I recently reflected on what it means to be an artist and thought about how many of an artist’s day-to-day tasks do not directly involve art. I thought I would write a blog entitled ‘A Day in the Life of an Artist’, but it is more accurate to name it ‘The Many Hats Artists Wear’, because being an artist is so much more than being creative. Creating art is not the whole story. Artists also must be business owners, do marketing and promotion, etc. as well as dealing with the mundane tasks of daily living.
Creating art employs creative thinking. Even when I am not painting an endangered animal, I am using creative, problem solving and critical thinking to complete business chores.
I learned to be at peace with the knowledge that my work is more than just using pencil, paint or embroidery thread. It is more than the euphoria of creating something that pleases the eye. It is about sustaining a business that gives me the opportunity to paint, draw and embroider; and hopefully, increasingly becomes financially sustainable.
A few months back I did an online workshop with Sonja Smalheer (The Artist Success Guide), and I am slowly implementing her tips to take my art business from the red to the black (from not even mediocre to dynamic), and even to turn a profit. It is taking me a while to do so, as I also tutor children with learning difficulties and have all the usual life responsibilities, so my ‘art time’ is a brief period of each day.
Tomorrow I will start to share some of the ‘many hats’ I don on a daily basis. Today’s blog is merely the introduction to a series of mini blogs, which I will post over the coming days.
I would really love to hear about your art business, or your thoughts if you are contemplating becoming a self-employed artist. As always, I am also keen to read any tips you may have.