Pet Portrait Artists Time Management

Welcome to my latest business post and this month its all about Pet Portrait Artists Time Management. Often we meet new people, they ask what we do for a living. When they hear we are pet portrait artists, it’s usually met with.. oh wow! What a lovely job you have! Drawing and painting all day, how relaxing, that must be absolute bliss!

Our immediate answer is YES! We do have the perfect job. However, there is so much more to our days than just drawing and painting pet portraits. There are many other things to do around the studio and time management can be an issue. With all these other little jobs keeping us away from our easels, I do often wonder how other pet portrait artists manage their days. I see artists posting artwork regularly on Facebook and Instagram. I am in awe of how they manage to create artwork and post constantly in a timely manor. Kudos to them all. So how do they time manage? How do YOU time manage?

What Are Our Daily Studio Jobs?

There are always so many other jobs to do.
Communication – Daily emailing and replying to clients, messaging clients on WhatsApp even when they message at 9pm in the evening!
Administrative Tasks – Creating mock-ups, recreating mock-ups after client feedback, emailing quotes. Taking photos of the portraits in progress, emailing the clients the progress photos and chatting to them. Taking photos of the completed portraits and emailing, more photos of the portraits in their presentation boxes, videoing the portraits, emailing photos of the portraits to clients. Packing portraits, booking portraits with the courier.
Business Tasks – Invoicing clients, preparing commissions with their correct paper and canvas sizes and boxes, ordering materials and packaging materials.
Accounting – Inputting invoices and bills into the accounts program… fathoming the accounts program and doing yearly accounts.
Web design – Updating the websites, writing the blog!
Deliveries and collections – During the day ‘hot footing’ it up the garden, from the studio to the cottage, to answer the door to deliveries.
Studio Maintenance – Keeping the studio clean and organized is essential.
…..Oh and drawing and painting….!!!

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management

Scheduled Appointments

Of course its not just all about about Pet Portrait Artists Time Management in our every day job. Other things creep in to our day that we have to manage. Everyone has scheduled appointments, whether it be doctors, dentist, hairdresser, dog groomers etc and they are not easy to schedule in to a busy full time job and quiet often things are unable to be scheduled for weekends. I’m sure it’s even worse if you have kids.

As we live rurally, most appointments take a long time to drive to. For instance dropping Lily off for grooming, there is no point in coming back home, so I wait around for her and often have lunch or do shopping while waiting. It’s then not easy to head back to the studio and settle right back into drawing after each appointment either. You have to be in the right headspace to create.

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management And House Chores?

Are there any pet portrait artists reading this working from home, ever tempted to do household chores during the day? Working from home means house chores can creep into my workday very easily. I remember chatting to a budding artist who had a part time job but wanted to leave to be an artist full time. She explained excitedly that she was really looking forward to it and she would be really firm and stay in her dedicated workroom and not do any housework to take her away from her work.

If she has managed this, she is a better girl than me! I find myself hoovering, putting dishes away, cleaning and if it’s a nice day I am always going to put the washing on to take advantage of a good drying day. We live in Wales after all and it rains too many days of the year to miss a sunny day.

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management With Friends

Answering the door or accepting video calls to friends and family takes time and often happens during our work day. Although I wouldn’t change this, as I love all of our friends and neighbours dearly, it can be an interruption. We also often take days off during the week to meet up with friends too, especially in the summer months when friends travel to Wales for holidays. Days off are great but we have to make sure we try to catch up for time missed.

Weekends and Lunch Breaks

As a pet portrait artist, do you eat and work at the same time? I used to work in front of the computer doing our pet portrait admin, but I now give myself the pleasure of watching a tv show or YouTube while I eat. It’s a complete break and takes me away from the day. The problem is, when you have no boss.. self discipline is key. Who decides when its time to turn the film off???

Do other pet portrait artists have weekends off? We used to work pretty much 24/7 – every single day whether is was a weekend or a Bank Holiday. Now we are getting older I think it is important to have some time away from the studio…..even though we are busy and always behind! It’s just nice to be able to get up on a Sunday and think.. where shall we go today?!

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management and Fitting in Exercise

Exercise never used to be a thing for me. Nicholas would workout in our little home Gym daily but I never had the inclination o do so…. until I got the bug for running and now also do workouts too. The problem is, this can also take up time in my working day. I have scheduled runs twice a week with friends and a workout session with another friend once a week. I am not inclined to run at 6am like some, so an 8 or 9 am start is more my style. However by the time i get back and have showered, the morning is half way gone!

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management

So how as Pet Portrait Artists, can we time manage effectively?

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management – Scheduling – I think creating a schedule, or keeping a to do list can help. I love writing lists. I have oodles of scrap paper here from offcuts for work and I am pretty old school, I love hand writing them and then having the great satisfaction of crossing them out or scrunching the paper and throwing it away!

If you prefer to go digital though there are loads of apps. I haven’t found the perfect app yet, so if you have one, comment below and let me know what it is! Some of the apps I have tried are below

Evernote: Note-taking and task management
TickTick: Embedded calendars and timers
WorkFlowy: Great for organizing notes
TrackingTime: Best for visual time tracking
Remember The Milk: A classic to-do list app
Todoist: Balances power and simplicity

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management Tips

Treating your job like a 9-5 – I have been reading online that you can literally treat your job like an office 9-5 job, by turning off your phone, ignoring the dirty dishes in the sink. Setting yourself time goals like starting and finishing by a certain time works well. Plus an hour for lunch. But I’m not sure I can really bring myself to walk past a messy kitchen!

Set times for certain jobs – I think this is a good idea. Instead of randomly thinking.. I need some canvases and sit and order them, write the job down and save it for admin jobs at the end of the day. This can give you an extra 15 minutes artwork time in the day without interruption.

Avoid Multitasking – While it might seem like you’re getting more done, I have been reading multitasking can actually slow you down. I am now trying to focus on one task at a time. Much to the surprise of Nicholas who always said women could multitask!

Batch Similar Tasks – I have tried to group similar tasks together in the past to minimize switching. For example, handle emails, messages, and administrative tasks in specific time blocks, or pack portraits at the end of the day and then tidy the studio or your work area tidy, ready for the following day.

Limit Distractions – As we have spoken above, trying to minimize the amount of distractions during your dedicated work time might help. Turn off unnecessary notifications. Put on some music, a podcast or audio book, to allow you to focus on drawing or painting. I love listening to podcasts or audio books while I’m working. This does help me focus and stay at my desk longer.

Pet Portrait Artists Time Management
Pet Portrait Artists Time Management

Everyone’s work style is different and it’s important to find a routine that works best for you. And yes, being a pet portrait artist is as amazing as it sounds, but like any job, it comes with its own set of challenges. I definitely think I could handle my time management differently, as our lives and work life is a little chaotic at times. But we wouldn’t change our job for the world!

If you would like to read my previous business blog post about Website Tips For Pet Portrait Artists head over and check it out. If readers have a specific subject they would like discussed here in our pet portraits business section, let us know.

We hope you have enjoyed reading Pet Portrait Artists Time Management blog post. Don’t forget to leave a comment about your own time management.

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