I made a decision several years ago to stop making art specifically to fit themed calls for entry or challenges. Instead I decided to make the art that I wanted to make and to make it to my own timescale. That said, I am not adverse to entering pieces into juried or curated exhibitions if I have a piece that I think 'fits'. I try to keep track of interesting calls and it looks like 2016 is going to be rich with opportunities. Especially as my 'Still' series might turn out to be a 'Still / Storm' series. So I have been thinking ahead and figuring out what I need to work on and when. First I listed all the possible deadlines in chronological order along with the pieces (finished, in progress or still in my head) that would fit each of the calls. I also listed future Etcetera exhibitions (two booked for 2016 already!) and what I needed to do for these. And I realised that if I worked 100% on the Still / Storm series for the next 3 months I could have pieces ready to enter 3 SAQA calls. And that I would have time afterwards to complete work on large Ruins pieces for open calls later in the year. All done with pen and paper over a cup of good coffee! A second cup of coffee was need to turn this realisation into a simple sheet with activities listed in blocks of four weeks for the next 6 months. I thought about planning by the week but figured that my other lives (family and day job) might not want to cooperate and decided to avoid the stress. This level of planning feels 'comfortable' but time will tell if my expectations of what I can achieve are realistic.
And as an aside - one person who has mastered planning is my fellow Etcetera member, Helen Conway. Helen is the QUEEN of time management! She has written extensively on her blog about the various (free apps) she uses to track pretty much her whole life (or so it seems to me!). And now she is reaping the dividends as she needs to create a significant body of new work for her first solo exhibition next March. Go Helen!