As we turn towards the new year and 2016 rolls into view I find myself getting excited for all the traveling and teaching I will be doing in the coming year. I am planning my classes and also have two shows to do new work for, so it is a juggling exercise of studio time vs. computer time. Lots of people have asked me how much time I spend in the studio as opposed to other activities, such as taking photos of my artwork, emailing clients, and writing this blog! Well, that varies from week to week, but most people are surprised at how much time I spend away from my studio. In reality I have found that being an artist is only partially about making art, and a lot about the business of art.
There is so much to do outside of the studio: social media, letter writing, updating emailing lists, updating inventory, communicating with galleries and other sales venues, working on a schedule, and generally keeping track of the myriad of small details that are a part of being a self-employed business person. And don't even get me started about taxes! That job is right around the corner... However the bonus of all this desk sitting is getting into my studio again, which I plan to do right after the first of the year. I have paintings to paint and glass to fire in the kiln, and hours to lose myself in the creative activity of making art. But first I have to go for a walk...
An important part of my creative life is getting outdoors. Most days I try and go for a long walk, row, bicycle, or work in the garden. It is a preparatory time for me, one where I clear my head and get in touch with my quiet self, my creative self. While not actual studio time, it is most certainly an integral part of time spent in the studio.
So to answer all those people who ask me how many hours a week I actually spend in the studio, I will say that, depending on the week, I guess I average around 20 studio hours and a random number of office hours and outdoor hours. I try and balance my time between the three locales. It works for me.
How do you balance studio time with business time? Do you have an activity that is important to your studio practice?