Being an Octopus
We all talk about needing more than two hands to get all the work done that we need to do each day. I know I certainly could do with a few more, what with all the things I try to do in a day either an extra pair or two of hands or a few hours a day would be a benefit!
So what happens when you have reached that crossroads in your art career and have to make a decision about working 25 hours a day or employing someone to help you? Clearly you can’t work 25 hours a day because you only have 24 hours to work with, but you don’t have the money necessarily to employ someone who would happily work for you for a few hours or so a week to help you catch up until you can afford to expand more and make more and therefore employ them and pay them more.
There are several options, you can look at like employing your children or others children or what about a pensioner neighbour who needs a few extra dollars a week? Children obviously need to be of a certain age and ability to help you but it’s amazing what even primary aged kids can do to help you in your business. Over the years I have had my own children help me with things like basic bookwork or gessoing canvas’s for me, tidying my studio or cleaning my brushes for me. It all helps!
Can you employ a University student who is on holiday for a few weeks or a few hours on a weekend, student job search can help you with that.
Can you streamline things like get work out sourced? Like for me I get my art t-shirts and aprons printed elsewhere and I’m looking at things like my coaster sets and coffee mugs being created by others using my artwork. It costs a little more financially but the returns are better for the extra quality and the time I can then pour into the art side of things and the areas that make me more money!
Buying things that are half prepped like canvas that is pre gessoed saves you time and hopefully money, if not try gessoing your canvas’s in bulk to save time so when you need a canvas to work on you always have one ready. Using a computer to do your books saves you time on the accounting side of things for example and wearing an artist’s apron saves you time on changing clothes or washing the paint off clothes or better yet having to go buy new clothes as you have to keep replacing the ones you ruin, not that it’s a bad idea getting new clothes if you’re a shopping freak like me, but I’m sure you get the idea!
It’s not easy being an artist or in fact being self-employed full stop, there’s always a moment of needing to be an octopus when it comes time to expand, but if you’re clever, are good at time management and explore all your options you can get through it.
Posted: Tuesday 20 July 2010