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Old 04-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Thinky Thinky is offline
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Red face Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Hello, Art Business people, nice to meet you. I usually post at the oil painting forum.

I have been painting consistently for the past two years, while working at a part time job. I started to sell a little bit online, not much, but it's a start. I am new at art business and have much to learn.

Recently my job hours got cut, so I am not making enough money. I can live on my savings, but evenutally I have to get another job so money won't be so tight.

So a few days ago I was offered a full time day job. It does not pay much but it's enough to live on. I wonder if I should accept it.

Part of me doesn't want a full time job, I would rather put even more time and effort into my art career, improving my paintings and business skills. I feel passionate about art and feel I need to try my hardest before giving up.

Another part of me, feels I should listen to my family. They say a full time job means benefits and extra pay, and part time is no good, I won't make enough if it's only part time. I am getting old (almost 33, no husband, no kids) and should get a real, serious, stable career.

I tried to ask the boss to give me a part time, but he said it has to be full time.

I am scared this new stressful full time job may mean my art will get slowed down or even stopped? Art is so time consuming and demanding, how does one manage to have steady improvement with only a little time each week?

Do you have any experience / advice to share? How did you grow your art career while having a full time day job? or suggestions for part time jobs that would be enough to live on?

Thank you and hope it's OK to say all this.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:47 PM
artyczar
 
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

I totally have advice, but you might not like it. It's just one artist's view and you have to look at it as just that. Many more artists will reply much differently I am sure.

You are 33 and you do not have any kids, so to me, I (personally) do not see where the confusion lies. It's a no brainer to me.

Why do most artists go the "practical" route and never take the risk of going full force into an art career? Kids. Family. Fear (financial, future security, etc.)

You say you have passion for art. Really? Then what's the hold up?

Art is a risky path. It comes with a ton of rejection, failures, struggles, financial hardships, inner torment, and all that. It also comes with incredible freedom, amazing rewards, rich friendships, existential reflection, spiritual and personal self worth, the kind of growth and enrichment that is too amazing to describe in words, as well as self-reliance, business savvy, a king size purpose, and a world of self-employment/promotion knowledge base.

But you need dedication, motivation, drive, commitment, passion, and a promise to yourself that you will succeed and get up off the floor every time no matter what, and get up every day and work.

The thing is, when you have the PASSION, it's NOT work. No body was successful at anything they didn't like doing. So your family can pressure you all they want, if you hate your job, it won't last very long. You won't be happy.

Anyway... It's not that I never took a job here and there when I had to along the way. I did. Sometimes I had to take full time jobs too in certain cases when I set my life up incorrectly. Now, at 44, it' set up right. No kids, no debts, no car payments, strict budgets. Sales from when times were good were put into reserves, etc. But it's really, REALLY tough at the moment.

It took me a lifetime to get here, but I have an art career that I want. It is always building and it is the way I want it. I paint what I want. My work is not easy to sell, but that's the way I knew it was going to be. That's the risk I chose to take and I made extreme sacrifices to get here.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:22 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

I have rarely had 100% of time to give to art. I usually juggle between jobs so to speak.

I tend to agree with Artyczar here. With a full time job you at least have some money to sink into the art. I am at the opposite end of the poles. I am unemployed, and have all the time for art, but no money. My particular art form eats up a lot of money, so even though I have time, I can only do so much. Not having work also means stress (not good for the heart or brain), poverty (good for building resentment and depression), depression (sleeps alot, eats cheap carbs they give out at food banks).

Take the job and see how you can work your art business in to this. We all have busy lives. I am amazed to see how many people do not have any time, and yet watch TV, and write on message boards (no sarcasm).
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:36 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Art is a full time job...like artyczar said your have to be dedicated...and if you think 33 is old you have bigger problems to think about, you are only as old as you want to be. I did not get rolling steadily until I was in my 40's and still I am not old.

My advice would be get the real job while you have a chance and think about what you want to do, more than likely you'll be there longer than what you anticipated. Your art will surly decline because you have the excuse not to advance your career because of no time, tiered...but at least you will have the comfort of having a somewhat secure life.

