|Pam Carriker, author of
Art at the Speed of Life.
You know that recently released movie with Sarah Jessica Parker called "I Don't Know How She Does It"? Every time an ad for that film comes on I think of Pam Carriker.
Like most of us, Pam juggles a busy schedule that involves work, family, art, and the myriad tasks that life entails. Like most artists who sell their work, she is her own agent, publicist, webmaster, and social media guru.
Unlike many in the same situation, Pam wrote a book on how to find the time to pursue your artistic passions while living a busy life.
Art at the Speed of Life: Motivation and Inspiration for Making Mixed-Media Art Every Day has been out for a year, and since then Pam has added online classes, a full teaching schedule at retreats, and a Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM video, "Art Journaling Fast & Easy: Unique Journal Pages One Step at a Time" to her repertoire.
Oh, and she moved to another state during that year, too.
I caught up with Pam recently to see how things were going since the book came out and find out what she'd learned since bringing her techniques to a wider audience.
CP: So, what has been the main reaction to the concepts in your book?
PC: That people are fitting the reading of my book into their lives in much the same way that I encourage fitting art into daily life. The book is broken into easy-to-read essays, allowing the reader to digest it in small portions if need be. The other predominate reaction is to the easy approach to keeping an art journal not as a separate art project but an extension of what you're already doing.
CP: Do readers come up to you or email you and give you their tips for working art into their busy daily lives?
PC: The readers don't give me their tips as much as share how they took a tip from the book and made it work for them. One reader wrote that her work environment was "toxic" and she used reading my book on her lunch break as an escape; she couldn't fit creativity into her work day, but she could get her artistic game plan together on her break and relieve the stress of a bad situation. Another reader shared that both the cost of books to journal in and the blank white pages were very intimidating to her. But creating smaller journals (with the 10-Minute Journal method) made it much less so, and the option of combining several of the small journals together to create a larger one was a much more doable approach.
|A page from one of Pam's
CP: Since publishing the book, what have you learned yourself about the topic? Has anything changed for you in your approach or process?
PC: I have learned that I don't need to do everything! It is very hard to say "no," but in order to stay sane and focused it's a necessary thing to do. I've found that re-evaluating what I'm doing and where I want to go every few months is a good approach for me. I've pared down and I'm concentrating on the areas that truly fulfill me the most as an artist, such as developing new products, teaching, and sharing art through writing. My recent move to Texas and setting up my new studio has allowed me to re-focus on what my priorities are.
CP: How does technology help an artist?
PC: Technology gives us a platform for our art like nothing ever has previously. It allows us to connect with other artists, show our artwork, and be involved with the art community without ever leaving our home! This was brought home to me as I traveled across the US teaching this year. I met so many people that I'd only known online, many from other countries, and I realized how far the reach is when just posting something on Facebook or to my blog. It's amazing!
CP: What are some tricks you've learned that you can pass on to other artists about promoting your art?
PC: Post your artwork as a form of "sharing" your art, not in the tone of "selling" it. Let your work speak for itself. Nobody likes a hard sell, but we all love to be inspired by the direction that others work is taking them. In this area I find less is more. Share from your heart with a sense of giving and you can't go wrong.
If you haven't read Pam's book yet, you don't have to wait another minute. Art at the Speed of Life is one of several new and recently published Interweave books now available as a downloadable ebook.