In my last post I wrote that one of my goals for the upcoming weeks was to continue to spend 5 or more hours a week in my studio while I’m working on some longer term business goals and getting my house on the market.
Laure responded with the following questions:
One question though, how do you define time in the studio? What is included as time in the studio – is it purely making art, is it prepping for making art, or a mixture of this and other stuff?
Great questions. Early this year I wrote a post about the logistics and reasons for tracking my studio time. That post doesn’t address what I define as "studio time"
I define time in my studio as time actively making my artwork: dyeing fabric, cutting the fabric to designing compositions and stitching. I don’t do much prep work for my art. I almost never do any sketching (drawn or fabric sketches) and if I do I generally count it as studio time.
I do a lot of photography and hiking and other activities that inspire and inform my artwork. I never count this as studio time. I also don’t count extended cleaning and organizing my studio as studio time either. I view that more as maintenance of my environment. A quick straighting up of my cutting table probably gets counted.
I do count the finish work that is done on my art, such as finishing the edges, attaching sleeves and labels. Probably because I do these steps with needle and thread so it fits into the construction process.
It Doesn’t Have to be Exact
When I first started tracking time in my studio I was rather uptight about it. I tracked it down to accurate 15 minute intervals. This ended up generating unnecessary stress into my studio process. No doubt the engineer part of me taking over (not to mention the meticulous perfectionist side).
I got over the compulsiveness and now it’s just a pretty darn good estimate. The main purpose is to motivate me and spending time worrying if it was 1/4 hour or a 1/2 hour on monday isn’t very inspirational. So now I just make a good guess and call it good.
I think it’s all very personal, the definition of studio time, how accurately one might or might not track it. And even if you track it at all. I like keeping these records as it does help keep me on track and keep me motivated. When I see my studio time slacking off I look around for the cause and see if I need to adjust something in my life.