On the other hand if you put the same effort you would be putting into a regular job into your artwork you may not be as comfortable but you will be creating. Unless you need the insurance the new job may bring I would go with the full time artist, if you can afford it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:47 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

My advice was not to take the job BTW. My advice is that, if you are made of the stuff you say you are about passion and all that, JUMP! But Use Her Name is right about the depression and the bad carbs. I lived on some pretty bad eats 20+ years back. But I did it and I wouldn't trade it. It's about balance and priorities. Some people sacrifice for their children. Some for their art. Some for both.

I just looked at your website... If you want, write me a personal message. You clearly have talent, which is evident in your paintings and drawings - but that isn't enough to build on. What you also have is originality, innovation and creativity - which are seen in your illustrations. That's the stuff that can get you far! You have something special there. Just my opinion.

Last edited by artyczar : 04-16-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:18 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

My advice is to take the paying job, unless you can survive on little or no money for long periods.
If you do not need to worry about paying for health insurance, rent/mortgage etc. for a few years, go for it. Give it a few years and see how it goes, you will find either it is not for you or you will put up with the downsides,( and being honest there are a lot of them!) and continue with your art.

Having read your post, if you can't survive on part time wages, you won't survive as an artist. Most artists only ever earn the equivalent of a part time wage for long hours and hard work.
Starting off as an artist needing to earn a level of income is not possible, like any business it will probably take years to become profitable. Unlike other businesses banks won't invest in an artists business and give start-up loans or overdrafts though, so in effect you will probably not have any income as such for the first few years.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:42 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

33 years old. No children. No spouse.

What was your problem again?
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:38 PM
Thinky Thinky is offline
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Thank you everyone, I enjoyed reading about your stories.

Artyczar: You sound so brave and you must be so proud of your efforts to get to the art career of your dreams. I really admire you and will think about your advice.

The main problem is the shame and pressure of not having a "real job", making my family disappointed and worried. When they ask me what I'm going to do if I don't sell, why don't I get a real job, I have no good answers.

Use Her Name: Your art is breathtakingly beautiful. You are extremely talented and deserve to succeed. I love what you're making. I can understand your stress of having no money. Thank you for saying hello.

George924, Agree with you that art is a full time job, that's why part of me feels I shouldn't get a full time job. Thank you for your advice. I will think about it carefully. Your drawings are really beautiful!

Greg Long, Thank you for your very experienced and practical advice. I will consider how to survive until it becomes profitable.

Tattau, The problem is, my familiy feels compelled to help me find normal jobs. They want me to have a secure income. I don't want them to worry, and I want them to be proud of me. I am working as fast as I can, 1110000% effort on my art to prove I can make a living, but it's not happening fast enough, as I am new to the business of art. So now this full time job is offered and they are really excited for me, while I feel I "have to" to accept this job. Thank you for stopping by, I will see if I can solve this problem.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:14 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Maria, even after thirty years my brothers don't realise being an Artist is a proper job.
Thankfully they couldn't be bothered finding me 'proper' jobs.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:28 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Another thing to think about is that most artists who are full time artists, don't spend 100% of the time in the studio. They teach, tattoo, mural, graphic design, etc.

When I tried to do this full time, I found I couldn't. I can work every day, but I can't work 8 hours a day. I get sloppy, disinterested, and it shows. It's also a lonely profession, and I was unhappy. And worrying about money was paralyzing to me. So I went back to "work" and that wasn't the answer either.

I needed to find something else to fill in the money gap that was more sociable and a total change of pace. (I sell vintage online...the buying is the social part).

So I guess what I'm saying is that "full time artist", isn't necessarily in the way we think about full time.

Perhaps you need to find a job that is part time and fits more with your goals. As others have said, you have talent and if you are ever going to do it, now's the time, when you don't have dependents.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:11 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

I'd take the job -- and the benefits.

At 33, with no spouse or children, there should still be time to devote to art. Many people work two jobs -- I did so for years. Consider art your part-time job, at least until you can afford to do art full-time and work part-time.

As for benefits . . . I became chronically ill when I was just 28. If I hadn't had a job and medical benefits at the time, I would have lost everything I owned, bankrupted my family, and not survived the year. It happens to Americans every day. (Not sure if you're in the U.S.)

You can never assume you won't need benefits.

Best of luck to you.


