As a self employed artist, time is the most valuable resource I have. And it is always a balance: how can I hoard the most time to complete the endless projects in my mind, while having also to spend time on projects that take care of the overhead? Of course, the ideal is that these two goals are blended into one, and this is often the case, but not always. So time management is the issue: the crucial skill of prioritizing.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I have decided to begin this blog project. It is taking longer than I hoped to build the site – time away from the illustration projects I am working on at the moment. I am trusting that the blog will be worth the time, partly inspired by this article.
Anyway, today, I went to two very different events, both all about prioritizing time for the arts.
The first was a visit to the Krewe de Vieux float den. K du V is the first Mardi Gras parade to roll in the final weeks before the big day. It is an organized band of subkrewes, led by the Mother krewe, who decides on the generally bawdy and/or political theme for the year. Each subkrewe, in somewhere between democratic and benevolent dictator fashion, decides how they will interpret the over all theme. Then, each subkrewe uses mostly papier maché to create forms for their mule pulled float. The parade is next Saturday night, going right through the French Quarter. (They intentionally keep the numbers of participants low to be allowed to continue using this route on the old, narrow streets the big krewes’ huge floats cannot begin to navigate.) Anyway, the den was a flurry of activity (I could only show a vague picture to avoid spoiling the surprise). And all these people from a wide spectrum of professions are volunteering their time, just because they want to do this – to create a visual spectacle one night of the year, they have given up their weekends for a couple months.
The other event appeared equally festive, but was for a much more solemn reason. This was a fundraiser for a musician who was recently gravely injured in a senseless attack. There were far more musicians present than time would allow to play to the packed house. All were giving time (as well as money) to do what they are generally paid to do.
For the people involved in both of these events, giving time for expression through an art form was crucial. It is through this personal and group expression that community is built – a worthwhile investment in time.