Wednesday September 18
Thinking about the amount of administration work, marketing, and non-art work that goes into my daily life as a self-employed artist. I also work a part time day job at this point in my career, to help pay them damn pesky bills.
I am also battling a cold today, but am feeling much better, so managed to get a little bit of work done (at a slower pace, of course). Self-employed people do not have the luxury of sick days. If you are sick, and you are the only person bringing in the money, you still have to work, and do your best. Self-care is important, of course, but you have less options when you are self-employed. This is especially applicable if you deal with client deadlines, or in my case this month; teach classes (and did not have a back up plan). Clients don’t care if you are sick; they still expect the work to get done on time.
I started today by going for a long walk, to get out of the house, after being cooped up in bed for two days. I love walking.
When I got home, I edited my class plan for my dry point class, went over any supplies I will need to pick up, and prep I need to do. My class is a weekly class, so I have been editing my class plan each week, as it changes slightly depending on what we accomplish the previous class. I plan when I am going to do the bulk of my prep work, as I need to be in the studio. This week I plan to forgo my Friday off and plan to do class prep on Friday. Being sick for three days throws everything off.
Then I checked my e-mail, replied to e-mail, etc. This can take a while, depending how many e-mails are in my inbox. And I am a slow e-mail writer.
Then I remembered that I need to eat, so I had some lunch. I often work and forget to eat; I need to get better at this. One of the benefits of working a day job – someone tells you to go eat lunch.
After lunch I logged some expense receipts. Very exciting stuff.
I did some volunteer Dundarave schedule stuff, as I mixed up the winter hours changing, and needed to fix some things.
At this point it is about 5pm and I have done zero art stuff. Will probably do one more quick website/Facebook update, and then do a little painting.
If you are a full time artist and someone tells you how nice it must be to paint/draw/print/whatever all day, smack them in the face. You also run a business, and need to do business stuff. Otherwise, the money ain’t gonna come to you by magic. Although that would be nice, and I wish it worked like that sometimes.
The reality is, you will spend a good 60% of your time on business, non-art work. Maybe 40% – 30% on actual artwork. I would say this is a pretty good estimate, from personal experience, talking to other professional artists, and watching other full time illustrators on YouTube.
I still really enjoy it though, and find I like the business, admin side of things. Which is a good thing, because my goal is to be a professional artist/illustrator full time. And I understand that will take time. But it will be worth it.