Managing your own art studio and the business aspects of your art career can be overwhelming at times. More so when you have a number of projects, shows or commissions coming your way. There may be times that you wished you had a studio/art manager to help you organized all your activity. That was certainly a question I had to face myself about two years ago as my career started to get really busy. Not only did I start to drop the ball on some things, I also lacked the time to do it all.
Here are five signs that indicate you may be ready to start thinking about a studio manager.
- You are dropping the ball. If you feel that you have dropped the ball a few times because you were too busy running around, you may need some outside help. I know how it feels when you are trying to get things done and the deadlines seem to crawl on your back. It’s not easy. What is worst is that you say “yes” to more things than you can handle.
- You are missing on good opportunities. If you are so busy that you don’t even have time to explore and research new and exciting opportunities, chances are you are missing out on some things that could be beneficial to your art career. Having someone around who actively pursues opportunities for you is not only a plus but also an asset worthwhile considering.
- Don’t seem to have enough time to follow up. If this is you, who knows how many opportunities you may have missed simply because you did not follow up. A good studio manager will help you follow-up on missed calls and emails. Sometimes a simple email follow up after an opening event can go a long way. Sometimes is not a matter of time but organization. If this an area you are lacking, a studio manager can be of big help for you.
- Have more work than you can handle. If you are overwhelmed by all the work that you have coming your way, congrats! It is great to be in that position. On the other hand, it also sucks because you may be stretching yourself to get things done. Having someone helping you deal with the business of your art career can relief a big pressure for you so you are able to focus on what you are really good at.
- You are willing to let go. If you are not ready to delegate and let go, chances are a studio manager is not a good option for you just yet. In order for a manager to be effective, you need to be able to let go of things that you were used to do yourself. So, if you are ready to let go, consider a studio manager.
- You feel you need help in order to get ahead at a faster rate. The truth is two are better than one. That is if both have the same goal. Sometimes the biggest obstacle in our art career is ourselves. We often fail to accept we need help. We complain at how much we have to do and how little time we have to do it. If you can find someone to work alongside with you so she/he can take care of the things you are not good at or don’t have the time to do, you are most likely to move your art career at a faster rate.
Studio manager considerations:
You don’t need to have a full-time employee. In fact, you can hire someone part-time or for a busy season if you cannot afford a permanent person. I know of many artists who hire a studio manager or assistant as needed based on the workload. Ideally, hiring a permanent person will be most helpful so that you do not have to train a new person every so often.
In my case, when the moment came for me to face this issue, I was ready to let go and have someone help me. The answer came in the form of my wife who, at that point, became my studio/art manager. A role she has taken with great capacity besides all the other things she does in her professional life. She is very organized, focused and very professional when it comes to dealing with collectors and clients. Most importantly, we work well together. Having your significant other take that role is not always the best option but in my case, it has worked well.
If you identify yourself with some of the signs below, chances are you are ready for a studio manager. 🙂
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