📙 #008 - Delayed ungratification
I've had the opportunity to play with a prototype plotter the past couple of months, putting it through its paces. I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet as I'm still gathering thoughts. Also, as I've been using it as my primary plotter while also holding off on making videos or photos, it means things have recently been pretty sparse on the pen plotting social media posts. Something I've been trying not to feel guilty about.
I obviously still have some hang-ups about feeling that I need to be feeding the social media machine or else I'm not doing my job. This is half true but also something I've been trying not to beat myself up over. More on that later.
What is excellent above the above pen plotter though is the number of points where you can potentially mount cameras and lights. I was chatting with the guys behind it as they were asking for feedback. I laughed a little because I think they were expecting stuff about pens and paper and how fast or precise it was, meanwhile I was all, "I'd love to be able to mount a camera bracket here", and "this is a good spot to add a 3/4" screwthread".
As an artist, there's your job to "make the thing", which is fine, but you also have to "show the thing". The part I really enjoy though, is "show the making of the thing", and for that, I want to be able to stick cameras everywhere 😁
Another reason for not being active on social media recently, for at least a month now, was getting the "80s Pop" project over the line. Something that I've been doing on and off for over a year. I think it'll probably be the last "big" project I do - by which I mean a project that brings in a whole heap of money (useful) and all the pressures connected to it.
I suspect it's (a smaller version) of what a (theoretically successful) band goes through after releasing an album. They get a huge pile of cash and then have two years of eating through that pile trying to make a second album, which is boom or bust.
So I've spent the past few weeks trying to work out how I can get back to what I always wanted to be: a full-time working artist with a reliable regular income from various places. Essentially it boils down to this, if I get all my income from just NFTs, or just pen plots, or just commissioned work, or (unbelievable YouTube), then no matter what, it's scary. But it's a lot more chilled if I can get smaller amounts from all of those places.
I know "diversifying revenue streams" is freelance business 101, but it's also very easy to end up trying to do too many things and getting overwhelmed. I think I've settled on doing ever-so-slightly too many things and hope that I get more efficient at doing them with practice.
Today I have utterly failed to put any more pen plots into the shop because I had to tidy the mailroom and ran out of time. Next week the mailroom will be tidy, I swear, it's a process.
One thing I have found really useful, though, but again a bit guilty, is scheduling tweets for Twitter. It seems to go against the very nature of the place when the question it gives you is "What's happening?"
But considering they only show people things in the very loosest of chronological order I feel that if they're not doing their part, then I'll not worry about doing mine.
I'm pretty good at not seeking validation from Twitter. But I still have the habit of posting a tweet and then hanging around to see if anyone likes it, gotta get those endorphins! Then spending ages essentially Doom-Scrolling.
By using a whole different interface, (Agropulse for anyone wondering, it seems no better or worse than other offerings) for writing the tweets, and then allotted times (30 mins in the morning, 30 mins at the end of the day, the evening if I'm feeling chill) to consume Twitter on the site or the app, I've managed to break the validation/gratification/dopamine loop by separating out the two activities.
It does feel a little odd knowing it's going to post out a tweet saying "Hey, I'm really enjoying this bagel" or whatnot while I'm busy doing something else, but as I've said before, the days of someone reading that when I'm doing it are over anyway.
SOCIAL MEDIA EMPIRE
For the rest of the year, I'm aiming for consistency. I'm not going to manage it but I'll give it a shot. This newsletter once a fortnight (I have a two hour slot for it, 1pm-3pm every Tuesday), and one YouTube video a week!! Somehow I need to get really good at editing them quickly!
Talking of YouTube I somehow managed to hit the requirements needed to become a YouTube partner, go me! I don't think I'm going to do anything with that yet and the next target is 100,000 subscribers, which I think is a loooooong way off 😂
Instagram: 12,216 (+9 lol)
Twitter: 6,440 (+447)
YouTube: 2,552 (+1,370)
Newsletter: 207 (+30)
TikTok: 33 (+2) wut?
Vero: 1 or 0 depending on how they count it?!
Hopefully, there'll be more pen plotting and shop talk in the next newsletter, but who knows?