Finding the Right Balance
Making a living as an artist is no mean feat. There is plenty of demand for people wanting pictures created of their beloved pets. A smaller fraction of people willing to pay the price you want to be paid for the use of your skills and your precious time spent creating their original and unique portrait created just for them and there is no denying that the pet portrait business can keep you in fairly decent paying work for most of the year. The problem I have is that all the time I am creating portraits of the paying customers pets eats hugely into the time I need to be creating my own person work, but with this work I have no guarantee it will actually sell and create an income but is where my passion lies and is the reason I am an artist. If I have a full diary of commissions it leaves very little time for anything else but all the bills are more or less paid and I don’t have to work about money. But the artist side of me is left deflated and disappointed because I have had no time at all to produce any of my own work, of which I have a huge reservoir of ideas stored, ready and waiting to be used and produced. Where do you draw the line? How do you balance the need for paying work with the need to create your own (no guarantee to give you an income) work in your (already stretched to the limit) time you have available to produce artwork.
If anyone does have the answer to this particular conundrum, please send them to me on a postcard :-D
Last year I was struggling to find time for my own work as all my time was spent doing commissions for other people. For 2023, my plan to balance this problem more evenly is to better organising my time management to be able to find a harmony between the need to have the paying work and the need to be creating your own work. It isn’t unfortunately a 50/50 split, which would be wonderful but at the same time doesn’t leave me in as comfortable position with the bills as I would like, so the proposed balance is a 65/35 split, which should give me enough time for the paying commission work (65%) and time to produce my own work (35%). It would be a more balanced split if in actual fact the cost of living hadn’t just skyrocketed as well, but with my new time management plan which allocates set amounts of time to these two different types of work, should hopefully make sure that I am actually getting some time to produce my own work within my working day instead of finding scraps of time here and there to just have a little dabble at some of my ideas or ending up working into the early hours and eating into the time I should actually be a sleep, which invariably is what happened last year.
Let’s not forget that this is not just so I can have a better balance between the production of my two types of work, but also to create a happier and more fulfilled (and less sleep deprived) me. So we shall see if this time management plan actually works. It’s not set in stone and can be altered if it’s not working but only time will tell.