Embracing Efficiency and Expertise: The Path to Working Smarter as an Artist and Designer

“Efficiency is the art of working smartly, not merely labouring harder.”


As an artist and designer, it’s easy to get caught up in the romanticized notion of burning the midnight oil and toiling endlessly on our craft. However, the reality is that working harder doesn’t always lead to the best results. Instead, a mindset shift towards working smarter and seeking help from experts can significantly improve efficiency and productivity, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

Recognizing Your Strengths and Weaknesses:

The first step to working smarter is recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. While it’s tempting to want to excel at everything, the truth is that each individual has their unique talents and areas of expertise. Identifying what you are exceptionally good at will allow you to focus your energy on those aspects of your work, where you can truly shine.

Delegate to Experts:

Acknowledging your weaknesses is not a sign of failure but an opportunity for growth. When faced with tasks that fall outside your skillset, consider delegating them to experts who can handle them more efficiently. For instance, if marketing is not your forte, collaborating with a business coach or marketing expert can help you reach a wider audience and achieve better results in less time.

Value Your Time:

Time is a precious commodity for artists and designers. Instead of spending countless hours struggling with tasks you are not proficient in, focus on valuing your time. Every minute spent on non-core activities is a minute taken away from your creative pursuits. By engaging with experts, you free up time to channel your energy into your true passions, leading to more meaningful and inspired work.

Harnessing Efficiency:

Efficiency is the key to achieving more with less effort. Adopting better work habits and time management strategies can significantly impact your output. Break your work into smaller, manageable tasks, and set realistic deadlines. Utilize productivity tools, organize your workspace, and minimize distractions to make the most of your creative sessions.

Learn from Others:

Networking and seeking guidance from experienced professionals can be invaluable. Connecting with mentors and like-minded individuals in your field can provide insights, shortcuts, and valuable lessons that you might not have discovered on your own. Embrace constructive feedback and be open to continuous learning to refine your craft further.

Collaborate for Greater Impact:

As an artist or designer, it’s easy to isolate yourself and work in solitude. However, collaborating with others can offer fresh perspectives, creativity, and even access to new markets. For instance, partnering with an agent can help you showcase your work to a broader audience, leading to more significant exposure and opportunities.

Measure Success by Results, Not Hours:

Redefine your understanding of success. It’s not about the number of hours spent on a project, but rather the impact and results achieved. A masterpiece can be created in a few focused hours, while days of aimless work may lead to unsatisfactory results. Set clear goals and celebrate achievements based on the quality and impact of your work, not just the time invested.


Working smarter, not harder, is the key to thriving as an artist and designer. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, delegate tasks to experts, and value your time. Embrace efficiency, learn from others, and collaborate to amplify your impact. Remember, success lies in the quality of your work and the value it brings, not the number of hours you put in. By embracing this mindset, you can achieve greater productivity, unlock new opportunities, and create your best work yet.


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To your success, Vinh Van Lam and Stuart Horrex Cofounders

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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