How many hours per week do you spend making your art?
Make the time for your art is about discipline, time management, and priorities. If you’re feeling like you have no time for your art and it is being pushed to the end of your list, then this post is just for you. Here are 10 effective ways to help you make time for your art. Keep reading and let’s dive into it.
1. Acknowledge the Importance of your Art
Your art MATTER. Embrace this fact. No matter how many artists there are, your work MATTERS. After you’ll acknowledge this, it will be easier for you to acknowledge that you need to practice and make time for your art. You don’t want to reach old age and regret not pursuing your dream. I’d prefer trying and failing than giving up before I even gave it a chance.
If you have a passion for it, give it a try. Worst-case scenario you’ll be at the exact same point- not pursuing the dream. Other scenarios include clarity about what you like/ dislike, rather or not it’s your future, and the best scenario in which you become successful and reach the goals that you set for yourself.
2. Prioritize your Artistic Growth
You have to make it part of your routine. If you won’t see it as something you truly want and need to do, you will do other things. Make your art a priority, the same as you never forget to eat, watch TV, do your assignments, or exercise. When it’s a priority, you make it work. You make it work because you CARE. It’s definitely easier to watch TV than creating a new piece, but easy isn’t always the best route to choose. YOU have to DECIDE that it MATTERS and only then you’ll be able to make time for your art.
3. Establish Deadlines and Goals
This is an important step. Start with big goals- both personal and professional. Then, divide them into small goals. For example, let’s assume that my goal is making $5,000K a month from blogging. This means I’ll need to earn $1,250 per week, $178.5 per day, and $7 per hour. $7 doesn’t sound so bad, right?
Let me give you another example, Large goal that I had last summer was finishing 50 drawings during the summer. Summer break is almost 3 months meaning I’ll need to draw 16 drawings per month and 4 per week. This means that I’ll have to finish half a drawing each day. Some days I’ll be able to finish a whole drawing and some only half. 4 artworks doesn’t sound as bad as 50.
These examples are only the edge of the ice, you can apply this method to each of your large goals. I organize my goals in general, yearly, monthly, and even weekly. The point of this is to help you stay focus. Seeing the big goals can be overwhelming and there’re steps we need to take before reaching it.
The small goals keep us on track. It’s easier to make 4 new drawings per week than delaying it to the last week of summer and draw 50. Also, it’s easy for us to be distracted, if we won’t write our tasks and goals, we will lose track of time and it will be harder for each of our goals.
4. Estimate your Work Time and Plan Accordingly
In addition to the previous point, it’s important to know how mush it takes you for a certain artwork.
For me, a realistic drawing can take 10 hours on average for an A4 page. A painting can take 10-20 hours, but I’ll have to wait between each layer which can be up to 2 weeks- 4 weeks to get one painting done. Other drawings can take 2-5 hours depends on the number of details and sides on the paper I use.
Knowing your abilities and the amount of time it takes you to create one single piece will help you plan your time in advance. If I’m deciding to draw a realistic portrait, I’ll clear my schedule and try to draw for at least 4-5 hours without interruptions. If I know that I have a busy week, I’ll plan some “quicker” drawings or starting the first layers of my painting. If I have a clear schedule, I’ll be making sure I’m dedicating time for “longer” art.
Also, make sure that your workspace is organized and you don’t have to waste time getting your materials every time you work. It will save you a lot of time!
Extra tip- knowing how long it takes you to complete a certain artwork will help you commit to future commissions and collaborations. Working with different brands and people, you’ll need to fit into their own schedule and make sure you finish the artwork according to their deadlines.
5. Starts Small
In addition to the previous step, start small. Make a goal for one drawing per week, then if you see it’s working for you, challenge yourself to 2 drawings per week and so on. You can also start by making 30 mins per day for drawing and grow with time.
Sometimes dreaming big can be too overwhelming and not in our current abilities, especially for beginners. Be aware of your limits and abilities. If you see that things work out for you easily, challenge yourself to do more. Start too big can cause frustration and even give up. If you’re working 60 hours per week, taking care of 4 kids and have to take care of the daily tasks, it can be unrealistic to start from creating 5 major artworks per week. Find the right balance for you. If it’s too much- slow down, if you can do more, increase the time you spent on making art.
6. Carry an Art Journal- Collect Ideas Through the Day
A great way to collect ideas without forgetting them is by carrying an art journal. A mini sketchbook is a perfect item for it. I have a 4” X 6” empty journal that I write my ideas through the day. It’s easy to forget an idea when we’re so busy with our daily routine. Sometimes all we need is writing a little note or draw a little sketch to help us create. It can be a combination of colors, emotions, and literally everything that inspires you. Remember that a huge part of the creative process comes from our daily experiences.
7. Walk Around with a Travel Art Kit
In addition to my sketchbook, I always carry my Micron pens, pencils, and sometimes colorful markers. I also have a small watercolor kit and I love using them while I travel. Everyone who follows me on social media knows my love for creating in the outdoor. I love drawing the mountains, waterfalls, and bridges around me. Nature always inspires me and it’s a great opportunity to try something new. If you want to learn more about it, read my post of How to Become an Artist on the Way.
8. Don’t Overthink- Act
We tend to think and analyze each situation way more than we should. Too often we stop ourselves from doing what we want and believe we need to do because we think too much. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes! They are part of the process and sometimes we can’t move forwards without them.
If you really want it, just do it! See if that’s what you want, pursue your passions, and live with no regrets.
9. Delegate Things that you Don’t have to do
You don’t have to do everything!
Multitasking is not really a thing. Our minds can’t do a few things at the same time. “Multitasking” is actually shifting our focus quickly from one thing to the other which creates the illusion that we’re doing a few things at the same time. Even though you can’t say no to all of your tasks, there are many things that you can delegate to others. It will free your schedule but most importantly, it will free your mind and allow you to focus on creating the next artwork.
10. Take an Art Class
This is probably the easiest way to make time for your art. In an art class you have assignments and you constantly creating. It’s a great way to learn and establish art routine. You learn how to finish an artwork before a deadline and change your schedule accordingly.
Summing it up
Let’s be honest, we make time for things that matters to us. If we want something we have to find time to make it happen, including art. Just the way you make time for our friends and family, you should make time for your art. By starting small, reprioritizing, and planning your schedule in advance, you will have more time for your art.
Start this week, don’t overthink the situation and set up your goals!