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Why Outsourcing Can Make You a More Creative Artist

Why Outsourcing Can Make You a More Creative Artist

Tara Reed

Time management is something everyone struggles with and artists are no exception. Time management is especially important for artists wanting to earn a living with their art. Some artists want to do nothing but create. Of course they have to create something to sell, license, lend or loan or in any other way derive an income. But if the artist is only creating, who is promoting it? Some, and I must say I fall into this category too often, spend all their time creating and promoting and forget to take time to relax and recharge. If an artist burns out – guess what will happen to their business, since they are the core of the whole thing?

Time management, for an artist in business, is essential. They need to balance creating art, promoting art and recharging their personal energy and creativity. One way to do that is to outsource. Just because things need to be done, it doesn’t mean they all need to be done by the artist personally.

I am trying to get a better handle on outsourcing. I’m a person who loves to know how everything works and I enjoy tinkering with every piece of my business. So for years, I did everything – from the art to the marketing to the web design… I mean EVERYTHING! (Even dusting the studio… everything.) And that works for a while as you start a business but at some point you have to decide if you want to continue to grow your business (and still have a life) or stay smaller where you can do it all yourself.

Time management is an evolutionary process that needs to be looked at and revised as your interests, business and time needs change. When you feel guilty leaving the office to go to the movies with your family because “you have so much to do” – it’s time to figure out a better way to get the work done!

No large, successful business operates with one person doing everything. There will come a time in every business to get serious about getting help. Outsource some of the things you don’t have to do personally. Of course hiring others and releasing control, as well as spending money to do so, is scary at first. But it will become a key ingredient to building your business and maintaining personal balance.

Here are four areas an artist might consider outsourcing as their income and time demands increase:

1. Website Design and Maintenance. Many artists don’t want to learn how to design websites, update images, links and more. They know what they want it to look like and they just want it to work. There are people who love to tinker with websites and would be happy to make an artist’s vision a reality. Pay them to do it and put your time and energy into your art.

2. Payroll and Accounting. Businesses need to keep accurate records and there will come a time, if it isn’t here already, when you will need to pay yourself a salary and pay the state and federal government payroll taxes. If you don’t, my accountant says they will come knocking on your door to see what is going on. Payroll is the first thing I recommend outsourcing to a payroll service – the laws change so frequently and there are so many forms to fill out and files at different intervals that it is best left to accountant types. Then if the day to day or weekly chore of bookkeeping doesn’t seem to be getting done, outsource that as well.

3. Graphic Design. As your business grows, the ways you communicates with clients, collectors, suppliers and more will change as well. It becomes harder to personally call or email everyone. You may choose to have print or digital newsletters, mail postcards, brochures or promotional materials and more. While you should be involved in the overall message to make sure it aligns with you, your art and your brand, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the graphic design work. Hire graphic designers for pieces of the business that don’t have to have you personally involved.

4. Cleaning or Yard Work. Artists don’t need to clean toilets – we have better things to do with brushes. If your business is getting big enough to hire someone, you don’t even have to clean your paint brushes! Look at the time and money costs of doing everything. Could you make more money if you spent your time creating art than you would pay someone to clean the bathroom or mow the lawn? If so, do it!

Time management issues often come up when you are trying to do too many things yourself. So a great way to manage and regain your time, is to outsource some work. Not only will you get more done that brings money into your business, but you will be helping those you pay to help you earn an income as well.

Learn more about artist Tara Reed’s system, The Goal Wheel for Artists™. By an artist for artists and other creative professionals, you will learn strategies for balancing the three main areas you need to focus on to build a successful, creative business. Visit to get all the details today!

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