THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST
Outsourcing your cleaning is actually the first thing that you should outsource. And if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have the money for that,” I’m going to question that belief. I want you to value your time. I want you to value your time as much as you value your artwork. Because what happens with a lot of my clients is, over the period of time that they worked with me, they’ve learned to value their art, they’re raising their prices on their art, but they’re not increasing the value they place on their own time.
It’s the Inspiration Place podcast, with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place podcast, an art world inside a podcast for artist by an artist, where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now, your host, Miriam Schulman.
Well, hey there, it’s Miriam Schulman here, your curator of inspiration and your host of the Inspiration Place podcast. You’re listening to episode number 222, and I am so thrilled that you’re here. Today we’re talking about how to find time for your art as this is something that comes up a lot with my Artists Incubator clients.
First of all, I just want to say a quick shout-out to my listeners who are my clients. If you think I’m talking about you, I am, but I’m also talking about all the other artists I’ve coached over the years who have come to me with the same exact problem. So please don’t feel like you’re being singled out. You are not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is something that comes up over, and over, and over again, which is why I’m talking about it on the podcast.
Okay. So, how to find time for art. And people, honestly, would think there shouldn’t be an issue to find time to do something that you like, but the truth is that actually can really be tough for a lot of people for an assortment of reasons. I’ve actually… Today, we’re boiling it down to the top three reasons that get in the way of people painting and how to solve for them. So we’re going to talk about that.
But before we dive into that, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you like what I have to say and you want me to coach you, I can’t. I get a lot of DMs on Instagram and I really can’t coach you in the Dms. Most of the time, the reason is because it would take more than a paragraph to really help you because I need to ask you questions and it’s a back and forth. And also, it’s just not fair to the people who pay me to get coached for me to do it for free. Also, I want to find time to create, and paint, and do those things, and I just can’t do it if I’m coaching people for free.
So, what does that mean? I would love for to coach you inside the Artists Incubator. We do have two tracks. One is very affordable. It is the Self Study track, and we also have the Artist Accelerator track that is a new track. I used to call it the Mastermind. The only thing that’s really changed is the commitment length of time. So you can work with me for three months and get as much as you can out of a very intense experience. And I would love to help you, really help you. So if you’ve been nibbling around the edges, come in for a full slice of pie. I would love to coach you and really help you see results, though you can get the kind of results that you’re looking for in the rest of 2022, and ’23, and beyond. So, to learn what I’m offering at the moment, head on over to schulmanart.com, schulmanart.com/biz. That’s in the letter B as in boy, I as in ice cream, Z as in zebra. Okay. Now on with the show.
All right. As I said before, there’s about three major reasons why you are not finding time to do what you love to do. And I am going to go through these from the most obvious to the least. The easiest fix for a lot of people is to get an accountability system. This is like for the same reason that you might join a book group. You like to read, but you really won’t make yourself read even though you enjoy reading unless you have a book group to go to. So just like some people join book groups, plus the fact that it’s social and you get to meet people, other people join painting groups.
There’s a couple of different ways you can do this. You can just start your own group. If you have a place to paint, you can invite a friend over to your studio for a painting play date. One very common way that artists do solve this problem is to sign up for what I call… I don’t think it’s called this, but you sign up for what I call low instruction art classes. And the thing to look for, and many art centers have this, they call them open studio art classes. So you’re basically paying for the studio space at designated time. So this could be ceramic open studio. This could be drawing open studio, any of those types of things, or even an art class where there is instruction, but it’s very light. And you’ll find that people who sign up for those classes are generally doing it because, A, it’s cheaper than paying for a monthly studio fee. And they know that at least once a week, they’re forced to go to an art studio where that is all they’re going to do for the next couple of hours. And with a lot of these places, some of them take place in universities, some take place in art centers, you will be able to store your artwork there, whether that’s sculpture, ceramics, or painting.
This also works if you are a writer, join a writing group. Those of you who are writer, poets. I know a lot of poets, actually. A surprising number of poets I know in my life, actually, which I think is kind of funny, and they do writing groups. They do writing groups. So it’s nice to have the feedback, but they’re also doing it for the accountability of it.
One of my friends… I’ll share her first name because I don’t have permission to share her full name, but her name is Bonnie and she’s a published poet. She starts a poem every Monday. And I forget which day her writing group is. I think it’s Thursday, but she’ll write on it all week knowing that she has until Thursday to present either a new poem or changes in her poem.
So works for writing groups, dancers. Obviously, a lot of dancers take dance classes, even accomplish dancers because they like the bar time. This is the reason why people join gyms. They need a place. But even more so than gyms, it’s like the personal training. It’s that whole accountability structure around it.
