an evaluation of a completed quilt and a record of what happened to it.
I keep this filofax to hand in the studio and it has become a pleasurable ritual at the end of each session to note down the times, not only in a page three but also on a diary page so I can see how many hours I spent in what type of activity each week and then each month. It is both motivating to get to my target and, again, helps me see clear how much time I have and therefore how many projects I can choose to commit to.
At the moment I also have an extra sheet detailing the projects I am finishing up before the Olympics. This is a target date because when it is on I shall be having a little holiday to watch it on TV and just afterwards is Festival of Quilts. After Festival I have a few days off as a mini-retreat in my own studio as I am always so full of ideas when I come home and this year I wanted to be able to get straight to work on them. So, the left had sheet above is my weekly diary record and the right is a sheet that divided up how many hours I thought I had to use in the studio between each project depending on when the project was due. As I do hours I deduct from the hours left to make sure I don't spend all my time on the project due last in time. As you can see by the red pen - its my Filofax and I will cheat if I want to!
So, you may by all means consider me an organising control freak ( because I probably am), but this system actually gives me a lot of pleasure as well as increasing my efficiency.