Top 10 Tedious Things I Am Forced To Do As An Artist
I have had a crazy busy art filled day today. Spraying, framing, promoting, did a new painting for my "Life in the 'Dale" series etc. It got me thinking about all the not so fun things we as artists do for our artwork and inspired my newest blog post-
if I am not creating, it is tedious.
back in the day, one week a month was dedicated to business ( staying in touch or visiting my galleries, buying supplies, etc)....now it's over half my time, but all of my business is internet based.
gotta correct you, shana...if we all did it, less would be moaning about starving....if you want to be a full time artist and pay your bills, then you need to consider it your job as well...no waiting for inspiration or a muse...get up at 6 and get at it...quit at the end of the day. my stack of bills is my muse.
a smidgen of talent, some kudos from your relatives and an hour devoted to creating every other day is not going to be enough for you to make it.
In an entrepreneurial biz course a few years ago -- one of the best practices to get into was a daily accounting of activities -- from sweeping floors/studio maintenance to accounting to creating -- weekly report over the course of a year really was an eye opener.
I'm with Marlene re moaning & groaning -- just think -- if that were an employee's mindset -- they'd be gonzo.
no matter how much work you have, you never feel its enough. and while i have very flexible hours, the feeling of goofing off while i do something else is a bit overwhelming. i think of it like how an actor has to keep acting even if they are loaded. because if they don't, their dead - or at least i think they are.
and it's a constant work load, and you have the worst boss...of course i couldn't fire myself. but i can always give myself a raise.
Once upon a time I worked as a floral designer in a high-end outlet -- to that point thought my 'dream' position in that capacity was doing nothing but creating designs all day.
Dream came true -- no contact with the patrons, no phone answering -- just flat out create all day. Felt like an animal tethered in a stall, even though I had access to the industry's
top of the line exotic floral components -- live, and artificial.
@Marlene I completely agree with you there! Not everybody does it. I have to work a per diem job as a pharmacy tech. Because I'm not able to live off my art just yet. Still my boss at my day job knows that art is my fulltime job. Day and night. I also plan out my day the night before. I woke up this morning with a set list of goals and proceeded to get them done!
@Mike, I know what you mean, there is always more to be done!
@Carmen, thank you, glad you lines my blog post! I agree about the boss thing, just as I am my own worst critic, I am my own worst boss.
Sorry it took a bit for me to respond, I was sketching out my next painting. My work is never done! Love it!
You're welcome Shana...earned a bit of time off after completing this annual commission today -- numbers vary year to year -- this year 13 pieces...glad they're done -- can devote more focus to a few newmedia projects in the works :)
As artist I don't do anything tedious other than looking for models when I need or working with boring people which happens sometimes.
When I am trying to sell or show my art I am no longer working as artist but as marketer or business man. And everything I do to try sell or show my art is tedious though it is nice to see when people are interested on my art.
@Marcio, that's a good way to look at it, seperate the two.
@Abbie, the first thing I put on my list in my blog post was washing brushes!! Gaaah what a task!! I agree, the background can be tedious, but I still consider that funner then the things I put on my list, because at least it's part of the creative process lol
I find the time trying to get things set up to be the most tedious. Once that is done, then the rest is just letting things flow where they will, and the creativity is released in an open format.
Now when I am writing, that is a whole different story. Sometimes to get that flowing is hard, but once it does, it is just keeping ujp with my mind, and that is often the hardest. I type at fifty words a minute, but my mind flows at about a thousand words, so that makes me always behind...
Selling is a different story, as in this area I have a hard time, because my work is mostly with film, and that is harder to sell here, if not an overly worked computer piece...
Yet in one week, I sold three pieces in Houston, so a totally different market, and will be moving there next month.
That is awesome Carmen!! What a sweet sentiment!! You did a great job, both with concept and execution!!
@Dan, I know what you mean about getting set up. I am to impatient and want things to be ready to jump right in. I also write, and my mind flies too. It's so hard to keep up, and I want to get the good ideas out before they flee my mind. As far as selling goes that is the hardest part for me. Creating comes natural for me, selling not so much!! lol
One more note to add in reply to what Abbie stated earlier about backgrounds. I do understand what you mean in the fact that my biggest issue with those is the same issue I have with setting up, I am way to impatient and want to get to the good stuff!!! lol
@Shana - not long ago I read an online story which stated that, at one time, the U.S. government was considering mandating a 4-day work week. Then the Depression hit or something (I'm a little fuzzy on the details). But god I wish that had happened. Can you imagine? 3 whole days off a week. You'd have maybe 1 day to do all of the tedious things having to do with living, and then you'd have two remaining days to have a life. Some European countries have 4-day work weeks. Why the heck can't the U.S.? Sucks, especially if you're trying to do what you were born to do, as opposed to what you HAVE to do to stay alive until achieve success.
