Q&A: Managing time and money for your artistic expression

6. Organize and re-organize your supplies regularly.

As an artist honing your craft, you will evolve. And so will the way you use supplies. Storing them the way you use them saves you time from searching for what you need and leaves the precious time for creating art! 

7. Work on multiple projects at a time.

Working on several projects at a time saves you time from taking out your supplies and cleanup.

Layouts: I tend to create 5 - 6 backgrounds at a time. Since they tend to be mixed media, I can quickly work on another while one is drying. 

Cards/tags: I rarely use new sheets of patterned paper or supplies for these...just with the scraps left over from layouts.

Altered projects: Same as layouts...I work on several at a time because mediums take time to dry. I have about 5 - 6 projects in varying different stages. When I get stuck on one, I work on another. When I have less time to craft, I choose a project that is 3/4 done and try to "make it work!". 

I try to do the best possible work given the time and supply constraint. It's okay to shoot for an A instead of an A+ all the time. The average is still an A right? *winks*
Managing time and money for your artistic expression

8. Make use of little snippets of time. 

Weekdays: I craft for about 2 hours in the evenings 3 days a week before bedtime...I sleep at 10pm. I consider organizing my supplies as crafting too...*winks*  6 hours

I wake up at about 5am to reply emails, work on online DT commitments and comment on blogs till about 7am. 10 hours

Saturday: Housework in the morning.  The niece and nephews come over at lunchtime. They would play with their toys until they get bored....then they come to my room to see what "entertainment" I have for them. We would usually watch a DVD movie [I get 2 hours of fussy-cutting time]...the two older boys have tablets to play with when the 2 younger ones nap for 3 hours [apparently I own a magical bed...]. Then if the weather permits, we would go to the playground or visit the fish farm and then come back home for dinner.  5 hours

Sunday: Craft till 6pm unless there's some family outing. Get projects photographed before the sun sets. Edit photos. If possible, get Monday's blog post pre-scheduled.  8 hours

Monday morning: Get rest of the week's posts pre-scheduled. My blog posts are generally very short. Return comments left over the weekend.

Managing time and money for your artistic expression

9. Use a calendar and plan your schedule.

I use Google calendar. It syncs with my phone so I don't miss any deadlines. 
I only aim to post on weekdays even though I can definitely do quick projects and post over the weekends too. Instead, I keep them as "spare" projects for times when I don't have time to craft. And I also want my regular commenters to "rest" over the weekend. 

I usually get my DT work done by the end of the prior month so I get a chance to play with online challenges if I can.  If I have to travel, I have to "work harder" to get more projects done. For instance, I went on a 2-week vacation with my family back in March. I started working on my March projects in January. 

It does seem like it's a lot of work but once you establish a workable routine, you become very efficient.

10. Accept that you can't be everywhere and do everything. 

Can I do more? Sure...but it would mean less sleep and less of a social/family life. As much as I want people to see my work and grow my following, there are limits to what I can and what I am willing to do. I still want to have a social life! *winks* 

I don't post my work on galleries except for DT work because it would mean I need to leave comments on galleries too. Likewise I don't post a lot on Facebook too.  The blog post links are automated. If I do post, it's because I'm waiting for someone who's late or I'm travelling and get excited over free wifi access! *LOL* I created a Facebook Fan Page only because I can pre-schedule posts for up to 6 months in advance and it's a way to share with online friends who have fallen off the blogging bandwagon.

I turn off almost all notifications on social media sites so I minimize the number of emails I get.  You know how overwhelming emails can get.

These days, I hardly submit to calls that require "never-been-seen" projects unless it's a specific request by a publication. It takes a lot of time and effort to create specifically for a call. And it also takes time to pack and ship projects. That said, I'm hoping to be in every major publication at least once though...*winks*


What about you? What are your time and money-saving tips?

P/s: If this post has been informative for you, please share it with your friends. Thanks! :)


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Iwona Palamountain (Chupa) said...

YOU, you're a wise chick :)

kavitha said...

Wow thats a great informative post.Thanks for sharing

kavitha said...

Wow thats a great informative post.Thanks for sharing

Ella Swan said...

