Self imposed deadlines {and a leaf pattern}

I remember, way back in elementary school, staring a project early, but never finishing it until the night before it was due. I needed the deadline to motivate me to finish.

All these years later I know the power deadlines have to motivate me. Now, I’m using this to my advantage. If I want to accomplish something I set a deadline. In my work, these soft deadlines are supported by the client waiting for the final product. In my creative life, these “made up” deadlines are supported by you. If I write on the blog, I’m going to do something, I intend to follow through on that promise. Whether anyone remembers or not!

This leaf pattern design is my October surface design. Yes, I’m a couple of days late, but I got caught up in my Halloween creations!

I’ve designed one a month this year! That’s 10 so far! I’m really proud that I set “surface design” as a goal for 2015 and have achieved it. I designed the first one in January. That’s when I committed to “a design a month.’ Setting the monthly deadline has made all the difference in pushing myself and getting it done.

Have you set deadlines for yourself? How did that work out? If you haven’t, are you considering it now? I’d love to hear!

If you’d like to learn how to turn your artwork into a repeating pattern, read this recent post.

16 thoughts on “Self imposed deadlines {and a leaf pattern}

  1. Hi Eileen, I love your new surface pattern. This will make a beautiful fabric. I too am a graphic designer and worked for years under tight deadlines. I worked for a publishing company and we produced 9 magazines a month. we were always on time, but very stressful. I no longer set strict deadlines. But, getting things done is in my DNA, so I still have a pattern of creating and producing…I don’t have unfinished projects lingering around. (haha)

      1. I’ve actually stopped the three day posting schedule and I’m posting now when ever I please. When I was teaching it helped me get my project ideas together. You may have noticed my new header in my blog is no longer MWT. 😊

  2. Very nice leaf pattern – good shapes, color and arrangement. It’s more of “goals” for me, rather than deadlines. Having worked in advertising for decades, I lived by deadlines. Self-imposed ones feel a bit harsh for me so I call them goals now. Congrats on reaching your goals and may you keep making progress in whatever direction you set for yourself, Eileen!

  3. I call them goals too. Deadlines remind me of stress and working for my husband in his mortgage business – which I only do PT now, thank goodness! I create goals but do allow myself the flexibility to change them along the way if needed. I started my blog this year with a goal to create a bird a day but by May, I had to broaden my subject matter! I have succeeded in creating almost every day and blogging about it. 😊 Good for you to accomplish your goals for your art! 🎨. I love your leaf design – they look like they are falling out of the sky! 🍂🍁🍂

  4. Your leaf pattern is beautiful, love the color variance and the composition. “Made up” deadlines have served me well over the years. Like you I have started projects early and for one reason or the other ended up burning the midnight oil for a down to the wire finish. I have even used ‘made up’ deadlines to give myself breathing room with the hard and fast deadlines. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they were ignored, I was very lenient with myself ;D. I have enjoyed reading your posts about making lists and setting goals, they have inspired me to look at my goals a bit more than my self imposed deadlines. Currently there is a part of my brain that not only ignores my ‘made up ‘ deadlines but might also be laughing while it does so. At the moment I am not ready to abandon my use of deadlines, but this is new month, full of possibilities and yes, … more goals.

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad my sharing has inspired you. I’m beyond flattered. I am very good at making lists and coming up with ideas – but it’s much harder to put down the notebook and start creating, to start doing the work! I am really excited about setting my goals for the upcoming new year. It will be my 3rd year in this creative journey and setting new goals allows me to see how far I’ve come! Thanks for sharing! 😊

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