You already know continually making great art that gets the attention of your prospective buyers is not easy. This is especially true when you are working on production deadlines. If you are a producing artist making a living from your work, or that is your goal, then you don’t have the luxury of spending endless hours on each piece. You need to know when to quit. When good is good enough. Following daily rituals are part of the process and production capabilities of successful artists.
Production is about keeping the horse in front of the cart. By that, I mean working on art marketing projects before you have your production issues under control is pointless. Learn to get a handle on making a sufficient amount of art annually so you can accurately predict your income and adjust your marketing to meet your production and sales goals.
Your production capabilities inform your marketing decisions. Get your pipeline filling processes refined, and then work progressively on creating demand to move your inventory.
Any of those issues or combination of them can stop your career in its track. None of them are insurmountable so long as you are willing and flexible enough to make necessary changes. It comes down to what you want from your career, and how important the success you dream about is to you.
You need to recognize that the individual pieces you make are simply small cogs in your big career plan. If completing the piece you are working on is your big goal, your career is screwed.
For those of you struggling with how to get things done, you need to look at what you are doing. Ask yourself:
If you relate to any of the questions above, or have other problems with creating enough art so that you can supply the demand your plans require, then you need to stop everything. Make sure you have identified your issue and fix it.
Once you have mastered your production needs, or at least are seeing a significant improvement in your process for getting them under control, you can start to think about how to get your work sold.
It makes no sense to spend any time or money on marketing until you are ready. This does not mean you need 100 pieces in your inventory to get started marketing your art. (The number of pieces, of course, will vary depending on your media and other things. Sculpture, for instance, will have much lower numbers.) As a painter or photographer, you may need a dozen or more ready for immediate sale along with the knowledge and confidence you can steadily continue to make more pieces to match your marketing efforts and career goals.
There is no one clear-cut method for ramping up production. If you are having problems, you should already be aware that you are. Your best sources of help are other artists. Any problems you have are not unique to you. Improving production is much the same as improving your technical skills. You learn from others, and through your own trial and error. Just keep getting better and faster.
With that easy stat, you can project how many pieces you can create in monthly and annual increments. It makes the rest of your business plan work. If you can make 80 pieces of art in the next 12 months, then you can investigate what you need to do to get those pieces sold. It is all part of a journey and process to move your career along to the place where your results match your vision for your big picture.