Charlie Citrine

This post isn’t about Charlie Citrine at all, I just couldn’t think of a title and his name popped into my head, so I shoved it in. That said, it may turn out to be as apparently random as his meditation on Humboldt. A ghastly compilation of non sequiturs. If so I’ll ask you to consider Ramsay theory and widen your gaze accordingly.

I do feel rather like Citrine at the moment, minus the Broadway etc. success. Having decided last September on a last ditch attempt to try and earn enough from my art to be able eat variedly (boiled egg and toast every supper is getting a bit wearing), buy the kind of shampoo that doesn’t bring me out in spots, and get up to the city to visit galleries more than no times a year, I’m drowning in ‘how tos’ at the moment:

How to Write Killer Descriptions*

How to Maximise SEO

How to Kill it on Instagram

How to use Pinterest to Earn Ten Million Dollars a Minute

How to Effectively Manage Your Time

My inbox is pregnant with this stuff, but I’m beginning to see that most if it’s bollocks. Not always inherently so, but it’s generally written in such vague terms (‘tell people what’s great about your product!’) that it’s meaningless. I am clinically uncommercial, so in order to make sense of this environ I need specifics: check-lists; concrete terms (abstracts like ‘great’ only send me into a spin of possible meanings); and models that are similar enough to my own situation to be of use. So, I was thrilled the other day to find an article on time management written by someone who had tried very hard for precision.  Too hard, perhaps, but I was able to put a lot of his thesis to good, solid, use once I’d set aside some of his 14 templates and put the rest into a sequence that works for me.

I now have:

An explicit overall goal – to earn enough to live – and a way to monitor its achievement with:

•Annual Goals (and a format for annual evaluation), which generate:

•Monthly Goals (ditto), which generate:

•Weekly Goals (ditto), which generate:

•A daily to-do list.

As well as a handy list of all my projects (including the scary number of community projects for which I volunteer).

Thus, I now have some idea of the things I need to do every day, and have got into a fairly comfortable rhythm with regards admin (making new work? Not so much).

Maybe I’ll write about these goals lists in another post, maybe I’ll realise they’re far too boring to share with the world and write about kittens instead. I see at the bottom of my list for March I’ve written, ‘think about bundles.’ Does any of this make sense?

P.S. I wish I could follow in the footsteps of Gustav Metzger (who died the other day). He lived his values and never (as far as I can tell) compromised. Not wanting to feed the capitalist machine he refused to sell his art, and, in fact, invented art that self destructs so that it couldn’t be sold. Unlike Humboldt he doesn’t seem to have gone mad, and he lived to 90. How did he manage this?

P.P.S. Please feel free to correct my scandalous grammar.


*written by someone too busy to concern herself with punctuation.


6 thoughts on “Charlie Citrine

  1. Your post led me on a merry google chase and now I know more about “Humboldt’s Gift” and Gustav Metzger…and about your ongoing lists and goals. Love the look of your blog, especially the side view and “Ink”.


    1. I’m very glad the chase was merry, as well as educational. I’m reading Humboldt’s Gift at the moment, it’s so intense I can only manage about five pages a sitting, but I’m enjoying it immensely.

      I’m rather pleased with ‘Ink’, goodness knows where it came from!


      1. I should probably re-visit Charlie.I remember a bit of a furore when it came out (Pulitzer and all that), but it was a hectic time in my life and if I finished it, I don’y remember !


  2. It’s such a dirty business. Most excellent artists are poor business people. That’s why they have gallery reps. Reps know business but are terrible artists. Trying to do everything yourself can’t be easy or fun, especially if you don’t want to compromise. I wish you luck. I’m fortunate in that I wasn’t born with talent or drive. It makes things much, much easier.


    1. I was going to say all business is dirty, but actually I think it just attracts dirty people. I definitely don’t want to compromise, and I’m enjoying the challenge. I think what I really like is solving problems and am fortunate to have found such a juicy one. Juicy, but no threat to anyone. And yet, if I can solve it it could make a real difference. If I, a woman living in rural Scotland just starting out at an age where most people are thinking of retirement, could earn enough to live comfortably, not by selling my labour but the product of it, which I make for no other reason than I enjoy it, what’s to stop others doing the same? It’s a philosophical exercise, and I know I’m very lucky to be in a position to be able to indulge in it.

      I still have ‘Thunder Road’ so I know you have both talent and drive.


Say whatever you need to

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.