Get It Done: Universal Guidelines for Project Management

Wild Goose Creative Board Member Matt Dickinson is a Project Engineer with a construction and development company. He has acquired some bare bones project management strategies that have proven useful when time and money are in short supply.

When considering the right strategy for taking on a project, whether it’s creating a piece of art, writing a book, or moving an entire studio; it is helpful to keep in mind a line from the poet James Richardson in his book Vectors: Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essays : “All work is the avoidance of harder work.” At some point we all have to take on a task that is larger than what we can reasonably complete in one or two sittings. The following list of universal guidelines for project management should be seen as one set of many possible guides to take a project or task and complete it as efficiently as possible.


1. Know Your Goal: Whether you have decided to undertake a project for yourself or have been asked to complete one for someone else, you have to know what it is you are working towards. The clear definition of goals will help to prevent scope creep, the gradual and insidious expansion of a project beyond what you, or even a client really wants. The less room there is to be misunderstood at the beginning, the happier everyone will be at the end.

2. Getting Started: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” This quote by Mark Twain serves as inspiration to anyone, including chronic procrastinators. Procrastination is usually the first reaction when we are intimidated by a difficult task. Intimidation is a perhaps reasonable, but ultimately unnecessary, reaction for almost all of us. This is because each successful project throughout history, no matter how big or complicated, was completed one step at a time in the proper order.

3. Portion Control: The simplest solution to avoiding being overwhelmed when taking on a difficult project is to avoid “biting off more than you can chew”. Avoidance is no solution. The second simplest solution is to take smaller bites. It can be tempting to dive in and frantically to finish a project as soon as possible, which can lead to  burnout. Any project, big or small, will take as much of your time as you are willing to give it, and likely it will take just a little bit more. Ultimately the only reasonable way to get things done is consistent movement towards a defined goal.

4. Prioritize: There are two things that will determine how you prioritize your broken down tasks: how important that task is and how urgent that task is. If a task is neither, then don’t do it. How you determine whether a task is urgent, important, or both is highly subjective. Being honest with yourself when deciding these two things will save you a world of headaches. Very few tasks require checking Facebook or watching videos.

5. Stopping When Ahead: Done is better than perfect. While you should not quit on a project before you have completed it, you should recognize when it is done. When you have met your goals, avoid the temptation to keep adding bits and pieces to the project. If you decide that there are some real changes or improvements to be made, start back at step one and create a new set of boundaries and goals to work towards.

If you find that you are spinning your wheels, don’t fret. It happens to even the most experienced project managers (and artists) from time to time. What separates people who quit and those that don’t is the ability reset and refocus.

By board member Matt Dickinson

A Celebration of Patti Smith

Instagram photo by @vanessajeanspeckman

In collaboration with the curitorial skills of Vanessa Jean Speckman, Wild Goose Creative is proud to bring the new gallery show, “This is Your Golden Age / Life is an Adventure of Our Own Design: A collection of artwork inspired by Patti Smith.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Wild Goose Creative art space at 2491 Summit Street from July 1st to 31stGallery Night is Saturday, July 12th starting at 7:00 p.m. and is freeand open to the public. Gallery Night will feature musical performances by Lydia Loveless, Todd May, Micah Schnabel, Shane Sweeney, and Sean Gardner.

Though Speckman’s first time curating, she approached the opportunity with excitement. Speckman said:

“I was thrilled when [Wild Goose] not only invited me to curate a show at Wild Goose, but also gave me free reign in formulating the show concept - this was extra exhilarating. I instantly envisioned an artist-inspired-by-artist theme- and the idea of visual artists representing a sonic art really struck a chord within me. Patti Smith and her prolific bounty of work endlessly inspires me, and I couldn’t imagine a more badass conception point for the creative process.”

Pinchflat rolls to Clintonville

Next stop on the Pinchflat summer tour is Baer Wheels in one of our favorite Columbus communities, Clintonville.

Date: Saturday, July 5

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Baer Wheels

3510 N.High St.

Didn’t get a chance to make it to Wild Goose, Paradise Garage, or roll? Now’s the time!

Or maybe you did get to check out the amazing posters we have this year and are thinking to yourself, hmm…I really should have grabbed that second (or third, or fourth) design. Well, now’s the time!

Not only will you be supporting the local artists who worked so hard in 2014’s poster submission process BUT the Clintonville Farmers’ Market will be going on, which makes for quite the community-filled Saturday.

