The Tools of an Artist

The Tools of an Artist

A picture is worth more than a thousand words. This statement, in my opinion, describes the work of my all-time favorite artist, Norman Rockwell. When one looks at these paintings they see more than art, they see a story.

Yet, at the very beginning of each of these masterpieces, there was nothing more than a blank piece of paper, paint, and a few brushes.

 

The Tools of an Artist

Before a work of art can be created there are many steps and devices that come in to play.

The same is true when it comes to creating a productive lifestyle.

Each week is a blank sheet of paper waiting to hold the colors and shapes of your 24 hour days. The projects you accomplish and the activities you invest your time in are the paints that create the visible outcome of your artwork. While the techniques and schedules that you apply through self-discipline are the brushes that form these strokes of genius.

My Personal tools

Location:

The Great State of Texas

Current gig:

Praxis student and transitioning into a marketing position.

Current mobile device:

iPhone

Current computer:

Apple laptop (yes I am an Apple brat and I will not convert)

One word that best describes how you work:

Intentional

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Blue Letter Bible, Callander and Reminder, All that’s Goggle, Maps (I have no sense of direction), Spotify (I must have my Oldies and Goodies), Word Press, and most recently Grammarly

What’s your workspace like?

Local Tea shop with free Wifi and amazing all-natural energy drinks

What’s your best time-saving trick?

I send a list of daily goals via text to myself the night before as I get into bed. This way I wake up to a message from my past self encouraging me to get up and concur the day.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

Honestly, I like the old fashion notebook and written list. I also use my Callander and Reminder apps so that nothing slips through the cracks, but there is just something satisfying about physically marking off a to-do list as I go throughout my day.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

Headphones to focus and block out surrounding sounds, Speakers for the same reason, and books, books, and so many more books.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Getting stuff done! Whether it’s a small project or large, I concur the tasks laid before me and I don’t mess around with procrastination. 

What are you currently reading?

Pilgrims Progress, Quitter, and my Bible daily.

What do you listen to while you work?

My 50’s and Beyond Spotify playlist.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I can do both under certain circumstances. If I am in a group of people that are focused on getting a project done and helping each other in an encouraging atmosphere, then that is ideal. However, I am completely capable of tuning out the outside world and working as a one-woman team.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Before I go to bed (always by 10 pm) I check my to-do list for the day to take in my daily accomplishments and then plan out the next day’s list.

As I go to sleep I meditate on scripture or quite myself before my Lord so that I can rest my brain and sleep in peace without dragging anxiety or stress into the following day.

When I wake up (Never after 7), the first thing I do is say good morning to my Savior and ask Him to use me and guide me today. Then get ready with the outfit and accessories that I laid out the night before. After this, I read and have quiet time before I look over my personal text from the night before and my to-do list for the day.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Slow down so that you can go Fast. Being Still and Quiet will allow you to make productive steps forward as opposed to anxious, sporadic dashes that go nowhere.

Additional Tools

For me, the key to a productive day is Attitude

Peace vs. Anxiety. Joy vs. Self-pity. Determination vs. Lackadaisicalness. Etc..

I maintain a positive audited throughout my day by four key tools

  1. A specific verse or quote that challenges or encourages me. This keeps positive concepts in my mind.
  2. A specific person or situation I pray for. This one is huge because it takes the focus off of myself and allows me to look outward to others. I can then come back to my current struggle with a clear head.
  3. A go-to song. When I feel like I might lose it, I force myself to do the opposite of what I naturally want to do and instead smile and sing.
  4. I choose a daily character trait to work on. Depending on the obstacles that I find myself facing at the time, I will choose a character trait, humility, responsibility, boldness, etc, to focus on for that day. In doing this I improve myself each day, even if everything else completely flops.

 

Conclusion:

When one looks at a Norman Rockwell work of art, they see more than a painting, they see a story. When someone looks at my life, I hope that they see more than a to-do list and accomplished projects, but instead, a life lived to the fullest, improving the life of myself and others.

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