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8 Sensible Projects for Artists: Things to Do When You’ve got Time on Your Hands

It happens to all of us at some point—one art show ends, and the next is half a year away. Or perhaps you’ve recently finished a few commission pieces and there’s not a single other buyer on the horizon. Heck, maybe you’re just waiting for the paint to dry on your latest painting.

Whatever the reason, there are often “lulls” in the art business—but there’s absolutely no reason to let those “lulls” make us unproductive.

So if you find yourself with some extra time on your hands (and you’re not in the middle of a painting) here’s a list of projects that just might hit the spot.

1. Attend a workshop or art class. Pick a new medium you’ve always wanted to try (or flash your portfolio around a few local art stores and see if they’d like YOU to host a workshop). Either way you’ll get something out of it.

2. Update your business cards. And if you’ve never really gotten around to that, then design and print ’em for the first time. You might need to update (or create) the logo, add your new website or art blog to the card, or just print off another batch to hand out.

3. Make a list of galleries to approach—and by that I mean make a list of galleries which show similar types of artwork to your own. If you’re feeling gutsy, walk in with your portfolio and see what happens. Or just visit as many galleries as you can, get to know the managers or owners, and start making a list of potential people you need to network with. Wouldn’t hurt to hand out those new business cards either. : )

4. Update your portfolio. I don’t know if “entropy” is the right word for it (it’s the one that kept coming to mind) but most portfolios do tend to go downhill over time. Odds are you’ve improved or changed as an artist since you last compiled your portfolio—see if it needs freshening up.

5. While you’re at it, update your website too. If you don’t have a website, think about putting up an art blog, a portfolio site, or just joining an art community online.

6. Clean out your studio—or reorganize and redecorate it like you’ve always wanted to. Throw out old paint and old brushes if you never use them, and restock everything you’ll need for your next painting.

7. Write down goals. They could be personal, financial, or artistic. Clean out the cobwebs in your mind. Refocus your intent for the coming week, month, or year. This one goes great with number 6, by the way.

8. And yes, you could even get started on your taxes. They’re no fun, I know, but they’ve got to be done sometime. Might as well get a jump on them now before you’re backed up with five other deadlines come April 15th.

Got any others? Send them in and I’ll keep adding to the list.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Have you ever scrutinized one of your paintings—at any stage in the process—and after evaluating it for the proper perspective, value, or color still found it wanting? I certainly have. And when I'm immersed in one of my longer, more time-consuming paintings it's all too easy for my eyes to become "normalized" to the artwork as it is , not as it should be. . . read more

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