Organization as key to achieve...anything
Working on several different projects at the same time during my MA led me to the first and more important lesson: organization is vital. As I have noticed in my research, storyboard artists (and freelance artists in general) need to be perfectly organized to tackle all the challenges of a production and keep the pipeline flowing, but the concept goes further, since work needs to coexist with independent practice, study and the ordinary life. The ability to multitask is appreciated in this scenario, and it’s something the industry values greatly, but, at the heart of it, what counts is efficient scheduling, skill that I had to learn during the first months of the MA.
The time I spent getting to a workflow and learning how to prioritize aspects in a production or in my own projects was worth it, since now I know the way to perform more efficiently without stressing over getting things done.
I spent my first weeks understanding how I work, to be able to improve as much as possible in a short time. I kept a record of my work times next to a task list, to check the relation between what I had to do and what I was actually getting done.
Currently, my activities are divided in three categories: projects of the MA, skills development and academic research. My schedules are separated by project, each having a different set of requirements and timeframes. Also the general approach to each is different and it requires a specific adjustment in the development pipeline.
I personal use minimum 2 Schedules, Personal and Professional Practice Schedule
Refers to software training, practice in animation principles, life drawing, colour studies and speed painting. It also includes the MA lectures, industry scoping, readings about animation, composition, storytelling, and interviews with professional artists
Finding a way in in which I complete my goals was more efficient every week and that is how I developed this “weekly goal” schedule.
In this way I can see quickly the specific thing I am working on a week and determine their priority.
It also help me to see if I am overloading by having too many or too little tasks.
It is a personal way to maintaining each project running without feeling overwhelmed by it and that has been helping my practice since I started making it every week.
- Work smarter not harder, meaning that there are several resources online for scheduling from the web, from your phone...even from excel.
- Some use and only use the classic pen and paper on a notebook. But working on several projects even more if they are collective projects using online ways of planing is a probably a smart option, in my opinion,
- Excel is a perfect tool, only by the fact you can use tables that are already there, and that Drive from Google and Microsoft and probably more services have their version, that can be updates online.
By this moment I am fairly used to organizing important data in my online schedule, since I can adjust it and , overall, be more professional about important data.
Following a schedule also implies knowing when it requires certain flexibility to respond to the different problems that each project may have during their production.