So let’s put that all in bucket number one, that you need some accountability system, either a group of people who you’ve made a commitment to, and perhaps it also comes with a place to paint if you don’t or create. I always tend to go to painters, but you could be a writer, a sculptor, a ceramicist, any of those creative activities. You need a place to create your art. So an accountability system.
Reason number two, I’m going to call this that you’re trying to do everything yourself. Now, when I share this as the reason, a lot of artists assume that I mean you need to hire help, like a virtual assistant. And yes, I do think you will need to do that, especially as you try to grow your business. I call them the business babysitters. The most cost effective way to do this is to find some teenager who can help you with managing your art, doing the menial task or a virtual assistant.
All that is great, but what I’ve noticed with a lot of artists is that they really need somebody else even before the virtual assistant. And a recent client said to me, “Oh, I don’t even know what to give a virtual assistant.” And you may feel that way. That may feel true to you. I don’t think that is true, by the way. But even before you start to bring on an assistant, because here’s the truth about bringing on an assistant. If you have 10 things on your to-do list and you give your assistant five of them, it’s not that you suddenly only have five things to do because now you actually have six things to do, or even seven things because your sixth thing is train your assistant and your seven thing is manage your assistant. So you went from 10 things… By giving your assistant five things, you went from 10 things down to seven.
There is something much more important that you need to outsource first, and that is the housework. Now, men don’t seem to have a problem outsourcing this. They either find a wife who has been conditioned to believe that she’s supposed to do everything, or they get help with it, or they have a very messy house or apartment. Now I’m in an apartment. I don’t assume everybody lives in a house anymore, by the way. Outsourcing your cleaning is actually the first thing that you should outsource. And if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have the money for that,” I’m going to question that belief. I want you to value your time. I want you to value your time as much as you value your artwork because what happens with a lot of my clients is, over the period of time that they worked with me, they’ve learned to value their art, they’re raising their prices on their art, but they’re not increasing the value they place on their own time. And that’s why they’re still doing these things themselves. They’re still doing these menial tasks that could be handed off to a business babysitter. They’re still cleaning their own sinks and toilets instead of paying someone else to do it.
And there’s some people who really could use the money doing that. And if you could pay somebody 20 or $30 an hour and you make more than 20, $30 an hour, even if it’s not through your art. So if you’re still at your nine to five and you make more than that per hour, then paying somebody else to clean your house, even before you’re bringing in income for your artwork, means that you value the time that it takes to create the artwork. You’re putting a value on it. Even if you haven’t left your nine to five job, just outsourcing their cleaning is going to give you more time to create art, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Now, in addition to cleaning, some of the other obvious things then are laundry, especially if you have sons or messy boys who live in your house. Laundry is a great thing to outsource. If the cleaning person comes, they can do their laundry for you a lot of times. If not, that is something that could be sent out. Dry cleaning can be sent out. You can send out laundry. So that is an area that can be outsourced to buy you some time. Everything’s a time money equation. So if you’re doing those things yourself, you may be saving money, but you are taking away time you could be used to create your art.
And then the third category I’m going to offer you is food. That is something that I started outsourcing… It was definitely before the pandemic. It was around the time I became vegetarian. So I want to say that’s about five years ago. I went to a reception in New York City and the reception was catered by Sakara, which is a food delivery service that is available in the United States. It’s vegan. It’s gluten free. And I signed up for their trial after that book event. I think it was a Gabby Bernstein book event, and I think she’s vegan, and that’s why they did that. So that saves me a lot of time. I get 10 meals delivered a week, and I share some of them with my husband. Sometimes I’ll extend. If they send me this glutenin free bean pasta, maybe I’ll add a can of beans to it or some spinach to it. So I’m not starting from scratch. And I feel so much better because I have healthy food.
Now, you’re not vegan and you’re not gluten free, you can find a meal just delivery service that serves you. But again, when you look at the price, think about what is my time worth? How much time am I spending right now making food? For me, it wasn’t even so much that, is what was happening with me is because I didn’t have the time to make healthy meals for myself. I wasn’t making healthy meals for myself. So I was eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly. So that is what the food delivery service really helps me eat healthy. And that is not just saving me time during my day, but it’s probably extending my life because I’m eating more fruits and vegetables and eating better.
