I’ve been frustrated lately because I feel like I have no perception of time as it relates to progress with Artprof.org. I have a timeline in my head of what we’ve accomplished since the very first thought of Art Prof popped into my head back in the fall or 2014, yet I still feel like I have no way of really measuring our progress.
Sure, I can look at the numbers for the past 1.5 years that our main site has been live. Last month we had over 10k visitors to Artprof.org, our highest yet, and the other day we hit 11k subscribers on our YouTube channel. I really shouldn’t do this, but then I look at the numbers for other channels and sites that are doing somewhat similar things and I can’t even conceive of ever reaching 100k subscribers. I can’t help but ask myself, is it simply a matter of time before the project feels like it has truly “landed,” or am I doing something wrong? I guess it’s fruitless to ask myself questions like this, but that doesn’t stop me from having those thoughts.
Seeing as we are very much making up Artprof.org as we go along, I really can’t tell if given the timeline of the project, whether we are doing exceptionally well or if we really should be a lot further along. Granted, I do think it’s unfair for me to have expectations to have concrete answers to questions that are impossible to answer, but it still bothers me that I don’t have a way to measure where we “should” be.
I guess when I compare this project to the timeline of progress I watch my students go through over the course of a single semester at RISD, it’s startling how predictable my classes are compared to Art Prof. I’ve taught enough classes that I have approximations of where I think my students should be at midterm, and expectations where I want them to be at the end of the semester. I can tell when a student is really lagging far behind, and when they are doing exceptionally well at any given point in the semester.
I think this all started when a comment on our YouTube channel this past week showed up that said “Your content is such good quality, I don’t understand how it’s not more popular.” It’s a really nice compliment for them to say that, but I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind. Being the eternal pessimist the nagging question in my head this week is “what am I doing wrong?”