Time Reclaiming Tips for the Overworked Art Professional

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Time is an elusive resource. Most of the time we don’t feel there is enough of it. In reality though, there are always 24 hours in a day and everyone has the same amount.


As you are likely aware, you need to understand what you are doing with the hours that you have and make the most from them both in a creative sense including selling your art alongside of taking care of your personal life and having some fun!


As an artist or entity that creates and/or works with art, you tend to think differently about most things in life, and time is no exception.  It can be helpful to think of the creative ways that you can save time and work to not be overburdened.


Remember that you will waste time if you:


  • Can’t make decisions


  • Are unaware of your priorities


  • Have poor organization


  • Overcommit yourself to others


  • Never finish projects, artistic ones and otherwise


  • Attempt to accomplish too much at once


Here are 5 mindset or practical tips that may help you to reclaim your time as an artist:



Establish and maintain a current art inventory listing – this list can be general or very detailed, but whichever you choose, be sure that it accurately lists the number and pieces of art that you currently have for sale and the price you are asking for each piece.   Other useful information could include the medium, size and date when the art piece was finished.  Get in the practice of having a “work-in-progress” column where at the beginning of creating a new work, you enter the working title of it and then when it is complete, you can fill in the remaining details.  This system will help you when someone wishes to purchase or represent your art.  Request your complimentary art inventory template – CLICK HERE.



Divide your time – know what your “must-do’s” are.  This refers to those activities, including the creation of your art that must be accomplished by you, reconciling your bank statement (or at least reviewing it) and negotiating with art suppliers to obtain the very best pricing for your purchased materials.  However, there are other activities that you could hire or find volunteers to help you – for example, an art student may like to maintain your studio,  help you to set-up and participate in art fairs and shows, etc..  You could also pay for someone to help you with the administrative aspects of your art business.



Work for excellence, not perfection – many artists strive to achieve the “perfect piece” before they consider it complete.  In the words of Dali “have no fear of perfection – you will never reach it” is sound advice.  Overthinking, over analyzing and re-doing everything doesn’t mean you will achieve perfection, it often just wastes your valuable time.  If your art is your very best it can be  and you always look to improve what you can, then your personal and artistic excellence will always be attainable.



Keep simple but accurate records – be sure that you at the very least, record your expenses and income as you incur and earn them.  You will be able to prepare and file your taxes more readily and estimate your cash flows.  This doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult – but you still have to do it.  This will also help when you are ready, to create a business plan or budget as the information you have recorded will make it much easier.  Request your complimentary records template – CLICK HERE.



Label your art – it may seem obvious, but many artists do not use this to help sell more art to buyers.  Simply make labels that show your name and contact details and be sure to stick it on the back of your work.  Art buyers can often forget who, where and the contact information that they purchased the art from.  If your name is there, follow-up with you will be made that much easier.


Not sure where to start?


It will be the most advantageous for you to make a list of what you consider your greatest time wasters and then create ways to replace them with time savers.


Since there is no “right” way to manage time, as everyone has different lives, responsibilities and priorities, this is clearly an individual choice.


The only real common ground – is it takes time, commitment and energy to properly run a successful art business.


Be sure to take “the time” to explore ways that you can reclaim it.



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