By Judi Lapsley Miller, Guest Blogger - What’s it like to be an Artist with a capital “A”? An artist not only creating art but actively putting it out into the world? Come and spend the day with photo-artist Judi Lapsley Miller in Wellington, New Zealand.
5:40 AM Wake; check email. See request from John Math for a "Day in the Life of an Artist". Resolve to jump out of bed and show that I do hours of creative work before breakfast! Realize reality is more helpful…
5:41 AM Linger in bed and read more of Neil Gaiman’s new book "Art matters". Love the quote “the world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before”. Resolve to create something today…
6:15 AM Over breakfast, respond to people who have taken the time to comment on my recent social media posts. Then give feedback to participants in my Art of Birding photography challenge. Next, review my Google calendar for the coming day, week, and month and consider what I can do today to reduce stress later on – decide to ship pictures early to a gallery in Akaroa for their October exhibition.
6:45 AM To ease into creativity, I work on my passion project: “TinyArt”. I’m collaborating with framer Chris to upcycle our offcuts into tiny pieces of fine art. I make product labels and edit the website landing page.
7:30 AM Process photos from yesterday's photoshoot at Zealandia EcoSanctuary. While Lightroom churns on an HDR landscape, I get distracted by clickbait on Facebook.
8:15 AM Do the art! The new Doctor Who series is inspiring me, and I have an idea for a picture featuring a gorgeous cheeky k?k? who is undoubtedly also a Time Lord. Load Photoshop and get into it… Eventually, I get distracted by Facebook and email, but for a couple of hours, I was in the zone.
11:15 AM Prepare print files for a recent image and enter details into my inventory database. File and catalog the digital assets and load it into my online shop.
12:00 PM Lunch, surf social media and news sites. Realize I have a social media addiction but am conflicted by the need to run a small business in the modern world, so I can’t unplug. Plus I enjoy it! Resolve to strive for a better balance. Check Instagram.
1:00 PM Photoshoot in my garden with a local politician about Bee Awareness month. Do a quick edit and schedule Facebook post. Will do full edit tomorrow.
2:00 PM Emails and messages to collaborators. With my Zealandia EcoSanctuary volunteer hat on, check on plans for hanging our . Touch base with Dec artist who is exhibiting at Zealandia.
2:30 PM Move into administration mode: review orders, issue invoices, schedule next printing session, update my clunky hand-built Access database with recent sales. Package up orders and exhibition pictures for delivery.
3:30 PM Notice nice light on tulips so time for an impromptu photo shoot. Tomorrow I’ll edit and post on Instagram, but for now, I’ve got the shot.
4:00 PM Check MailChimp analytics from Friday’s newsletter; check Google Analytics and Search Console for issues and make tweaks to my website. Check on the local server that file backups are up-to-date; check cloud backup has completed - a digital artist lives and dies by their digital assets.
4:30 PM Plan out some posts for social media this coming week; schedule a couple of posts using Planoly, Buffer, and Later (I’m too cheap to pay for scheduling so use the free tier across multiple services). Jot down some thoughts for a new blog.
5:00 PM Start on accounts - GST tax return is due soon.
5:30 PM Husband sees I’m still at it so he makes dinner. Feel guilty.
6:00 PM Dinner.
7:00 PM Check in on Messenger with accountability partner Hannah on what we've been doing today and brainstorm some new ideas. Email with photographer mentor Kim, trading photography wisdom for help with MailChimp. All while watching funny parrot videos on YouTube.
8:00 PM Sign off for the evening.
9:00 PM Sneak back online to check Twitter. Resolve to deal with social media addiction. Check Facebook.
10:00 PM Bed. Brain churning with ideas for another project. Eventually, sleep.
Spending all day in the studio? Not so much. The reality is that the day in the life of an Artist is only a little bit about doing art and a lot about being a small business owner, responsible for everything: creating art, promoting, shipping, marketing, exhibiting, building networks and community, accounting and administration. Fortunately, I love every aspect – except doing the taxes!
Judi Lapsley Miller is a photo-artist, scientist, and wildlife conservation volunteer from Wellington, New Zealand. Through her art, she advocates for rare and endangered species and spaces and encourages others to do the same through a weekly photography challenge that has advocacy at its heart. Since taking the plunge to be a professional artist just over two years ago, she has had two solo exhibitions and participated in multiple group exhibitions in New Zealand, and in 2017 was awarded a Solo exhibition with the online Light-Space-Time Gallery. Her archival fine art prints are available through her website.