I am big on time management and it doesn’t matter if the projects are mine or for clients. Time management is the key to being successful as an entrepreneur, illustrator, and artist. Have you ever heard of those artists that have to wait and get the feeling of something before starting to get to work? Do you know any artists that have been working on a painting for years and never seem to finish? Now I understand that there is certain times when that is necessary especially if it is a large project, requires a certain process, or has multiple steps to completion.,but for most of us especially in business if we worked that way we would be out of business and that is a fact in the illustration world. The truth is you are on the clients schedule at all times. So how do you manage projects and get them completed promptly?
Project management 101, know how long your process takes. If you do need to think about a project for two weeks before drawing your thumbnails you need to know that so you can build it in to the project details. Treat every project as if it were for a client, even the personal ones. I like to add dates of completion to all projects, break them down into steps and create a completion date for each step. This helps you complete the project on time, makes you feel that you are moving ahead successfully, and gives you a timeframe to work with. Build a system for each project that is the same, what I mean here is to make sure you create a job jacket for each project, put on timelines and contact information for the client and put it in a working file adding the steps to your calendar. This way all the information is together and you know when you have to complete the steps. This organizational trick will help you get organized. A tip for your calendar is to block out time in your calendar for production. If a project will take two days to complete then block out two days on your calendar to work on the project. You now know if you can accept another project that week or defer it to the next week. This will give you the time required to finish projects in a controlled manner.
As an illustrator my clients can’t wait two weeks until I feel like completing their project especially when multiple projects are due at the same time. Organization is key to success in business so don’t overlook it.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an illustrator, cartoonist, caricature artist, and business consultant from Canada. To view more information on Bruce and his work please visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com