@ J L that would be wonderful!!! Luckily my position is Per Diem, so my schedule varies, which also has its ups and downs. Some weeks I'm full time, sometimes I go 2 or more weeks without work. It's a roller coaster with no health insurance. But I do get paid well, and it does help allow time for my artwork, for the most part. So it's the best I can do for now!! I don't believe in being tied down by something you don't absolutely love, and being Per Diem helps with that a little, even though I'd rather skip the day job and be able to live off my art alone. Sigh, someday maybe...
Jani, I know what you mean. I think I hate clean up worse then prep..both are tedious. Marketing is definitely never ending. It's fun when I get to explore a new avenue, but then it starts all over again!!
Hanging wire, changing out art at places I show, painting the edges of my paintings ,I hate all those things oh and the worst is cleaning my brushes ugh!, I work hard taking care of my husband full time, he takes a few hours to get ready in the morning for the day,therapy 4x a week , he is half paralyzed from a stroke 6 months ago, my minor child getting her ready for school, 3 meals a day in general, 4 hours of house cleaning ,take care of the chickens and other animals and if I am lucky I might get 3-5 hours about 3x a week to work on my art, 4 if I am VERY lucky. I am shocked I can even get one done a week right now but I have to since it is what I am supposed to do In life that is ,my calling not to mention it is what is supporting my family also solely at the moment
here is the current painting I am working on right now "Blue Fish" getting it done little by little
@Leah, I totally forgot about painting the edges! That gets me too!!
You definitely have a hectic life, even before your husband suffered his stroke. That's one reason that I am not rushing into having children . They are great but I am enjoying my time. Its good that he seems to be making progress and that you are still finding time to paint! My husband lost his job a few months ago so I have picked up a lot of extra hours at work, and as a result haven't painted nearly as many as last year at this time. I don't know how you find the time! Like your WIP. It's coming out good!
@J L, it is a pretty sweet deal! I have a great boss who works with me on scheduling too!
Leah reminded me of the current time issues that I'm dealing with.
My daughter is going to high school for one class and college for her other classes. She is in a program called running start. It enables her to get her high school diploma and two years of college done while in high school. She's also in sports after school. Well, that is all good, but I have to drive her everywhere because she is not yet ready to drive on her own. She is learning to drive. I have to pick up and go with her or pick her up several times a day. It works out to be 3 hours a day of driving. I need to get some art done, but it is very difficult to get anything artsy done right now. Family first.
Kudos to you, Leah, for getting some painting done. You are one disciplined lady. I'm sorry you have to go through what you are going through right now. Blessings to you and your family.
at JL, it is very hectic at times though things are getting a bit more balanced. It's funny all the therapists and people I know locally that see our situation up close are shocked at me being able to paint in our circumstances. Some of them have even said "Not only are you painting but they're good! How are you able to do that?" Well here is my answer, when I first taught myself to paint in 97 or so I had 2 young children then was a single parent with a full time job and was so excited about what I was seeing when I first started I would even take my paintings to work and paint them while working and take care of customers at the same time ,stop and go then I would take it home after work feed my kids, then paint again into the evening. I learned back then if I wanted something done badly I had to learn to multi task. Well I am doing the same thing now. Take care of my husband ,house,kid paint a bit then cook then maybe squeeze in another hour. I have most oft he image in my mind already and know how to paint so it's just a matter of doing it with some tweaking here and there.
at Shana, sorry about your husbands job, we also went through that a few years ago. Hope it all balances out for you soon. We have had the worst few years ever, but it's getting better bit by bit
At Jani, My 2 eldest kids did a program like that for college. I think it's great when high schoolers can get some college credits in early
@ Jani, Craziness!! But that is good that your daughter is getting a head that way, it will make the up coming couple of years easier in the long run. Before you know it she will be out of the house, and you will probably miss it because that is time spent together!! lol
@ Leah, Thank you, we are going alright, better than some people and I am very grateful for all that we do have!!!