EDIT: Okay, I visited your Etsy site -- looks like you're in Canada. In which case . . . disregard everything except my first two paragraphs.

Last edited by EyeSpy : 04-18-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:28 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

at 33, you should be able to make your own decisions, unless your family is the ones that will have to support you or pay off your bank notes, etc., due to lack of funds. if you can leave them out of that part, leave them out of the part where they decide what you do next. thank them, express your understanding of their concern, then go do what you want. but if they have to bail you out, or have had to before, well, they are involved.

and, at 33, OLD??? geesh, then me at 44, knocking on death's door? I think not! I am happier with my own self now than ever before. this does not mean everything is grand. I'm not well off money wise, I'm out of shape, and somewhat lazy. (think those 2 might have somethign to do with each other?) but, I'm me, and that's a good thing. so honey, you got a long ways to go yet.

and again, 33, no kids, or hubs, or other obligations? geesh!!! I've got a small farm, 2 teenage daughters, hubs, and still do my work. honestly, I can't paint for 8 hours straight. my eyes bug and my head swims. I can't see any reason you cannot take A job, part or full, and continue doing art.??? unless that full time is 60+hrs per week? a 9-5, get home, have supper, paint til 10, gives you at least 4 good hours. and still pays the bills. am I missing something??

while you are working, live like you aren't. there are lots of ways to live so cheap, most can't believe it. some depends on where you are. or where you think you must be. but again, no family, you can go/do ANYTHING!!! I really dont' see your problem, and I say this in the most positive way!

http://greywarenart.blogspot.com/search?q=goals this site is amazing. she used to be here on wc, not sure if she is anymore, but her writings are superb. click on the links on the page too. its how to get the most of your time for art while having other lives too.

and if you need any help living cheap, i'm the queen!! I believe my family is at what is considered 'poverty'. I have horses, just bought (with cash) a used tahoe, we bought a tractor, and I have mainly stayed home to raise my kids, with small or seasonal jobs, other than art. hubs makes the money, my job it to make it go a long ways. and I do. I have links if you want them. this is not hard.

your art is beautiful! you should be doing someting about it! so now just figure out HOW.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:06 PM
Thinky Thinky is offline
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

Greg Long You're really amazing. I don't know how you do it, to be so strong and show your brothers that you being an artist is a real job!


Robin Thank you for sharing your insights and another way to look at it! Sounds like you love being social and doing art alone for long hours does not fit you! So it's really great that you found vintage works for you!

Eyespy I am glad you had the benefits and job during that very tough time in your life. You are really strong to have survived it. Thank you for your advice and experience. You're right, I can try to think of it as working two jobs. Thanks for sharing the link.

Chewie Hey thanks for this fun and cheery message! You sound very expert at being frugal so I will ask you for money saving advice if needed! You must be so busy with so many things going on. I will learn from your example to make the best of it. Thank you for the great link!


Thank you everyone for the great help!



So I took the job, and I start full time tomorrow. I started this thread because I've been putting art at my top priority for the past two years, so now I feel guilty/ sad to have to put my new job first, and it feels weird to spend the majority of my time at work instead of doing art.

I am used to huge long art marathons, to happliy painting 14 hours nonstop. Now it will be weird to push art to only leftover hours, weekends. I will make the best of it! Thank you!
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:43 PM
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

http://greywarenart.blogspot.com/200...nt-part-i.html

this is a super article for anyone dealing with time or not enough of it
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:29 PM
artyczar
 
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Re: Feeling anxious about career, just wanted to share with you art business people

I must be out of my mind. I really don't understand the advice being given out here. I wonder if the advice she got here influenced her decision at all. What a shame if it did. That's just my very isolated opinion I guess. While she is young and has no kids and even has a savings, why not dedicate herself to her work? I just do not understand it. Unless she was not as passionate as she said she was. This is called a dilettante. I'm not trying to be mean when I say that. I feel like all those words sound bad: hobbyist, dabbler, etc. there is nothing wrong with being those things. It's just that I got the wrong idea about her desires in the OP. It seemed it was only the pressures of society and family keeping her back, not her passion. I'm confused about the winner here. I's not clear to me and I'd hate to think we (meaning a true artist with a voice that needs to be heard) lost one to the masses. Ya know?
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