My tips for surviving as a full-time artist and balancing productivity and self-time.
Art is a business.
It is not just twinkles and colors, but also marketing, planning, production, selling, shipping, and all that stuff that may sound boring but still necessary.
As a full-time artist and the only person in my small business, I have learned, and keep learning, to extricate myself between the duty and the pleasure of this job.
I thought about the possibility to have a gallery or an agent to care about all the bureaucracy and paperwork, leaving to me just the joy of pure creation.
But I have chosen to deal personally with the people, managing by myself the production and the selling of my artwork. This because I want my art to remain accessible not only to a niche of wealthy collectors but to everyone who wishes to admire my works on the walls of their own houses.
Day by day I roll up my sleeves and organize my time to administrate every aspect of my artist profession. And believe me, it is really easy when the boundary between job and passion is bland, ending to work seven days a week, 12 hours a day or more.
But I am a lover of self-time, the time for rest and leisure. I cannot and do not want to give up on it.
How do I manage it?
PLANNING, PLANNING, AND AGAIN, PLANNING!
Yes. Planning is the golden rule.
A bit for my engineering studies, a bit perhaps for a personal predisposition, I admit that I enjoy creating to-do lists.
Lists and plans, short and long term. I usually plan the year goals, the monthly ones, and every week I make a detailed plan for every day. Maniacal? Maybe, but this allows me to keep always at least one day of the week free for the necessary leisure.
And as a day rule, no work after dinner! Also because, maybe for my Sicilian genes, after eating my belly steals all the energy to my brain.
GRATIFICATION AND REWARD: GET YOUR SPIRIT UP!
To keep the mood up, it is absolutely needful to gratify and reward yourself after the hard work, to remember the simple and beautiful things that are the purpose of our efforts.
I don’t want to sound like an Italian cliche, but a good meal (even better if shared with the people we love) always remembers us that the essential is simple, and we are lucky to have it because it is not granted, even if we sometimes forget it.
A nice warm bath or a long shower works just as well for me, face masks, body oils, and so on! Self-care and the exclusive me-time as a reward for the hard work.
MOVEMENT AND POWER: KEEP THE ENERGY HIGHT!
Sport and movement are also essential for me, although the Berlin winter makes me particularly lazy. But even just half an hour of physical activity or a little stretching in the morning before starting the day is enough to have more energy, and everything flows much more smoothly.
Dancing? Everyday. Yes, I know, the world pandemic made clubs close and who knows when they will reopen. But that certainly can’t stop us from shaking the body. Dancing helps me to release negative vibes and replaces them with energy and happiness.
I dance everywhere, walking on the street, in line at the supermarket, in the studio, at home alone.
And of course, just to bring out another Italian cliché, I sing! And loudly!
At home, in the shower, while working, in the park, on the bicycle.
And after that, I’m feeling much better.
Just try it!
That’s more or less how I try to survive as a full-time artist.
I hope you enjoyed my tips!
And you? How do you manage to balance productivity and self-time?
I would be really happy to read your thoughts about it.