This year I am spending more time at my Country Studio, watching over the renovation and planning activities there for friends and collectors once the studio is tip top. I have more painting time now and more time to explore nature. I’m not as tired. I save gas, and expenses as well. I have a productive schedule each day.
Time hurries along faster and faster as I age, which makes me very determined to use my schedule very wisely. Assuming you are a working professional artist who needs to sell your art, here are some questions to ask yourself for saving schedule time:
Why am I entering juried shows in museums and art centers? Do I expect to sell, win prize money, gain recognition,build my resume?
Have I gained any of the above?
If not, is it wise to continue?
Why do I belong to art associations or art centers? Companionship and socialization?
Are they helping me to sell my paintings? Are they helping me to improve my art skills?
What art events am I doing each year and are they bringing me good income? Examples might be paint outs or sidewalk shows. Have you considered the time you are using? Gas and expenses? Time you are away from marketing to your collectors and potential collectors? Time at your easel in your studio to produce good work?
How much time do I spend on social media? Have I studied and learned which platforms are successful and produce actual sales?
Each one is different and there are many steps to success, consuming a lot of your schedule. I post to all of them, but Facebook gets most of my attention, as I sell paintings there. Instagram is beginning to produce sales as well.
What Studio habits take the most of my schedule?
Is there any way to streamline those tasks and free up more time. I do most of my ordering online, saving shopping time for studio supplies. I keep the studio organized and tidy, keeping me on task with little wasted time.
Do I use a newsletter or write a blog?
My blog is a great way to communicate and my most success for a schedule saver is to use an editorial calendar. It was the best thing I learned for blogging and newsletters. I stick to it regularly, staying ahead by about six weeks for blog posts. I no longer have to try to come up with topics on the fly. When an idea comes to me I put it in my editorial calendar so I have something useful to write about.
Do I keep an idea list?
I have one on my IPad. When ideas for paintings, marketing, blog topics come to me, I add the idea to my list. It might take a week, a month or years to actually implement the idea, but it is waiting for me when I am ready.
Should I spend time taking painting workshops or classes?
If you honestly feel that an artist can help you to grow your skills, then yes. Be careful to make sure the teacher is right for you. I know more than one outstanding painter who is a poor teacher. Get referrals from other students. Perhaps online classes will take less time and be less expensive than travel.
Should I invest time in my online presence, online art galleries, your web site?
If you are selling reasonably well, face to face, then yes. Your website is important and worth your investment, but it needs to be tended to and nurtured regularly. SEO will be important. Research will be important to success. Some online shops do produce sales. I use Etsy and Daily Paintworks. Others I have tried have not worked well for me.
Be aware that time is your most valuable resource and schedule is vital to use time wisely.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…
Bacon wrapped carrots
2 lb fresh carrots, peeled
1 lb bacon
Nonstick aluminum foil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel carrots, then wrap 1 slice of bacon tightly around each. Place on foil-lined baking sheet (wash hands); coat with spray.
- Bake 20 minutes; brush with syrup. Bake 8–10 more minutes or until bacon is crispy and carrots are tender. Place on serving platter and sprinkle with salt; serve.