In the Studio with… Katie Turner


‘Fifteen Minutes’

By Katie Turner, Central New York Branch


Katie Turner


According to author Wayde Goodall, “If we don’t control our schedule, our schedule will control us. If we don’t find a way to live a balanced life, our lives will get out of balance.”

Balancing my art business with my life has always been a prime concern for me. The things I struggle to balance include time for family, spiritual growth, healthy living, exercise, proper rest, processing orders, working on commissions, catching up with the accounting, paying taxes, testing new products, searching for new inspiration, networking, developing new business skills through education, writing articles — and the list goes on. 

“Blues,” watercolor on terraskin paper by Katie Turner


Growing up with a mother who was also an artist gave me a firsthand view of how to do it. Of course, this journey of mine hasn’t been without its bumps and bruises. I haven’t always done it right and will most likely have shortcomings in the future, but for today, I can develop a healthy balance.

One little trick that I’ve been using for a few years is the 15-minute timer trick. I’ve always felt that I can do anything for just 15 minutes. It’s not that hard. Often, I would trick myself into doing some difficult task by working on it for only 15 minutes. 

Sometimes, I’d race the timer and see how much I could get done before the alarm went off. It has been a great way to discipline myself to work quickly. 

When my children were little, I’d send them off for an enforced quiet or nap time and paint within the limit of the timer. Next, I would leave the paints out along with the partially completed painting, ready for the next time. Subsequently, I would grab the brush and timer, and push through to the finish.

Not everyone is motivated by a timer. For some, it’s too much pressure, and these creatives must find another technique that will work for them. Some may enjoy success by using a reward system or by being accountable to another person. For me, the 15-minute trick has worked well and is a good tool that helps me maintain balance in my life and business.

"The Pines, ” watercolor on terraskin paper by Katie Turner

“The Pines, ” watercolor on terraskin paper by Katie Turner