New Manager in the House
Now that I am basking in the glow of “funemployment”, I no longer have a manager assigned over me. To micro manage and discourage. (I’ve had a lot of bad managers.) Instead, I have myself. Just me. My day is dictated by me and I basically answer to no one.
You would think that would be liberating, and to some extent, it is. But it is also scary as crap.
I have zero experience managing people. I don’t know what to do with a project plan or lay out reasonable timelines. And I keep hearing things about a “business plan” and I guess I should make one.
Needless to say I feel like a fish out of water right now.
How do I manage myself?
Granted, I am an adult and have kept myself alive, sheltered, and fed since I moved out on my own way, way back in the day. So I have some skills. Time management and prioritizing I can do. For instance, in grad school, sleep won out out over eating health and exercising every time. (Hey, I also had a full-time job.) I didn’t say I was especially good at assigning priorities, but once I do, dang it, I run with them.
And here comes what I think the problem will be as I embark on self-employment: What are those new priorities?
Getting it Done
Since I have no one lording over me, telling me what I can and can’t do at any given moment, I find that I have a lot of free time on my hands. So how will I use this time wisely and avoid lapsing into couch-potato status? Here are my priorities:
- Doing my best at A Year of Art School. As I stated in a previous post, I signed up for Lilla Roger’s encompassing year long course on illustration and the market in which it resides. This is priority one for me since (1) it was expensive and (2) will give me the skills for the job I want. Oh and (3) to stop thinking my work is not good enough.
- Maintaining a functioning and pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself) website. In the years past, I neglected my site and it showed. Since Pixel Pearl Studio will now be ground zero for all of my awesomeness, I need to keep the content updated, the links working, the newsletter on time (sign up for my newsletter!!!), and the social media hopping. This will probably be the most difficult thing for me since I am not really used to marketing myself or keeping a tidy site.
- Making art. This one seems rather pointless to put in here. I am an artist after all and wasn’t the whole point of A Year of Art School to be making art? Well, yes. But I mean “making art for me”. Not for some assignment or prompt. But doing the art journaling, pattern making, and doodling that keeps me feeling like my studio is my own.
- Begin teaching myself HTML/CSS. I may put this one on the back-burner until next year since the Year of Art School, you know, lasts a year, but I will see. Maybe I can do this as well. Maybe it will be fun. Or maybe it will cause me undo stress and anxiety and my perfectionist side will refuse to take a step further until I can reserve large chunks of time for it.
So there you go. My four priorities. And I only have four because any more than that would be undoable for me.
Time to put my Boss Lady hat on and get some things in the planner. Work on those assignments and beef up the site.
For inspiration, I created this new pattern design and illustration the other day. I drew all of this in my sketchbook and then scanned it in. It looks a little rough around the edges but I like that. I colorized everything in Adobe Illustrator. I wanted a serene color palette and I went with some pastel blues and purples. I kept the background a light neutral gray.
What type of manager will I be for myself? I hope to be a benevolent one, someone encouraging but firm with the deadlines. I want to push myself to succeed but know when to back off and rest. Mostly, I want to prove to myself that I can do this, that I can work with myself and get it done.