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January 2009

January entrance

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Columns

  • EMG News:
    EMG News
  • Behind the Art:
    Exercises
  • Part Time Painter:
    The Lazy Artist
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Graphic Design

    Features

  • Roses of Fairyland

    Fiction

  • Poem: Horned
  • Fiction: Bull Dance

    Comics

  • Tomb of the King: Pandoryn, Part 2


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  • The Lazy Artist
    Part Time Painter
    by Nicole Cadet

    I know that purchasing more hours in the day is not really achievable, nor is getting rid of the day job, but to coin a phrase my boss uses all the time -- we want to work smarter, not harder! This is where learning to be a 'lazy' person can help you get more stuff done (like painting!), and in less time. Here are some ideas to help you become a 'lazy artist' and increase your time for painting!

    Automate stuff

    Anything that you can set up in five minutes, and that takes less than a click to cancel is great. You can:
  • set up direct billing for website hosting/ domain names/ art site subscriptions

  • subscribe to rss feeds through your mail client (rather than visiting the site daily)

  • Set up automatic filters/ rules on your email inbox. Rather than having 6000 emails in your inbox, it's a lot easier to deal with 5 emails you HAVE to answer then and there

  • Automate your computer gadgets including
  • backup procedures (my external harddrive has an automatic feature, but there are loads of free tools out there. Check out http://free-backup.info/ for loads of information)

  • virus scans

  • defragging the hard drive


  • As I have my computer on a lot, I try to schedule the tasks for when I'm not likely to be working so that these processes don't interrupt my flow.

    Create a digital Personal Assistant with free online tools

    Why remember stuff when you can set up a reminder? The less you have to remember, the more free space in your brain for other important things. Well that’s the theory anyway!

    Set up reminders for:

  • paying bills (if you haven’t automated them)

  • doing daily chores (like remembering to hang out the load of washing you put on 2 hours ago!)

  • deadlines for commissions, competitions, submission dates

  • interrupting procrastination such as catching up on forums, random internet searches, playing solitaire *ahem*

  • Eat/ sleep/ have a real life


  • There are loads of on (line tools to help you manage your time such as:
  • Remindr -- http://remindr.info/

  • Hassle me -- http://www.hassleme.co.uk/

  • Remember the Milk - http://rememberthemilk.com/

  • With some of these sites, they can even send reminders to your PDA, Blackberry, Mobile Phone or other electronic devices.



  • Why reinvent the wheel - Alternatives to a website

    If you don't have time to develop your own website, or are finding it difficult to get around to updating your html & FTP'ing it to a server, then maybe you could use an online gallery for updates with a link from your main page or profile to the gallery.

    Some Online galleries you might like to look at are:
    DeviantArt -- http://www.deviantart.com/
    Elfwood -- http://www.elfwood.com/
    Epilogue -- http://www.epilogue.net/
    GFXArt -- http://www.gfxart.com/
    Artwanted -- http://www.artwanted.com/
    Fantastic Portfolios -- http://www.fantasticportfolios.com/

    Another alternative to online galleries is to redirect your website to a blog. Some blogs are capable of hosting content such as images and videos. The benefit of using a blog is that they are quick to update, many have very simple interfaces, are very customizable and are free. Of course they aren't websites, and so don't have things like storefronts, but you can link to places where you can sell.

    For an overview of some of the blogging software available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weblog_software

    And if you are really pressed for time, try microblogging where you are limited to about 150 words. It's quick and easy and many of the microblogs have widgets for syndicating content. Examples of these include Twitter (http://www.twitter.com), though many places such as Facebook and MySpace have similar tools known as Status Updates.

    Let someone else sell your stuff

    Another way to save on time is to stop doing the manufacturing of prints yourself and get someone else to do this. You may like to explore services such as Zazzle, Cafe Press & Deviant Art Prints, or consider licensing your images for manufacturing. The main downside to this is that you have no control over quality, and your profits may be fairly slim. But it does mean all that time you spend making things could be spent on painting.

    Being a 'lazy artist' is not about taking shortcuts, it's about prioritizing and working out what you want to spend your precious time on. And the more time you have to paint, the better!

    Nicole Cadet
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