Ava Jarvis Art
Ink and Watercolor Artist
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Art Process Blog

Ava blogs about the art process, art tips, and general art musings.

Art Tip: Big Calendars Help Visualize Progress

Hi hi, fellow art people and creative heads!

So! I'd been wondering how much art I'd been doing lately (or, indeed, if I hadn't been doing anything useful). Then I remembered: Google Docs is free word processing software that can create tables, from which you can then create monthly calendars that fill an entire page. 

Now I have a Google docs. I resize a copy of whatever art I did on a particular day (if there are multiple candidates I just choose one) and then drag and drop it into a calendar day. It will resize to the width of the cell, and then I can just adjust the size of the image. 

And I can see very visibly how I'm progressing. 

For instance, January 14th precipitated a steep drop in productivity that lasted for three weeks—given the news happening at the time, this isn't surprising. I hear a lot of other creatives suffered similarly. 

Then on February 13th I resolved to let my Facebook account lie fallow, and did the same for Twitter on the 15th. After that my daily sketches became more complex and confident. 

Right now, things are in flux. But looking at this gives me a sense of control—and ultimately, for me at least, control in certain parts of my life give me the strength to get through the large parts where I have far less control. 

It occurs to me that this sort of calendar is useful for other creatives as well—you can record how many words you wrote on a particular day, for instance, or when you stopped/started/published video projects, or when an article of yours was accepted for publication. 

With some more information, the calendar can even visually tell you when you need to take a break—probably in my case I should add the number of art pieces produced in a day that involves more than one. 

I hope the rest of this year is as productive for me—and for you as well.

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