I’ve been talking for years about finding time in my life to focus on my art – about balancing the design work that I know will support me with the art that I know will sustain me in other ways, but might not support me financially – at least in the short term. I’m an expert at reading books and articles about balance and time management. I’ve tried every project management tool out there to help me schedule time for art and make it part of my daily routine. But the real problem is that I need deadlines and accountability in order to actually get things done.

Monica Bilak and I have been discussing these issues for years and meeting weekly for several months to help provide accountability to each other. She explains her point of view on her blog, so I’ll let her speak for herself – but we’ve come up with a project that will help me be accountable and allow her to use her skills in strategic design to help me come up with executable plans to design the life that will sustain me emotionally and financially.

Towards this end, we have committed to documenting the process on our both of our underutilized blogs.


My first big deadline is the Lowertown Arts & Music Festival which starts two weeks from today. It’s my first time having a booth at the festival and I still have a zillion things to do to get ready!

I have to :

  • finish a ton of jewelry that I have in progress
  • figure out the specifics of a booth setup that I only have vague ideas and random materials for
  • design and order a banner (see above)
  • price, label and package said jewelry
  • buy bags, boxes, etc to package jewelry
  • print, price, label prints of my drawings that I want to also sell
  • and a million things I haven’t even thought about yet!

First steps:

  • I have committed (and Monica is holding me accountable) to working on art for the first four hours of each day, before doing any client work
  • letting my clients know that this is my schedule, and I will only be available to them in the afternoons
  • No checking email or being on social media during my scheduled studio time

How has it been going so far? Mostly good. I have a really hard time not reading and responding to client emails first thing in the morning. I’m responsible for around 20 client websites that I have built and continue to maintain and I need to make sure they are all running smoothly. I am accountable to these clients as well as to myself. There’s that difficult balance thing again!



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