5 Things? BOOOM first 5 down….

first 5So, aside from having Mackelmore & Ryan’s Thrift Shop Feat stuck in my head (warning on the language if you click through)-I can’t stop thinking about my 5 Things list.

Picking 5 things was no easy task-I have a never ending list of ideas, thoughts and just ‘stuff’ that I think would be pretty awesome to do.  Narrowing this list down-paring it down to the core of what I would like to have happen was harder than I thought! I had to really focus and be mindful not to get distracted by all the possibilities out there…

First, I decided to come up with a main list-big things that I would love to see happen. No time constraints, no heavy expectations-just realistic stuff that I dream about but have trouble taking steps to reaching.  There were lots of potential list candidates but as I gradually started to winnow it down I recognized themes developing and began to organize around those.   The 5 that remained became my core list.  So, there it is…..the pic says it all.  1. NY, 2. Residency, 3. Solo Show, 4. Art Sales, 5. Better Studio.  Only this isn’t the final list.

Something I noticed as I was creating piles of used post-it notes was that I could organize my items into fairly neat groups.  There were some overlaps and redundancies but, ultimately, I was able to categorize them to fall under these 5 ‘things’ (not gonna call them goals!).  The interesting result was that while I have these core basic ‘things’, I could break each of these down into subheadings or pathways that lead to that core focus.  For example-and this is kind of a cheat-NY.

This heading has been on all my lists since I was a student.  I want to have my work in NY.  I don’t necessarily need to have a gallery (would love one-what artist wouldn’t!)) I just want to have work in a show, somewhere in or around NYC at least once a year.  Now, throwing it out there doesn’t mean it will simply happen.  It means I have to do the work. I have to be actively ‘wanting’ which means actively searching, researching and paying attention.  AND to do this means I have to commit time and energy to ‘discover’ the opportunity.

I say this is a cheat because I already know I will have work in a show in Brooklyn (YAY!) in November-but only because I was paying attention. I follow Brooklyn Wayfarers-a groovy little gallery with some cool artists heading it up. I also follow lots of other galleries and cool art places to stay on top of what is going on.  I check their postings, read their blogs, go there when I can and keep my eyes an ears open. This op came along and I jumped at the chance to enter.  I was open to the idea of doing something a little different and it payed off.  It took a few steps to get there but it was in looking back at this experience that I realized that every item on my top 5 list could be broken down into simple, achievable tasks which I’ve decided to dub the “Principle of 5”. With a nod to  a good friend (you know who you are) I grew the idea out a bit.

I am a chronic list maker so this was a natural extension.  For every 5 items on  my core ‘biggie’ list there are 5 steps I need to take to get there. Some of these even have 5 steps of their own!  Now before this becomes confusing let me say that some of the steps can be quite simple-others will push me clear out of my comfort zone  continent! By breaking down the big and seemingly insurmountable tasks into manageable chunks-and keeping them to a limit of 5 per whatever I am focusing on-I am better able to see it happening. Not a new idea but finding a way that speaks to the way I think is awesome!!!

Again, getting pretty long but you get the idea-5 big ideas, 5 pathways to get to each idea, etc….now to pick one item from my core list and build it out-see what it will take to get there!