Can a 'Timesheet' be useful to our practice?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

One of the main goals of IMA is to help artists find better practices that lead to stability in their career and finances. Our goal is not to create funding streams for artists or provide direct financial aid, but to better equip artists with knowledge and approaches that allow them to get better at supporting themselves.

Despite what anyone says, there’s aren’t definitive formulas to success. A large part of our careers will continue to be in making the most of the opportunities that come our way. We can be better prepared for them, but this will not always equate to immediate success.

In coming blogs we will attempt to unpick and discuss these areas in further depth and we will be sharing what we (IMA) believe are methods that seem to contribute positively to artists day-to-day practice. These are the things that seems to bring value to the artists practice, increase their confidence, and help them make better informed decisions about the various aspects of their careers.

In this article we will be discussing the ‘timesheet’, and how you might incorporate a timesheet into your practice to positively impact everything from your studio work to your pricing. At the end of this blog we will also be giving you access to a timesheet template, preloaded with formula’s, for your personal use.

Photo by Pixababy at


This is the most obvious question to start with, and for each person a timesheet provides a different use. To us, the timesheet is a tool that can be used in many different ways that help us understand and evaluate our growth and our value (both financial and experience).

Like any tool, understanding its uses is one thing, but finding your own use is what really makes it valuable, so even if you can’t directly relate to the examples used in this blog, keep in mind the ways it might be useful for you.


Regardless of your practice, each step of your practice takes a certain amount of time. And each piece of work you do, or commission you take, or project you work on, may have the same steps / processes, but the time you spend on each will inevitably vary.

Let’s say I’m a painter who does portraits. And my process involves; doing photoshoot, doing a sketch & grid, then a watercolour study, and finally stretching and priming a canvas and doing the large scale painting. By using a timesheet, I can record the time I spend on each stage for each client.

Keeping track of time spent on each portrait means that I can begin