A Day in the Life of an Artist

Hello folks!

Although I've been freelancing for over a decade now, this will be the first full year that I am solely an independent artist without other part-time obligations, however small. I know a lot of people wonder what an artist does all day, so I thought I would share my typical day. Although no day is exactly typical for a freelancer!

I get up between 7-8am, make a cup of tea, and sit with my cat for a while as I check my email and social media, or sometimes just read. I'm more productive in the morning, and used to get right to work as soon as I woke up, but now the cat demands some cuddle time first. I can often cross a few little things off my to-do list if they can be done from my phone.

Then I start my daily workout, which consists of some yoga stretches and light dumbbell exercises. These are carry-overs from the many times I've been to physical therapy for repetitive stress injuries or other artwork-related pains. If I don't exercise before I start work, I will procrastinate and never get around to it. I used to resent the time this takes from my day, but now I view it as just another task that I need to do to keep my business running, like bookkeeping or updating my website. If I neglect my body, it won't be capable of doing the tasks that I demand of it. Some days I will then add a longer workout, usually weight lifting or cycling, but I start every day with the therapeutic exercises.

I start work between 10am and noon, depending on my workout. I take care of whatever item has the closest deadline first- typically packing up orders from Etsy or my wholesale clients. During the busy holiday season, this might take most of my week.
I also work with clients on commissioned design work, usually juggling a few projects at a time so that I can switch to work on a second project while I wait for feedback on the first.
I prefer to keep my morning momentum going as long as possible and take a late lunch, because I tend to slow down a bit after lunch. I'll sprinkle in a few of those annoying little tasks that only take a few minutes, like logging receipts, updating my online shop, or ordering supplies. If I need to go to the post office or meet with a client, I prefer to do this in the early afternoon. Anything that takes me out of the house helps me overcome that afternoon lull. Or I'll do something more physical, like framing artwork or unpacking supplies, where I don't have to focus as much until I get my second wind.
If I have some time after getting more essential work done, I will work on a new painting or poster. I go through my reference photos, do some sketches, a small colors study or two, and then plan out the final piece. I have been trying to film myself painting so that I can share time-lapse videos of my process- these also take time to edit. It also takes time to research exhibition opportunities, submit applications, deliver to and pick up work from galleries... a lot of time goes into selling artwork outside of how long it took just to paint.
I usually finish my day between 5-7pm, depending on whether I'm cooking dinner or just heating up leftovers. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic, so I've had to give myself a policy of no work after dinner or on the weekends (except in special cases like an exhibit opening or a weekend event). 
Work/life balance is important. And again, my cat has a standing reservation for my lap in the evening, and will whine and bother me if I head back into the studio after dinner. 

Every day is different, but I love having the flexibility to arrange my time in the way that works best for me.

Thank you all for following me through this newsletter and social media! I couldn't do what I do without you folks. Your support has meant everything to me, especially throughout this pandemic. Whether that means buying artwork, giving feedback on new work that I post, or just keeping in touch- it keeps me going. And I hope I've done something to brighten your days as well.
Until next time!
Copyright © 2010-2022 Catherine LaPointe Vollmer, All rights reserved.

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Lionheart Graphics · 8242 US Hwy 11 · Potsdam, NY 13676 · USA

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