Tag Archives: Procrastination

Discover Amazing Sidewalk Art!

 

The possibilities of art never cease to amaze me. And amazed is probably the word that best describes my reaction to the art created at the annual Italian Street Painting Event in San Rafael last weekend.

Watching artists squatting on the ground creating master-pieces out of sidewalk chalk made me think, “Wow, that looks like fun. Maybe I could try that next year.” But when I really thought about being hunched over on hot asphalt for two long days, I decided to forego that creative experience. I’ll be returning to the festival next year—as a spectator.

As the day progressed, gawkers like myself could revisit artists’ sites over  time and observe the progress as sections of sidewalk turned into works of art. It’s a two day event so if you want to see the process from start to finish, you have to attend both days. My friends and I were only there on Saturday so the images I’m showing are still in progress, although Jimi Hendrix looks pretty complete.

Here are just a few of my favorites from the event…

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the year of the rooster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                               The most beautiful girl at the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year the event’s theme was the Summer of Love. There had to be a Jimi Hendrix!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love painting zebras so I had to capture this guy. Look who’s having the last laugh.

 

 

 

 

After seeing so much great sidewalk art, I went on-line to learn more about it. It’s an authentic genre with a number of famous practitioners, including some who specialize in 3-D art. The most famous of these are: Edgar Mueller, Julian Beever, Kurt Wenner, Manfred Stader, and Eduardo Rolero. They have crafted an amazing ability to trick the eyes of passersby into seeing 3 dimensional sceneries and objects on a completely flat asphalt. To learn more about them, go to http://www.boredpanda.com/5-most-talented-3d-sidewalk-chalk-artists/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Age by Edgar Muellar. Pretty amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

Tune in to my next blog where I’ll let you know how my battle with procrastination is going. I’m still using the Ivy Lee method.

Recently someone told me, “If you’re busy with something else, you’re not procrastinating.” Well, that depends. Watching TV for hours—procrastinating. Stopping to write the great American novel—maybe not. But if you use novel writing to avoid paying your bills, you just might find yourself living on the street. Stick to your to-do-list.

How Procrastination Killed My Blog and Why I’m Back

I wrote a blog about procrastination in January. That was back when I was actually writing a blog. So what happened that caused me to take a four-month hiatus?  Why was I suddenly procrastinating? And why had I previously managed to write a weekly blog for almost five months?

The reason I was successful is easy. I was taking a social media class at the local junior college. I had wanted to write a blog for some time and, finally, I had the tools and the impetus to get started. Writing a blog was mandatory. So, no matter how busy I was, I found time to write. My grade depended on it. Then the class ended and so did my good intentions. Within a few weeks, I stopped writing my blog. But I was going to start again soon—next week, or the very next.

In January I said I didn’t know why I procrastinated. I have a pretty good idea now. The future may bring me more “ah,ha” moments. In the meantime, I can think of four reasons why I frequently procrastinate.

  • Perfectionism: What if what I do doesn’t live up to my expectations.    What if it isn’t good enough? This leads to the next reason…
  • Fear: Elizabeth Gilbert once stated that “all procrastination is fear.” But is it fear of failure or fear of success? I think I fear both at different times, maybe even simultaneously. “People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.” Denis Waitley
  • Lack of self-discipline: Lacking self-discipline, we become seduced by instant gratification. The desire for instant gratification causes us to put off the things we should (or even want to do) for an instant “hit.” For example, I really want to finish the art for my book but I also want to work in my yard, watch that highly recommended movie, read the book I just bought on Kindle and a few other things that are all a lot easier and less time-consuming than finishing twenty-two illustrations.
  • I’m really busy: Of course, I was busy when I was taking that class. It’s all about priorities. Perfectionism, fear, and a lack of self-discipline caused me to make other choices when the blog was no longer mandated by an outside force. My long-term goal was sabotaged by a desire for instant gratification. I would write the blog tomorrow when I wasn’t quite so busy…only I didn’t.

    My Plan to Stop (or at least reduce) Procrastinating

    There a lot of things I could do. Today I read article after article on the “whys” of procrastination, and how to stop doing it. However, in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed—leading to more procrastination—I have selected two simple tools.

    1. Break things down into smaller steps: When I think about the fact that I need to finish twenty-two illustrations in order to complete my book, I feel overwhelmed. If I set a goal of one or two a week, the mountain of work will hopefully become a manageable incline.

    2. Use the Ivy Lee Method:

    • At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow.
    • Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
    • When you begin your work day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
    • Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
    • Repeat this process every working day.

Why I’m Back In The Blogging Saddle Again

Despite a lot of self-doubt (Do I really have anything worthwhile to say that hasn’t been said before? Does anyone really care?), I’ve set the intention of resuming a weekly blog. Maybe it’s just for me, but I have come up with a few reasons why I think it’s a good idea.

  1. It will help me write better by providing a consistent arena to hone my skill. Practice does, indeed, make perfect.
  2. It demands self-discipline which means coming to grips with procrastination. It’s a test of sorts.
  3. I can promote my art and writing. Whether it’s a publishing deal or an offer of gallery representation, I’ve been told it’s more likely to happen to writers and artists who have built a loyal fan base.
  4. Writing a blog teaches me a lot. It demands that I learn about stats and how to get readers. It demands that I do research on interesting topics. If introduces me to other bloggers. I learn so much from their example. (Austin Kleon, you are my blogging idol.)  And, oh, yes, (back to number 1) it demands that I write.

I procrastinated much of today but I finally did what I set out to do. I wrote a blog and published it! Stay tuned to see if I can establish a regular habit.