Trying to find balance as an artist

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Last week there was a discussion among some of my fellow artists at my studios– we touched or rather I should say, they touched on (while I listened) to how things have changed – how there’s less time for painting as now we need to update websites, create social media posts, pack and send art – in short, run an e-commerce site and create art and the same time

 

I’m going to be honest with you, this is a balance I find difficult to master, I don’t know if I will ever fully master it – Below are some of the hints and tricks I’ve developed over the past 18 months of working as a full-time artist.

Female artist in London art studio

Get Okay With Guilt

 This is the biggest challenge any artist or entrepreneur faces. Owning your own art business and being an artist is not easy. You’re doing two if not more full-time jobs daily. I find I fall into the headspace of ‘I’m not doing enough”, “I should do this”, “I could be working harder” etc. Those thoughts don’t go away but you do have control over them. 

 

It might seem odd, but accepting that these thoughts are part of the new norm helped me. After I did that, I realised I was creating these narratives in my mind, once I got to that stage it gave me the power to let go of this pressure and expectation I had placed on myself. 

Remember: you are doing your best and honestly, that is more than good enough!

Plan It Out 

This sounds simple, right? It is as long as you know how and do it!

A lot of artist aren’t business minded and this is where they get lost and confused. I always find planing a very useful task. You have a clear direction, that will keep you focused but most importantly motivated.    

 

Sitting down once a month and planning out what the key business-related goals for the month are vital. These goals can be anything from applying for art fairs or writing a blog post. Having a plan reduiceses the sense of overwhelm that a lot of entrepreneurs feel. 

Social Like A Boss

Social Media is essential for any business. For business, it’s an art form that is often underrated for this power and long term benefit. It’s important to be active on at least one platform, potential consumers are keen researchers. They tend to want to see who you are as an artist outside of your website. My top tip would be mix your content between personal and the artwork itself. Keep in mind inactive pages can damage your brand’s reputation. Please either deactivated your account or make it private. 

 

If you feel resistance towards using a platform, find one that you feel more comfortable with – if you don’t like Instagram try Pinterest It’s just as visual with less interaction and need to post as frequently. The key is that you share your art frequently, ideally the same day at the same time. So Wednesday and Sunday at 1 pm – the algorithm will be in favour of this and so will your fans. We as humans like reliability and consistency – so if you can tick this box you’re onto a winner.    

 

Use tools like Hootsuite to help plan my social media content. It’s easy to use and a great time saver to free up your time to do more important things, like look out the window. 

 

There are some restrictions in terms of video upload spec. (Keep in mind this is a third party platform) so they need to talk to the guys at Facebook to develop particular features. It’s only since ’17 that Hootsuite could automatically post on Instagram – before then you have to post manually.  

 

 

Do you have any tips for trying to balance the creative and the practical sides of your business? 

This post was originally posted on the 12th of August 2019

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