Summertime is upon us, and now is a crucial time to be productive! Especially for us ACGA folks with shows such as Palo Alto hanging in the midst (yahoo)!

In a field where everything hinges on the tangible object, so many artists, including myself, struggle with how much time and energy to devote to the digital world. Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, and other social media are all very powerful tools, and when used correctly and with discipline, they can prove to be the difference between good sales–or great sales. The crux of the matter however, is how to manage our time efficiently so media involvement does not supersede our need to create enough real, tangible artwork, and make real world connections.

It is a hard equation, made even harder when by having a post “liked” or by “liking” someone else’s, our brain orders a quick dopamine shot to the system that over time creates an addictive pattern. As a result, the next thing we know a pavlovian habit is formed, and time is wasted. Conversely, in a world that so greatly values the image, the 140 character tweet, or the click-worthy link it is important (and can be fun) to stay up to date on social media trends in order to make a living in a very tricky field.

I have never been one for lots of T.V. time, but many nights I find myself up way later than I should be (way, way later), clicking and liking, or watching more than I need be. And I know many of you do too, because I see your time signatures (thanks for keeping me company ;). Full disclosure, my artists penchant for making pots into the wee hours of the night sometimes gets trumped by the dopamine that pulls me back into the world of social media. And I know many of you experience this too. So what now? We need it, we don’t need it… I am tiring of being pulled in so deeply and I will be making an effort to spend a regimented half hour of time, twice daily, tending to my digital media needs with the balance of time tending to my tangible needs. This is not in protest, but in preservation. Care to join?

-Forrest Lesch-Middleton