Getting things done, or at least trying to..
So, I’m back for a second article! Yay! First of all, thanks to everyone who wrote to me after the first post, 'I’m a Pro'. It was really really nice to read that a lot of what I wrote sounded very familiar to a bunch of you! Let’s see if we can all progress together and reach our goals for this year.
Today’s topic is about getting things done. I picked this subject because it’s something that I have struggled with in the past but have now perfected.
Yeah.. right.. No, truth is, I’m still struggling, but hey, I do know a couple of little tricks that help me and I thought I’d share a few. So, without further ado, let’s get this done! (See what I did there?)
1. Define your project!
You know what I mean, what should be on your screen before you can say, “gha! nailed it!!” Taking at least 30 minutes to get a good idea of what you want to achieve before you can call something actually done might just be worth it. Instead of spending hours and hours refining things that really.. won’t even show up in the final version. For example, you’re a character sculptor; everybody can understand you want to spend some extra time refining those, [if you like guys read -> “abs”] - [if you like girls read -> “breasts”], and that’s totally fine! We’ll just call it, ‘anatomy training’, we all understand you need those extra 2-3 hours on Pinterest to research the subject thoroughly. But might not be critical to know the exact shape of the pectoralis muscle in order to sculpt a subject like this: CLICK
2. Research your subject!
It ties in pretty well with what I was talking about, do research on your subject. I’m sure you’ve all heard this again, and again, and again, and… well.. you get where I am going with this. It’s so important to have good reference at your disposal at all times. It took me surprisingly long to admit that I am human and I don’t have the perfect memory that allows me to sculpt everything of the top of my head.
For my last project, (which is not the best example seeing as I didn’t get to finish it because Titus dragged me along to Italy) I did take the time to look for reference and built one big mood board get get an idea of what I wanted to create. If your project is created over a longer period of time or you have to communicate your idea's to other people, a board like this can be a really helpful visual guideline to help you out.
In this case I was going for a Mongolian scout that would be in the middle of climbing a hazardous mountain side.
3. Splitting your projects into chunks!
One of the mistakes that I used to make, and let’s be honest, still do.. is jumping into a sculpting session not knowing where I want to be after I finish. This is completely fine if you’re just casually sculpting but this wasn’t really getting me anywhere. Structure is good and it just feels good to complete something you set out to do. Why should you only get this feeling at the very very end of a project?
At the start of your project you already thought about what needed to be done. Now just split the work up into subgoals that you can tick off once ready.
I actually noticed that UnicornDev makes sure she has a good checklist for her entire project and actively checks these while live-streaming on Twitch. She had all the different elements of her project listed, the character, the props, UV-ing, texturing etc..
I really should start executing my own advice!
It’s one of those things that’s probably already widely known around the world by many many people but I had never heard of it before I joined a startup. Who knows, maybe it’s a new discovery for some of you as well. The tool I’m referring to is Trello!
It’s a pretty simple app that just allows you to make lists with cards of what you have to do, the cards can be the tasks themselves or can be opened to add more information of additional checklists. I use Trello not just for projects at work and at home but it’s also pretty handy for your personal life.
Ever have that situation where you just keep thinking of things that you have to do in moments that you really shouldn’t be thinking about it? But it’s important so it keeps popping back up in your mind and gives you little panic attacks? sound familiar? no? yeah right.. ok, an example. You have to pay your car insurance (very grownup example, I know) but you think about this at 00:31.. You’re in bed and really not in any position to do anything about it right now but it does cause a bit of frustration. Orrr.. you’re at work and you just remember that you still have to go out buy a present for Mothersday!
(((Shit.. I actually still have to buy something for mother's day.. Mom.. if you’re reading this.. I’m sorry and I’ll really think of something cool soon!))) So, this is where Trello really comes in handy (if I had added this task). I check Trello on my phone regularly to see which tasks I still have in my “To Do” list and if I see a task I can do right at that moment I try to do right then so I can move it over to my “Done” list which is actually quite a nice feeling.
Give it a whirl, maybe this works for you as well and who knows, it might take some stress away from daily life while you're at it.
That’s it for this week boys and girls. If any of you have any additional tips on getting things done, feel free to spam me through Facebook or Twitter or whatever you kids are into these days. Until next time!
- Robin // ixi