We have some great raffle prizes too, not that you need further enticement, incuding goodies from:

  • The Clintonville Co-Op
  • Growl
  • Aloha Paddle Boarding
  • Denmark
  • Pattycake Bakery
  • The Clintonville Farmers Market
  • And more…

Like Pinchflat on Facebook and follow @pinchflatcols for updates. 

5 Money Rules to Follow When You’re a Starving Artist

In the spirit of full disclosure, Board Member Athena Inembolisis is not a starving artist but a bankruptcy attorney….and at times she has been a starving, self-employed bankruptcy attorney. She admits that money “stuff” isn’t easy, especially when you don’t have much of it. And when you finally get some of it, it’s irregular and inconsistent. 

Read on to learn a little about the best ways to stay afloat financially when you’re committed to making a living as an artist. The following are five tips that have served Athena well. While they might seem like common sense, she points out that we often don’t do things we know we should. Athena argues that even if it feels like taking these steps won’t make a difference, they really will help.
  1. Keep fixed expenses to a minimum: The lower these expenses are, the less stressed you will be about money. Can you live with a roommate or family for awhile? Can you share a vehicle? Can you live without a vehicle? Can you cook more at home instead of eating out?                      

  2. Actually make a budget: Sit down and list everything you need in a year, month and week. Start with the absolute necessities: rent, food, clothing, gas, bus pass, health insurance, car insurance, recreation, savings etc. Once you know your bottom line number, you can start adding in extras. Knowing your minimum number also helps you figure out how much you need to earn each month. You can also see if there is a gap. If there is a gap, seeing it on paper is helps motivate you on the income side too.      

  3. Use the envelope system for discretionary items: This tip is one that always gets me,” she says, “I always thought that using my debit card was enough….but then I started using Dave Ramsey’s Envelope system. Holy cow! It is effective and isn’t complicated.” Basically, you decide ahead of time how much you want to spend on discretionary categories each month. This includes, food, recreation, clothing, grooming, coffees, and other random money. Decide how much is reasonable for you in each category. Your spending will change substantially when you start using this method. Psychologically, there is a huge difference between swiping a card and paying cash.           

  4. Stop using credit: Just stop it. Again, you make different choices when you’re using your money versus using someone else’s money temporarily.  Using someone else’s money is expensive.
  5.  Set savings goals: We should save money because it’s the right thing to do…but let’s be honest, most of us aren’t wired that way. “Having separate bank accounts for different purposes helps motivate me to save,” she says, ”When I tried to save into one account for the sake of saving, I was not as effective.”  
In short, good money habits take time, practice, and patience.
If any Wild Goose Creative members want to discuss budgets or money in more detail, Athena is happy to help. Feel free to contact her at athena@wildgoosecreative.com.

Columbus Game Design

As the 15th largest city for three years running, Columbus is a Mecca for culture and design. Thanks to having great universities like CCADOtterbein University, and Ohio State University, Columbus also has a widespread reach of young professionals seeking to make significant impacts in the area.

Board gaming has been a favorite community past time since ancient Egypt at least, is still popular today, and has been growing throughout the world in the 21st century. Columbus has become a great place to design, test, and play all sorts of board, card, and RPG games.

As an organization that strives to bring unique, and unexpected art experiences to the Columbus community, Wild Goose Creative is excited to host Game Design Gala for the third time since its inception last year.

On Sunday, June 29th from 12:00pm until 5:00pm join coordinator and local schoolteacher Alexander James in welcoming many game designers by demoing their work and learning about their design process.

Admission is free although donations are appreciated. We will have a board game raffle and tickets are $5.00 for one or $10.00 for three.

Interested in demoing a game in the future? Contact Alexander atAlexander@wildgoosecreative.com

Columbus Improv Jam

Joe Teeters, coordinator of the Columbus Improv Jam, states, “it is a space where actors can feel like they are performing in a show rather than being in class. It is a no pressure, free space.”

The improv scene in Columbus has grown immensely over the years and the Columbus Improv Jam is a perfect example of what improve groups are all about-good company, many laughs, and a place to let go and have fun. No experience is required to attend, just come in with an open mind and a sense of humor and you are guaranteed to have a good time. The Columbus Improv Jam meets at Wild Goose the last Sunday of every month!

