Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tick-Tock, Clocking-In in the Workshop ... How Do You Track Time and Costs?

Well, getting accustomed to making art a professional, respected business as opposed to a hobby has required some disciplines that I have been stiff-arming for a long time.  My accountant husband is a stickler for toeing the line on costs, value of time invested, etc.  I have argued for the longest time that such things distract me from the creativity and spontaneity of my work.  When I complete a piece, the first questions out of his mouth after he quips, "That's cute!" are "How long did it take you to make it?" and "How much did it cost to make it?"  (Sigh!)

For an artist, "That's cute," is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard.  To resign to monitoring your time at the sewing and cutting tables as well as the time involved in flitting from one storage cubbie to another for just the right accessory and flipping through pattern templates, etc. while your mind is in an invigorating creative clip can be so anti-productive and truthfully depressing.

Finally, I have taken the bull by the horns and sat down and designed a worksheet that I  fill out at the end of each day, hopefully, before I lope off to bed.  It is actually enjoyable filling it in and just as rewarding as receiving a gold star on an art project in  school.  At last my beliefs of hours and days spent in incredibly industrious endeavors of designing are now validated before my eyes and would certainly explain why exhaustion turned me into a limp rag doll myself at the end of each day.  There it is in black and white ... a record of all projects in progress as well as completed.   I can give myself a resounding "Well done!" instead of having my eyes glaze over when hubby asks, "So what did you get done today?"

A separate sheet is done for each project. Here is a sample:


What tips do you have for tracking work time and costs?  This newbie is all ears ........


  1. Hi Carlin, wonderful and very timely information, thank you for sharing.
    My partner is just the same, lol!!

  2. Great to know that I'm not out there alone. They do keep us grounded though!