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  • Ellie Lovett

Finding the balance between 'Creative' and 'Business' time

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

How many of us who are self- employed creators, feel like the split between having time to be creative, and run a business is heavily outweighed when you think of all we have to do to keep business afloat?

Being self-employed, running a small business and selling your own creations isn’t easy and it can feel like you’re swamped with so much to do with just the ‘business’ side of things, that it can feel challenging to find the actual time to be creative. I mean, let's face it, you’re not only the creator, but you're also everything to your business. The days I feel like I’ve not lifted up a pencil, or brush and sat on my tablet working on emails, promotions, content, social, planning, finances, printing. It's never ending isn't it!?

My little girl has just started school and it’s like another world of work - don't get me wrong I love it, I love that she loves school and is getting on well, but wow there is a lot to remember, and lots to get involved in, which is great, but again, it squeezes on time. As a mum of one, fitting in hours around school drop off / pick up is a routine that I’m still getting used to, plus having the brain capacity to think of everything can take its toll sometimes. A constant spin of many plates of business as usual, working on art pieces and commissions, remembering everything when it comes to school, family and running the house with my hubby. I Know I might sound like I'm moaning - I'm not - I promise. Life is busy and that's no bad thing, it's just needs to be managed, and I genuinely feel like I've found my groove and keeping a level head on it all - I think lol

Anyway, back to topic. There is no doubt that being a full-time artist and small business is hard work. Honestly, how many of you feel like you spend maybe 30% on creating art and 70% on promotion, marketing, finances, and everything else a small business throws at you? Maybe it’s 50 / 50? I’ve noticed I can spend a significant amount of time on ‘business’ - but in reality, that’s kind of what to expect isn't it? If you’re truly thinking with your business head on, investing a chunk of time to promote products, market your business, use insight to guide your strategic decisions is the right thing to do? - Don't you think? Do we all feel like that? Let me know…

If you do feel like this, I definitely feel less alone here. I can have days where I’ll sit for hours, updating platforms, adding listings, promotion, updating websites, social planning etc - not to mention finance, reporting, analyzing and all that jazz. I mean thank goodness for being able to access things on phone, tablet and laptop - it does make it easier and more accessible to work anywhere and around other priorities in our lives.

That all said, when I go in the studio and work on commissions or my own personal work, it’s lovely. Some weeks I can be in there all week, and other times it’s 1 - 3 days. No matter how much time is spent on ‘creative time’, it’s always nice to be doing what I love. It brings me calm, focus and genuinely a happy feeling inside to be in my creative space and producing art for myself and for others. I feel so lucky to be able to do it.

I’ve blogged before about the importance of art and the link between it and positive mental health [] and I talk about how art, as well as being a huge passion of mine, also helps me manage my anxiety and well-being. It can have huge benefits to our mental health and support us when we’re struggling. Whether you create art for a living, or as a hobby - it really is a great activity to have and use for positive mental health and wellness.

So how do you feel when you’re juggling ‘business’ with being ‘creative’. Does time seem to pass you by? How much time do you spend on ‘creating your beautiful pieces’ vs how much time does it takes to do everything else ‘business’ wise? I’d genuinely love to know. I don’t think I'm the only one feeling this and I’d love to hear what solutions other creators have and any small businesses that have found this article helpful, or of interest that would like to discuss the topic.

I’ve just realised I’ve spent a few hours working on this blog :-) so as we’re on the subject of creative and business balance, I’m off to grab a cuppa and hit the studio…

Bye for now x

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