you asked - schedule
alicia asks... how many hours/day and days/week do you devote to the studio? from a business perspective then in contrast, how much time do you have to devote to the business side of things - marketing, finance, mailing?
working from home is great for the freedom of my schedule. if i have other needs, i can take care of them, but i spend most days in my studio. i start by checking social media and email for things i need to respond to. i love the interaction with my friends/community, so i try to be good about responding to comments and questions and emails. some days i spend more time on the computer with marketing and creating social media images. and some days it is all about the paint.
i try to keep up with my paperwork one day a month... doing the previous month. so come tax time i have everything ready. i typically head to the post office once a week for mailing. we have a small town post office with small town post office hours. they close for lunch everyday, close at 4 weekdays and are only open 1 hour saturday monrings. :) so i like to just go once a week if possible.
how long did it take for your business to take hold and become financially profitable in the sense that you felt what you earned was finally greater than the sum total of time you were investing?
to be honest... my opinion on that question varies. there are still times when it doesn’t seem like i am getting as much out of my business as the work hours i put in, then there are times that it does. i think selling art can be extremely difficult. some months work out much better than others.
how many customized projects do you do annually?
i have been doing more and more custom projects. i stop working on my own work and work on custom orders as they come in. it was getting to the point that i was only doing custom work and not having time for many new things of my own, so i took a break from custom work to do some of my own things. it was fun to just do what i wanted to do again! i have learned from this time, that i will have open times for taking custom work and then times when i won’t be accepting custom projects. so there will be a good balance of both. right now i am back at custom pieces.
when creating something new, is that planned into your schedule periodically, or is it more the result of a lull that allows/pushes you to create something new?
for the most part, new work comes as it comes. if i have been working on marketing and computer types of things for a while… i have all kinds of ideas that i can’t wait to get started with. so it is always fun to get paint on my fingers for new work! then there are some days that i need to paint and i just can’t seem to get it to flow and it is a struggle. i have learned to just let days like that go. either play and create something just for fun or go take some photos or just take the day off. when i force it, it is no fun and typically i end up having all kinds of problems. just not worth it. better to let it go and come back to it the next day.
wow... thank you for all the great questions! that was fun!
and i think kathy's questions got answered here with alicia's. kathy asks... what is your typical schedule? do you make yourself paint every day, no matter how you are feeling? certain times of the day or a certain number of hours or when the mood hits you?
i hope you are enjoying this q&a series. if you missed the other posts, you can find a list here. i will continue to answer a few questions in each post. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!