How long did it take you to make that?

I am often asked this question when someone is viewing one of my projects, same as many other artists hear.

We could all answer years, decades or even a lifetime we have spent honing our skills, learning our craft, debating which subject matter in which medium will touch the viewer most. Simply printing a single page which should take no more than 2 or 3 minutes can lead to hours of wrangling with computer programming hiccups, hardware problems, printer errors and ink cartridges as drained as the artist.

But that isn’t the answer they want to hear. It makes what we do inaccessible to our audience. I like to see the viewer connecting with my work, seeing the next evolution of possibilities and expressing those “What if…” thoughts.

As I start to fully dive into what it’s going to take to complete my Tropical Butterfly Garden Art Installation I have started keeping track of the hours. Using the HoursTracker App I’ve added in the maximum allowed 3 “Jobs” available in the free version.
1. Research & Development
2. Marketing
3. Construction

I know that I will need to have some parts of my piece completed even before I get to the Artist Residency Site. I am hoping keeping track of my progress will help me keep on track to complete the project as I have planned it to be.

So far I have completed:
1. 53 minutes of R & D: Which Tropical Butterflies do I wish to concentrate my efforts? Which wire sizes, colors and quantities should I obtain?
2. 95 minutes of Marketing: Searching for indy yarn dyers, Setting up a Tumblr Account, Maintaining current connections, updating website, etc..
3. 0 minutes of Construction

Debated with myself if my search for source materials (indy yarn dyers) should be a part of Research & Development but chose Marketing because I will be connecting with real people. In the end, it is doubtful that those who ask, “How long did it take you to make that?” will want this much detail. But, I am that curious to know.