Very interesting and I concur on every one of your points! Some things differ for me like it's quicker for me to shop online than hunt locally and generally fail. I don't do discount sites either - no time to become a full-time shopper or receive daily deal e mails so I stick to stores I know that are easy to navigate (sites) and easy to deal with. I don't have time to trawl through sales for out of date stuff. I go straight to new products and get a little of the latest and greatest. If I bought bargains I'd have no budget left for what I really need. I have limited my manufacturers big time too now - to hone my style and. Save time and money shopping.

Salla said...

Thanks for this informative post! I need to learn to pre-schedule blog posts. That would help a lot!

Miae said...

I have to save this post, it's so full of wonderful tips. Concise and well written dear friend. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Wow! Superb much to learn out of it. Thanks for sharing.

Tanvi said...

Thank you so much for such an informative post. Totally agree, its all about organizing, be it supplies or time!!

chillin with Quillin said...

alot of good information, thanks for sharing !!!!

Sindhu said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful post Yvonne! I've got a lot to learn from this...

Sharon Fritchman said...

What an awesome post, Yvonne! I love your words of wisdom and how you answered all of these questions that we all have!!! Thanks!!!!

Lizzy Hill said...

Great post?.& I read it all despite the lack of pics so it must've been interesting :):) really liked the google calendar idea - TFS .... & I liked your idea of only buying cream or white lace, ribbon & I guess that could extend to flowers cos u can colour them the exact colours u want then:):):) when I saw you, you mentioned that:):):)

HappyMomentzz by Sharada Dilip said...

waoh...that's so informative... organising a lot to learn from you ! thanks for sharing :)

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

You are a rock star. the end. period. :)

SD pooja said...

Oh..So much of thinking ,scheduling..hard work ..You are really amazing Yvonne ,So organized..I agree with most of your points.I do not shopping online and have scarce supplies locally,this way if I ever get to shop I know what i need most..than what i will like to have..Making our own embellishment is nice but its time consuming at times..and i too prefer to buy neutrals..mostly white.Thanks a lot for giving a glimpse of your blogging n crafting time mgmnt..its surely inspiring.

Lisa said...

All awesome tips!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Have a great day my friend :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

Unknown said...

Amazing tips here my friend. Thanks!!

jeanie g said...

Now I know why you're so awesome Yvonne. I like your blog as you believe in what I believe in too. Re-use, recycle or make do! Great tips on starting multi projects and pre-scheduling too!
Thank you for all your tips and the many how-to's you've put on your blog. Love it!

Hussena said...

I really really enjoyed reading today's post Yvonne and I totally agree with all my fellow commenter's your post is really helpful and a great insight on managing time and craft supplies...I always tend to do things at the last moments and that really causes a lot of tense moments for me ..I think i am going to organise things better and follow a schedule like you have said ...hopefully it will work for me :)


My calender (hard copy) looks so much like yours :)
One tip I learnt from Eila Sandberg is "Identify your fave brands and stick to them". After shopping like a kid in a candy shop for three years, it helped me streamline the stuff I picked up this year. I also agree with Helen about avoiding the bargain sections of online stores. You only end up buying too much of what you don't need eventually!
Thank you Yvonne for sharing this post :))))

Unknown said...

Wise, wise all I need to do is set up a calendar, stop surfing for bargains and.....oh yeah, actually get in my craft room to do stuff that is not DT related!!! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom, great post :)

Unknown said...

Great post.I would have to repeat what Ali Parris said.Thankfully being in India,there's only so muich stuff you can buy so atleast that way I am not going overboard with shopping,but I really need to learn to manage my time and be more realistic and disciplined about stuff.Hope to learn from you.

Audrey Pettit said...

Many words of wisdom here, my friend! Thanks so much for sharing all your tips and thought processes!

Tone-Lill said...

Thank you Yvonne for taking time to go into depth how to time manage life and being a creative mixmedia artist. I love your callendar, my own will be on the top of my to do list. So much great stuff to learn from your other answers as well. I think I share some of Helen and Anupama's thought as well, try to stay away from bargin hunting, only buy what you need, both to save time and money. This was such a great post to read :) x

Cindy deRosier said...

Excellent tips!

Chantal Vandenberg said...

What an interesting post!!! Very very interesting!!! I agree with pretty much everything - you got it covered! :D

Shahrul Niza said...

You are a smart lady!!. Wise thoughts and very organized :). Yes, crafting are like working too, especially when we are a full-time artist :).

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Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it. Have an awesome day!:)

Cheers, Yvonne.

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