An hour of art a day

by     /    May 19, 2009   

There is a factoid that contrary to popular opinion, an artist will only spend 20% of their time actually making art, that the rest of their time is spent running their art business. For me, juggling my ketubah business alongside my oh-so-slow-growing fine art photography business, it feels I only spend 10%, or even just 5% of my time on making new art. Very frustrating.

Today, the artist Lisa Call blogged about her plan to reschedule her time so that she can get in the studio more. I made a similar schedule for myself last year, but as plans shifted and workloads changed, that schedule disintegrated, and one of the first casualties making art everyday. As a small business owner, there’s always something (paying bills, doing marketing, sending emails) that feels like it is more important, more pressing.

But enough! I need to make more art. If not for my sanity, for my business — my business thrives on the art I create, and I need to make sure I carve enough time to create that product! I need to get tough on myself and bring back a daily schedule:

  • 9am – 9:30: Give myself some time first thing in the AM to sort through new emails and review my schedule so I feel like I am in charge of my day.
  • 9:30-10:30: Following Lisa’s lead, I think I am going to try to carve at least half-an-hour a day for planning and thinking. Reviewing my to-do list, thinking about my long term goals. Get my head on straight so I know where I am headed.
  • 10:30 – ?: But after that I’m going to try to dedicate at least an hour to making new art. Remember, makinga art is not a luxury, it is a business necessity.

Right now this feels like a good plan. But we’ll see how this goes when reality sets in. It may get tough to maintain as my schedule gets busy in the summer, but I’m willing to try it out!I’m usually pretty bad about keeping schedules like this. But even just writing it down and pushing the idea out into the world might give me some motivation.

Follow my progress on twitter through the hashtag #arteveryday.

read more:    Thoughts    Tags:         

Other posts you might be interested in:

Share this post

Comments on 'An hour of art a day'

Lori Woodward Simons  (May 19th, 2009):

Daniel,

Just FYI – no matter how hard I try, I cannot sit down at 9:00 am and look at emails and be away from my PC by 9:30.

If you can work this out, I want to know how. Maybe you have the self-discipline I lack. For myself, I need to work first thing and I forget all about my email for a few hours. The email waits for me.

Hope everything works out to your success no matter what!
Lori

Daniel Sroka  (May 19th, 2009):

I used to try to do my art first thing in the morning as well. But I discovered that I would have this underlying stress, this nagging worry if something was waiting for me in email, or if there was some task I forgot to do. (This is especially true with the ketubah business where I am often trading emails with my customers.)

I found that if I clear my head first, by checking my email and reviewing my to-dos, I am much better able to focus on my art. True, some days I just don’t get to the art (which I am trying to remedy). But when I do, I can really give it my all.

Lori Woodward Simons  (May 19th, 2009):

I see… forgot that you had a business that’s dependent on email.

Understand completely…

Henry Domke  (May 19th, 2009):

The amount of time an artist has to devote to marketing, business, email, chores, etc. is much more than most people realize. Interesting post!

Henry

cynthia  (May 21st, 2009):

This morning I took an Adobe CS survey – don’t ask me why…task avoidance maybe. Anyway, it got me thinking because as I was breaking down certain tasks into percentages to total 100%, a tangent thought similar to your post crossed my mind.

I asked myself what exactly is my business – I certainly spend a lot of time on the computer and less in the studio. Am I a writer/blogger/web designer/photo editor/marketing expert etc. because I find less time and enthusiasm for hitting the studio than I have in the past. But, flip side, if I’m in the studio at the neglect of my business/marketing activities then it’s lop sided as well. There has to be some kind of balance that’s better than what I currently have in place.

Lisa Call  (May 23rd, 2009):

I also find checking email in the morning helps to clear the way to staying in the studio longer.

I usually spend 15-30 minutes updating social media, checking email and reading a few blog posts. Then I know everything it taken care of and I can get to the studio.

The reward of the studio is enough for me to keep the computer time short. Knowing on weekdays I have to head to work in a few hours is also a big incentive not to waste my time.

Time to Create « Paul Grecian – Photography  (May 29th, 2009):

[…] reading the blog entry of Daniel Sroka, an artist whose work I admire, I started trying the at least one-hour-of-art-a-day plan. If this […]

Stephanie M Dunatov  (June 10th, 2009):

Wow!

Here I have been berating myself that some days I get in ONLY an hour a day….

I guess it just goes to show you that we ALL wish that we spent more time in the studio.

Happy creating…