Make Art More Efficient with a Schedule

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By MJ

Sometimes the hardest part of making art is finding the time to create it. And if you’re in that boat, it pays to get serious about your time management and start using a schedule.

There are two major ways to think about schedules:

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 1. Set aside specific time every day (or every week) for art creation

This is most useful if you’re someone who has a lot of ideas, but never seems to find the time to get them on paper, completed and submitted.

Get a sheet of graph paper, lined paper or a spreadsheet and fill in all your firm time commitments (job, commute, sleep, etc). Then in a second color, write in things you typically do but that can be rearranged or altered if necessary (this might include things like watching TV, internet use, etc).

If there are blank spots on your schedule, think about when you’re at your most creative and when you have the most energy to do good work. If possible, you’ll want to rearrange your schedule to make sure that you make the most of your art time. If there’s no space available at those creative times, take a hard look at the flexible tasks/activities that you penciled in with the second color- can any of these be rearranged or condensed?

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To make sure that you have an easier time sticking to the schedule once you’ve made it, it can help to plan energizing activities (like a snack or short burst of exercise) before your art creation and to plan reward activities (like reading or TV) immediately afterward. Play around with the possibilities to see what works best for you!

TEEVIL TIP: If you’re sometimes short on ideas, consider scheduling some specific brainstorming time so that when it’s time for art you can get right down to business!

2. Set deadlines for completion of specific designs

If you tend to have a lot of art in progress, but have trouble actually getting it submitted, you might want to consider this method.

This can take the form of a traditional schedule or a to-do list, depending on how you gauge your ability to move projects forward.

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In addition to helping to get specific pieces completed, personal deadlines are great in terms of helping you to see the big picture. For instance, if you’re writing in deadlines for the month, it’s an opportunity to think about the kinds of designs that will be most sale-able in the next few months, whether that means seasonal themes or or art timed to print when a movie debuts or a TV series reaches its finale.

TEEVIL TIP: Want to make sure your timely design has its best shot at a print? It helps to submit 1 to 2 months before your ideal print date!

 

And of course, there’s no harm in using both scheduling methods at once!

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How do you make time to make art?

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MJ is a t-shirt nerd, designer and blogger. Visit TeeMagnet.com for daily tee roundups and Compete-tee-tion.com for shirt design reviews and contest news for artists.