That’s reason number two. You’re trying to do everything yourself, whether that means getting a virtual assistant, outsourcing the cleaning, the laundry, the food, whatever you can afford to outsource. Value your time. If you can spend more time creating and less time doing housework or admin tasks, you’re going to feel a lot better. And you’ll have more energy because, remember, it’s not just about having more time to do what you want to do, it’s also about managing your energy. Because if I gave you a four… If I said, okay… You’ve heard that everyone has 24 hours in a day, but even if I said I can wave my magic wand and presto, you have 28 hours, you have 28 hours, that’s not going to help you.
Let’s go to the land where you’re somebody who does have a full-time job, or even if you don’t have a full-time job, maybe you’re taking care of parents or children or whatever, if you have another commitment that’s taking a lot of energy, and then, on top of that, you have to do all these other tasks yourself, and then, whatever’s left in your gas tank, you want to use from your art for your art, you don’t have much gas in your tank left because even if I could give you more time, I can’t give you more energy. So it’s not just about managing your time, it’s also about managing your energy. Okay. So that’s reason number two.
Reason number three is avoidance because of fears. This fears can come into many different categories. If you find yourself doing any form or procrastination, so that would be binging Netflix, procrast to snacking, phone addiction, maybe it’s porn addiction, all these things are forms of avoidance. And if you’re doing that, you got to ask yourself, “Why am I avoiding creating artwork? Why am I avoiding creating my writing? Why am I avoiding doing my dance? Why am I avoiding doing these things that I know I love to do and that will make me happy?” And a lot of times, it comes down because a fear, fear of failure at your work. You’re avoiding your work because of the risks and anxiety that come up in the creative practice.
I know when I was writing my book, there were a lot of hard decisions I had to make. And sometimes I just had to say to myself, “Seed in the chair, words on the page,” ugly words. Doesn’t matter. Sometimes that fear of not being good enough, fear of failure, and also some things that come up that it’s a little more subtle. So even if you say, “I don’t have those problems,” there are some more subtle things that I see come up with clients and artists I speak to. And that is they avoid their work because their art isn’t selling. Oh, what’s the point? So they get this existentialism.
So I’m putting that avoidance, even though it’s not exactly a fear, I’m putting… Reason number three is really avoidance. You’re avoiding emotions. So you’re avoiding maybe the emotions of having that existential angst. What’s the point of working because I’m not selling? Or another thing that comes up is you’re not sure what direction your art is going in. That’s something I’m very familiar with right now because during that pandemic, I shifted away from creating the watercolors that I know I’m good at, and I know I’m known for, and that I know are marketable for me, and I’ve been working on abstract art. So sometimes you have an avoidance because you’re taking a new direction in your art. So you have to really work hard with that mindset.
Now, this is why coaching is so valuable because inside the Artists Incubator, we have a two-pronged approach. I have Sean helping me coach the artist with their mindset, and I also coach them around, not just mindset, but also with strategy.
Sometimes the core of why you’re having a problem looks like it’s a strategy issue when really it’s a mindset issue. And sometimes something maybe feels like a mindset issue. There’s really some strategy behind it. And we help you with both. So if you’re avoiding working on your art because you’re not selling, let us help you with that. We’ve got a very successful and proven Artists Incubator program. And I’ve had hundreds of artists go through this system and they’ve doubled their income, or they’ve added 10,000 more per year in their income, or they’ve been able to cut down on the number of days they’ve been working on their other job because their art is selling more. These results are real, and I invite you to come look at those results. I have them sprinkled out throughout the page that tells you about the Artists Incubator Coaching options that we have, that we offer.
So if you go to schulmanart.com/biz, you can click on a bunch of different videos, pick somebody who maybe looks like you, see what they have to say. We have people of all ages. We have men and women. We have people from all over the world, every ethnic background, and lots of different kinds of art. So if you’re having trouble making time for your art, finding time for your art because you have problem selling it or you have mindset issues, let us help you.
All right. Let’s go over those three things again. Reason number one, you need an accountability system. Reason number two, you’re trying to do everything yourself. Reason number three, you’re avoiding emotions.
All right. Don’t forget, if you like this episode, you’re going to love the Artists Incubator Coaching Program. Go to schulmanart.com/biz to check it out.
And actually, I do have a freebie for you too. If you have not downloaded the Artist’s Profit Plan, what are you waiting for? That is totally free. And we do go over five of the biggest mistakes that artists make and what to do to fix them. So if you’re looking for a quick fix to help you sell more art and get rid of some of these mindset blocks, we’ve got you covered with that. So go download the Artist Profit Plan, go to schulmanart.com/profit. We will have that linked in the show notes. Go to schulmanart.com/222.
All right, my friend, thank you so much for being with me here today. I’ll see you same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.
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