Inspired by 'The Martian' super creative problem solving

A few weeks ago I finished reading 'The Martian' by Andy Weir. As I've mentioned in a previous post I'm a bit of a sci-fi geek, and now with the added bonus of a Ridley Scott film adaptation of this book released later this year. In a nutshell an astronaut, Mark Watney is accidently left on the Red Planet & the novel charts his endeavors to stay alive. Yes there is a lot of physics, chemistry, botany, NASA speak and 70's disco music reference. The real core of this novel is about highly creative problem solving, lateral thinking and keeping a positive mental attitude. There is also much assessing, and re-assessing of goals and deadlines (almost literally)

There is also much maths, Mark often works backwards from a specific date, weighing up options and possible outcomes. With this in mind I reflected on my next major deadline - 22nd July. Thats the beginning of my kids school summer vacation (in the UK) We have an important family event that weekend. Then closely followed by a train ride down to the South of France, my destination for two weeks.

This is what I aim to fit in by 22nd July

-follow up art from Surtex (maybe 8+ collections)

-new collections for Printsource in August (4+ collections)

-have my 30 illustrated recipes submitted to They Draw and Cook for book consideration

So I'm doing the maths...I'm 20 recipes in...which leaves me with 10 recipes left to illustrate. That means submitting TWO recipes whenever possible for the whole of June!! Here's my most recent TDAC art....

plum jam
elderflower lemonade
layered vegetable pilaf

Still thinking along the lines of Mark Watney maximizing the best use of his time and resources, I took a long look at where I could improve my time keeping. I am blessed with two very bright kids who are always ready to start the day at 6.30am!!! This gives me an hour and a half to set up the day - laundry, prep evening meal and general cleaning. So after school drop off I am able to concentrate on art until 3pm. That is until the end of term.

Whilst my life does not depend ticking off everything before the July deadline (I will not decompress for example) - I have calculated realistically and honestly the hours I will have for art from mid August - with the kids around. I intend to involve & integrate my children with many arty projects...starting with a sketch a day or #the100dayproject. There will be trips to London and Cambridge and most likely make use of old canvas's and papier mache.

I have worked steadfastly this year and I'm still keeping my eye on the prize. I think these summer hols more than others I'm just going to lean into it - be kind on myself, and not be too anxious about producing amazing 'polished' art. And also use this time to reflect on my successes thus far, re-coup & plan for the next set of goals. I'm sure a fortnight in Provence will also be most inspiring and I will come back refreshed & full of ideas.