By Intern Sarah Tortorella

Collaboration in Art

Our recent Pinchflat poster show seemed like a simple idea: posters, people who love bikes, and food. But it was also about collaboration. At the opening, conversations about bikes turned into discussions about music, screen printing, letterpress artwork, and even food. People left inspired to create better bikes, and better art.

How can you, as an artist or an audience member, better use Wild Goose to have multidisciplinary moments and become better artists and appreciators of art?

Here are five tips to get your creativity flowing.

Show up prepared

When anyone visits Wild Goose, the goal is inspiration. Good art challenges, moves, and inspires people and creates connection. Show up ready and willing to engage in the spirit of inspiration and collaboration. Business cards and a quick “elevator speech” about your current project will help, as well. 

Seek out collaboration

Collaboration (putting your art and your inspiration in the hands of someone else) can be scary. Nonetheless, bringing on another person to your vision can help to create new and surprising art. When you’re in Wild Goose, actively engage in conversations with others. They might just present ways to make your work better.

Stretch Yourself

Take on a challenge! Getting better at your medium of choice is always encouraged, but trying something new can be rewarding as well. If you are a visual artist, what media have you not tried before? If you are a songwriter, what genres haven’t you explored? And what disciplines haven’t you explored at all? Now’s the time to try something new. 

Be Inspired

Artists can fall into ruts and find themselves repeating project, or even creating nothing for extended periods of time. Set yourself up to be inspired, so you’ll want to work every day at your craft. Seek out inspiration by going to galleries and events (ours and countless others throughout Central Ohio). 

Speak Up

Are you talking with other artists? Sharing ideas out loud is sometimes the best way to discover what it is that you really are trying to accomplish. Moments of inspiration can occur when you simply hear yourself say what you’ve been thinking. Hearing what others have to say can also help, and there is nothing like the creative energy in the air when you’re in a room full of people with big ideas.

Andrew Anderson is Secretary at Wild Goose Creative. His art forms include poetry, playing bass guitar, running sound boards and loving cats.

Pre-Pinchflat Pandemonium

As we gear up for the 4th year of our beloved bike poster show/community festival (we don’t have an exact word for what we are, so we go with the flow) we thought a rundown of all our great sponsors, vendors, and activities would get you in the mood.

The VIP First Look Event is from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, May 2, at Wild Goose Creative. This get-together is your first chance to check out the posters our local artists have designed and even provides a chance to chat with a few of them. Plus you get to snag one before anybody else! Sangria and snacks provided with your $10 admission

Next up, the inaugural Gallery Event begins at noon at Wild Goose on Saturday, May 3. This is one you don’t want to miss, mark your calendars now if you haven’t already!

The posters will be hung from the gallery walls with care, soak it all in and take one home for only $30. We’ll also have Shout Out Loud silk-screening Pinchflat shirts live in the space for just $10. Our bike raffle this year is a refurbished, vintage cruiser courtesy ofParadise Garage ($5 for a ticket with proceeds going to our friends at Yay Bikes!). We also have a bunch of goodies from CoGo Bike Share, including yearly memberships, day passes, and some swag.

Hungry Monkey food truck will be out front and if you haven’t tried one of their signature burgers that’s reason No. 13,567 to come out and see us. Weather report calls for sunshine and thankfully Columbus staple, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, will be scooping some of your favorite treats. Since it’s the weekend, you’ll need coffee to wake you up or help you power through the day’s events – that’s where our pals at Café Brioso come in.

While contently caffeinated, well fed, and smiling from sugar – make sure to keep your ears open for our local musicians. We reached out to the Columbus Songwriters Association in search of some tunes and are happy to have four local acts join the fun on Saturday.

1-1:35 – Sandeep Sehbi 

2-2:35 – Orion DiFranco

3-3:35 – The Brave Whether

4-4:35 – Jon Morgan

We can’t wait to see you! Like Pinchflat on Facebook, follow us @pinchflatcols, and remember #Pinchflat2014 to stay in the loop as the festivities continue. After 5 p.m. we hope you’ll venture over to Paradise Garage as the party aligns with the Short North Gallery Hop at PG.

Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors for their continued support, our volunteers for being awesome, and to all of you who plan on coming out!

Can’t join us May 2-3 weekend? We’ll miss you but don’t fret! Pinchflat will keep pedaling through Columbus neighborhoods all summer long.

By: Hannah Brokenshire