How to Fix Your Work-Life Balance for Artistic Success

Artwork Archive | February 22, 2017 (Updated April 12, 2021)

For artists, separating work from life can be especially difficult. Since the creative process is ongoing, the stress that comes along with it can seep into everyday life.

To move past that and continue creating, try these strategies to build positive habits and set boundaries.

Change Your Schedule Into a Rhythm

In general, our bodies and minds function best when we develop rhythms for activity and leisure. This applies to eating, sleeping, and creating. Your schedule doesn’t need to be robotic, but consistency is important to establish boundaries between productivity and leisure.

Instead of squeezing in studio time at random, try to look ahead in the week and pick meaningful chunks of time you can be there. It’s even better if these can be repeated week after week. With a structure in place, your leisure time will be more leisurely and creative time more creative.

You can’t force creativity. If you’re on schedule but at a creative loss, try to accomplish something on the less creative side of your art business. Tidy up your studio, upload your latest piece to Artwork Archive, update your website, or work on your newsletter.

Designate a Creative Space

Having studio space away from your home can be helpful to some artists, but take the time to think about if a separate art studio fits with your workflow.

If a separate studio isn’t in your budget or you enjoy working from home, there are steps you can take to delineate these spaces. Build mental space by taking a walk prior to studio-time. Consider keeping a candle in your studio that you light when starting the creative process. These small rituals are cues to your brain that help smooth the transition from leisure to creative work. Adjusting the lighting and music in your studio can also be a mental signal that you're shifting from home to workspace.

Try to avoid dragging distractions between these two spaces. Minimize trips back and forth by keeping a pitcher of water in your studio or setting up a table with your favorite teas and an electric kettle. Even if it’s a repurposed sun porch or shed out back, your studio is your creative space — so make it comfortable and special!

Engage With Your Peers

The creative process can be an isolating one, but talking to fellow artists is a wonderful way to get a fresh take on creative problems and come up with new ideas. Networking is an important art business skill, so this is an area where you can make strides in your personal and professional life simultaneously. Consider hosting a monthly artists dinner, and look up upcoming events at art spaces in your city.

You can also connect with artists from around the world online. Facebook groups like The Artist’s Entrepreneur Network give artists a space to share their thoughts and advice. Look into specific forums and groups for your medium and you may find a vibrant, diverse community.

Finally, Embrace Some Flexibility

The last thing you want is to introduce more stress into the equation by berating yourself for failing to adhere to a schedule or missing a work day. Allow some wiggle room in your routine, but stick to things enough to build your main productivity objectives into habits.

Free Up Time for What Matters!

Give yourself room to grow your business, hone your craft and create amazing things. Artwork Archive’s inventory management system and business tools help you run your art business like a professional so you can focus on what matters.

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