Hey everyone, So I thought it would be a good exercise for both myself and maybe others for me to write down my average day as a freelance artist and taxidermist. Of course, being a jack of many trades means that my days vary to a large extent. However, I do have a general pattern that I try to keep to. And so here it is!
First things first! I make sure to always write my to-do-list the night before. This helps me think about my projects a little, and also makes sure I don't forget anything. I learned a technique from an entrepreneur online named Alex Jeffreys: his information on time management is absolutely amazing and really changed my life. My technique now is to make a list of everything I need to do in that day. After that, I assign each task to an A, B or C list. The meaning of this list is as follows:
A - Are tasks that are directly linked to making profit, and moving forward. These are the most important tasks, and all, if not most of this list should be tackled first.
B - Are tasks that are important, but can be put off to no ill effect. These often move up to A within a few days.
C - Are tasks that are not important, but may benefit me in some way. If I don't end up having time for them, they sometimes get deleted.
I am also looking into task manager apps such as Wunderlist, to help improve my organization.
I also have a large A4 hardback day-by-day diary in which I write important tasks, events, deadlines and appointments. I keep these on my blackberry phone too.
I will not lie and state that I wake up at 5.00am every day and have completed a project by 9; I am not particularly a morning person (something I am trying to work on), and I tend to wake up casually around 9-10am.
I grab a shower, take medication and eat breakfast. Oh, and coffee, I cannot do without coffee!
Next I check all my emails via Thunderbird, check messages and notes on all my online galleries and may browse some forums. This is my 'wake-up' time, and sets me for the day.
I check my task list for the day and mentally decide the order of things that I need to accomplish in that day.
Around 11am I start on customer work, this usually consists of commissioned anthro/furry art. I will also tend to start commission sketches so that I can email them to clients, with hope that they may reply the same day, so that I can make edits and move further.
I try to work in blocks of 30 minutes to an hour, and keep an eye on the time. This helps me with knowing what to charge in the future - as I charge for work up front.
While I work I will tend to listen to podcasts, documentaries, TV shows or music. I love the fact I can learn new things everyday whilst drawing! This is called doubling my time, according to Chris Oakley!
I take around 20 projects at a time of different size. This is a lot, but it helps me with a change of work and stuff from time to time.
I will also take specimens out of the freezer for taxidermy, but that is for another blog :)
Around 1pm I take a break and make lunch, usually a sandwich. I check my emails and messages again. Sometimes I will just take out a sketchpad and doodle as I watch a tv show. This is just to keep my creative juices flowing.
Around this time I usually edit my 'incomings' and 'outgoings' in Excel, from my Paypal records. I run a small ebay business on the side, and usually have a sale or two every couple of days.
In the afternoon I once again tackle client work. Sometimes this is the same piece as the morning, as it is not unusual for artwork to take me 6-8 hours or more. Again I watch and listen to things to make the working day easier and more interesting for me.
Around 4pm I often take another break, making tea or coffee and maybe a snack. At this time my energy peak is usually starting to wane a little, so I look at other artist's work, galleries, journals etc I may also save reference pictures from google or deviantart.
Evenings are where my energy tends to peak, and I can complete a lot of work. If I am not working on client work, I am working on crafts or personal artwork for my portfolio. I find it a lot easier to work in the evenings as I find there is less interruption from my fiancee and family/friends. Unfortunately though, this means if someone contacts me about coming around whilst I am in my 'zone', I will often decline!
Evenings are also the time where I take a moment to update blogs, galleries, review terms of service and update facebook, twitter and the website (as well as in my breaks).
I have no 'end time' in work, I can finish from 6pm to 2am - it depends on my energy, other commitments such as having to get up early for an appointment, and my workload.
So there you go - a very brief description of what my day consists of, but I hope that it interests and helps you in some way :)
If anyone has any questions please contact me at email@example.com