Four things I do every day as a full-time Artist & Business Owner:
I absolutely love my planner. I use it to help me prioritize my week, organize my events, and schedule deadlines. I use The Maker’s Yearbook and love the way it has you record your monthly goal and the steps to get there, as well as a weekly goal each week. This method helps me stay focused on the bigger picture as well as the day-to-day tasks that come up. You can find me writing in my planner every day, or at least referring to it. I am also big into journaling! I have a separate journal (actually like 11), that I write in on a semi-daily basis. Sometimes I go into it with a topic in mind, but it usually turns into freeform ideas. Lots of those ideas never quite turn into anything, but many of them do. Journaling helps me stay creative, check in with myself, and come up with new realizations.
2. Create Art
You might’ve guessed, but as a full-time artist I do actually create quite a bit of art. I find I have the most creative energy in the morning-afternoon, so I use this knowledge about myself to dedicate that time to create. What I’m actually creating varies depending on the day. If I have outstanding custom orders those will usually take precedence so that I can meet deadlines. Otherwise, I spend a lot of time creating art for the next upcoming season. So, if it’s summer I’ll be working on my fall collection. If it’s fall, my winter holiday collection, and so forth. With stationery in particular (but retail in general) there is a huge emphasis on holidays. The majority of my sales happen around a holiday, because that’s when most people are out buying cards and gifts. It’s important to capitalize (lol, capitalism) on this as a shop owner and make the most of the holiday seasons! I also plan in time for free-doodling to generate new ideas, or create art that just sparks my interest and isn’t attached to an end-goal.
3. Package Orders & Answer Messages
It’s not every single day for me that I have orders and messages ready to tend to, but it is true for the majority of days. I have an online shop using Shopify which is also linked through my Instagram and Facebook, and I have a separate Etsy storefront, as well as a shop on Faire. Between these few ways for people to find my business, I stay pretty busy. I package all of my orders from home in my dedicated studio room. I print all of my greeting cards and art prints made-to-order (unless I have left over pre-printed from an art market) using my Canon Pixma Pro 200 printer. My stickers, magnets, and buttons on the other hand are stocked in my inventory. So, when I receive an order, I pull from my cabinets to fulfill the order. Shopify and Etsy both give sellers an option to print shipping labels directly from their sites, and I use this option since they offer a postal discount and I invested in a label printer to make the process extra simple. I have a cabinet that contains envelopes, mailers of varying sizes, hard mailers for art-prints, t-shirt boxes, packaging tape, thank you notes waiting to be written, and complimentary stickers for customers. I pull from there to package up orders and use my custom mail holder I purchased from my friend’s business, The Cozy Tangerine, to hold all of my mail until I make it to the Post Office.
4. Social Media
I primarily use Instagram to promote my business with a touch of TikTok and Facebook. I post daily content—mostly because I find it fun, but also because it’s a huge driver for my sales! I have my Instagram linked to my Shopify storefront which allows customers to shop my art directly from Instagram without actually having to go to my website. Businesses can apply for this feature as long as you have your own website URL (separate from Etsy), that Instagram can link to. Now when you post shop content, you can tag the products featured in your posts and also share your shop link easily on your story. This feature generates a lot of business for me, which adds extra incentive for me to use Instagram daily. I create a mixture of content from product features, behind the scenes, art just because, event or workshop info, funny reels, and insight into my life. I think it’s important for your business social media platforms to be a mix of professional & informative while also showing your personality and coming across as real and genuine.
Other tasks that sporadically find themselves in my work week:
Writing blog posts, updating my website, searching for calls for entry at gallery exhibitions and local art markets to vend at, ordering inventory, managing my money, attending art markets and hosting workshops, photographing new products, making IG reels, and connection calls.
At this point in my business’s life (coming up on 3 years), I find my work-life balance is better than ever. After all of this I still have a heart-warming amount of time to spend hanging out with my partner, working out, doing fun things for myself (roller-skating, watching Netflix, reading), talking to friends and family, and taking care of my apartment. It hasn’t always felt like this. I feel really grateful that my business allows me the time and flexibility to dedicate myself to other aspects of my life. That is one of my utmost favorite things about my routine and my business.
P.S. I am participating in @lauraklinke_art 's daily art challenge on Instagram called #growtober22 and focused today's blog post topic using today's prompt, "routine". Check out more of my #growtober22 creations on Instagram @quirky_burp! <3