Self employed artists, owning their own successes and failures.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Guilt Free - Quality Art
As a working artist, it is very easy to constantly jump from project to project cranking out art. That’s how you get paid after all, and most people I know like to get paid. Especially starting out and working for lower-paying clients, it’s not uncommon for artists to take on lots of low-paying jobs, using the quantity to make up for the quality of pay.
I tried that for a while myself, and it didn’t work out so well. You either sacrifice the quality of the work (which means it won’t be good enough for your portfolio and won’t get you better jobs) or you sacrifice sleep (a little sleep deprivation here and there is fine, but do it too often and you’ll end up passing out in your bathroom floor waking up to your wife hovering over you in a panic!). I chose to sacrifice sleep and did, in fact, end up on said floor.
Once I realized that what I really needed to focus on was upping the quality of my work, I slowed my work schedule just enough so that every piece can be better than the last and I can still sleep. As a result I do have to say, “No” occasionally when a job comes my way that’s a bad fit or a bad deadline, but in the end, I think the steady increase in the quality of my work speaks for itself.
One concern many might have is that if you’re working less, you’re getting paid less. In my experience, the higher quality of the work means selling more prints, originals, and other items, as well as getting higher paying gigs. All of which more than makes up for the initial loss in pay.
If your goal is to improve each and every painting, then figure out the work load you can handle to make sure you’re producing quality work and tending to your health. In the long run, both your career and body will thank you.