It’s funny how the things you want most out of life, the dreams you dreamed as a child, are often the very things that escape you as an adult. Maybe it’s because life is busier and more complicated as you grow up, and some childhood dreams don’t seem to align with the need to make money.
I’ve often felt this way about my desire to become an artist, and so I’ve always left it sitting somewhere on the backburner, somewhat neglected and playing second fiddle to all the other things in my life. I’ve never actually trusted my artistic talents enough to provide me with a source of income, and so I make money some other way.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to say with all this, except maybe to express how much I’ve struggled over the years with wanting to be a real live artist who also makes money doing what I love.
If you are an artist with similar struggles, I highly recommend taking a workshop with Chris Tyrell as well as buying his book, “Artist Survival Skills”. I recently completed his excellent four-session workshop, Professional Visual Arts Career Management, at the Alliance for Arts & Culture. (Download the PDF with a detailed course description.) It is just the thing every artist needs to clarify goals, define a personal idea of success, market your work, and all sorts of tidbits on how to develop your arts practice as a business. These are areas I’ve always been lacking because the business of art doesn’t come as naturally as the creation of art.
The photo I’ve included at the top of this entry is called “To Do List” and is part of my self portrait series “52 Weeks“. I created the shot at a time when my to do list was feeling particularly long, just as it is now. I’m putting the business of art back on my to do list and hope to write more about the steps I take next. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from people about what has worked for them.