The Time for Time Management Has Arrived

Last weekend, I spoke at the BizArts Conference at Edmonds Community College, and I promised I would post the information that I talked about here on my blog, so here goes.

To begin at the beginning…. Time is money, and conversely, money is time.

I’m going to start with the assumption, that you would like to get at least some portion of your income from production and sale of your artwork.  I’m also going to assume that you have at least some personal commitments and responsibilities.  At the vary least you have to feed the cat, and keep your home from being closed down by the health department.  So let’s break this down into the individual areas we need to look at….

1. What are your overall, big picture goals?

Do you want to pay for your supplies, materials, and workspace, or do you want to pay your mortgage and quit your day job?  What if you have a day job you love and are committed to?  I wish it wasn’t so, but the more you want out of your art ($$$$) the more you are going to have to put into it. So now, do we give up and crawl under the covers? No we do not!  By setting out our big picture goals, we can then work backwards, breaking down our big goals into  all it’s parts.

OK. Let’s say that you are a painter, and want to have a one person show.  We are also going to assume that you already are a reasonably accomplished painter, and are not at the stage of, “which end of the brush gets the paint on it?”  Here is a progression starting from the one person show and working our way backwards.  (at some point I’ll need to do a “flow chart” but not today!)

One Person Show> deliver work to gallery> find gallery that wants to show my work> have group of 12-20 excellent paintings > make labels and inventory sheets> frame work>make or buy framing> Do excellent paintings> acquire or have on hand all materials to do group of 12-20 paintings> have plan for show, including images to work from or models scheduled> have work space which is always set up….

Whew! That’s a lot of stuff and I haven’t even started talking about calendars, scheduling, and avoiding time-sucks!

The point of all this is, that until you are clear about what your overall goals are, it’s hard to move on to knowing what you have to do to get from point a to point z.

Some things to do this week:

First you need to look at how you currently spend your daily allotment of hours, as well as what your big goals are.  Take a little time with these questions.  Maybe start a notebook for your studio plan for 2011. Ask yourself:

1. What are my big picture creative goals?

2. What personal/family/job obligations do I currently have?

For one week, write down how your waking hours are spent, including work, family, friends, art making, and (dum-da-dum-dum) internet time.

I’ll add more to this in a couple of days.

Till then,

keep painting.

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