how much time (%) to spent on learning/developing work ?

  • I have been quite busy recently, and suddenly realized I spent little time on learning , or works that do not generate income directly. Sometimes I feel like a drying sponge, yet there are so many interesting developing work that I have to put on my later-to-do list.

    I wonder for other fellow artists, what's the ideal proportion of time that you spent on learning and self-developing work(work that has no direct income) ? 🤓

  • I'm kind of the opposite as most of my work has been sketching and studies and things of that nature. I've not really done any work for income and I really need to start doing more finished type pieces. I couldn't really put a portfolio together right now unless you just want sketches haha.

    But it's been a slow build up to this point and joining this forum is kind of my move to try and do more finished work.

    But I can see your dilemma and I guess I always supposed once you're doing work for money you would be doing things you could learn from as well. I'm not sure what % would work, or if a % of time would be a standard for everyone. It may be one of those things where if it's important to you, then you have to make the time or room for it in your schedule. But if I had to guess, focus on your paid work and maybe 20% of your time on learning or exploring new things?

    Interested to see what others have to say though.

  • I'm new to art and I'm struggling to find a good balance between taking courses, doing studies, sketching freely and finishing projects to challenge myself. Sounds like I might as well get used to always having this issue. 😃

  • SVS OG

    I am interested in what others do, but When I am more organized I try to spend about 25% of my art time on learning.

  • I think it can be a bit reductive to try to ascribe a percentage to personal/professional development...generally speaking I like to approach all my projects, paid or otherwise, as an opportunity to challenge myself and develop what I do. Of course, sometimes a project isn't really paying enough to merit hours and hours of skill-building and you have to take it on a case-by-case basis, but it's all a value-add to your toolbox.

    This also comes back to the equivalent question of how to feel fulfilled and maturing as a craftsperson while also getting work done. Sometimes your brain needs a break from work-work or learning-work, but it will continue to work on problems, so don't feel like you have to do a certain task in order to keep learning in some fashion or another. That might even mean just browsing a beautiful artbook and letting yourself just bathe your brain in things you find aesthetic or aspirational. I'm one of those people where my work-drive is pretty closely linked to the things I seek out because they bring me joy, so I'm inclined to just do things that I enjoy and reap the side benefit of learning and leveling up.

    I hope your sponge is able to absorb some nice moist knowledge soon! (I'm so sorry. That sentence makes sense but it sounds gross.)

  • I have the same dilemma. I do graphic design for a living and art as a hobby. I'm working on some children's book illustrations at the moment but, although I do paint, I haven't illustrated anything since art college and certainly never characters/animals. This is why I joined SVS to learn the fundamentals of illustration. I've been doing a few of the basic foundation classes as Ive gone along - just enough to get by so I can complete the book for the deadline. I now wish I could start agin with the little knowledge that I do have and make a better job of the illustrations. I'd love to spend more time learning but whilst I'm sat at the computer watching the lessons I'm always aware that I could be using that time to do 'real' work. Think it must be down to time management which I'm not very good at - too many tea breaks! 😁

  • @Lisa-Pickard said in how much time (%) to spent on learning/developing work ?:

    too many tea breaks!

    I fail to comprehend this statement. 😃

  • @thousandwrecks Good point, and thank you! Yes, SVS has been a great place for me to learn new stuff and get a bit nutrients. Till last week I have been working on one project nonstop (except sleep, eating , etc.) for an entire month. Yes, tight schedule and crazy deadlines. This week has been a little bit better, hopefully I can finish these projects in time and have more time for learning/growing. 😁

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