Warning: Lots of screenshot charts today.

Tracking your progress can make you feel better about your art life and projects. I know that personally I’ve felt like I was doing things that had no purpose like random doodles or longer pieces for no aim and not suitable for a portfolio. I felt stagnant.

Then I decided to get busy and track my time to see how I could be more efficient. I started using a task timer through TaskCoach:

Screen TaskCoach

I read this post by Paolo Rivera and started using Google Calender:

(his image, not mine)

Another post by Paolo Rivera and I improved my freelance spreadsheet:

(his image again)

Finally, I started an Illolife RPG character in order to track my personal achievements. The ones that can often seem insignificant:

Illolife Quest Log

And because I’m a geek, it’s not only color-coded but the total XP (over to the right) auto-calculates and changes color when I’ve reached a new level (it’s green meaning I’m a level 2 but I haven’t been accepted into the FB group yet which starts at level 1). Not to mention that you get to think of yourself as an artist warrior, conquering the many demons of the art world!

This is my Level 1 character sheet. It made me really think about my skills and honestly evaluate how I’m doing in my career soul-wise. Like do I really have the Will I think I do? Am I really networking and relating to other people? And of course it gave me a chance to test out my paint!

Illolife Character

So if you feel like you’re stagnating I suggest you:

  1. Look at how your spending your time and replace the time eaters with productivity.
  2. Get your finances, accounts, workflow, etc organized so you can fit things better into your available time.
  3. Find a fun way to track your progress. This isn’t necessary but there are many things that feel like time eaters that are actually very beneficial to your growth. Like warming up properly. Which I’m really bad at doing.
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