I’ve just read a directory entry from someone who described himself as a “full-time painter”. I’m not a full-time painter. I like to think I am, but actually my painting time is far from eight hours a day. I am a full-time artist but within that title my other jobs include:
Illustrator – different from producing my own paintings, this requires me to portray the client’s choice of subject in a way that suits their needs.
Photographer – taking images both for reference and for recording my own work. This also involves cataloging the resulting photos, providing them to my webmaster, supplying my agent, and supplying them to journalists, exhibition organisers and anyone else who needs them.
Writer – whether it’s this blog, copy for my website, a new leaflet or an article for a magazine.
Marketing/PR manager – from traditional media to social media, it’s no use producing the paintings if no one ever knows about them.
Designer – business cards, leaflets, merchandise…
Teacher/ lecturer – I enjoy workshops and talks, but I’d enjoy them a lot more if there wasn’t so much preparation involved!
Accountant – financial record keeping is probably my least favourite part of my business, but certainly a necessary one.
Administrator – well someone has to keep on top of communications, record keeping, ordering supplies, paying the bills, exhibition entries…
Caterer – thankfully only on occasions such as my open studio days.
Researcher – keeping up with new products, techniques, exhibitions and opportunities is a never ending task, and one that I rarely allow enough time for.
Phew! After re-reading that lot I’m surprised I have any time left to paint at all. Even the time that’s left has to be shared between field sketching, gallery paintings and working towards specific exhibitions.
Full-time painter? Yes, but only in my dreams!