It is a truth universally acknowledged that a real artist cannot be in possession of a day job. Instead work at honing their craft.
All too often artists who work are not considered truly committed. The truth is as much as many artists may prefer to be full-timers, few of us have steady incomes or wealthy patrons (or parents). That said, I’ve always enjoyed being a part-time artist, as long as the work outside of my practice has advantages.
As I write this, I’m aware that I’m talking about what word best for me and the situation I’m in right now. Were I a more widely-selling artist with a studio outwith my home around other people, no doubt I’d feel a day job distracted me from my goals. But as things stand, paid work outside my art practice makes sense. And even contributes to my overall creativity.
A few weeks ago I applied for a job – and got it! And just the type of work that I’ve been interested in too. I’m not only happy about the additional income, I’m relieved because it will mean a change in the structure of my day. What’s more, it’ll be an additional boost fitness-wise since I’m planning on a daily ten-mile cycle there and back along the canal.
In the past, working from home meant spending all day alone. And so I’d start the morning at my local favourite cafe where I got to know staff and regulars. Mingling with other people energised me for the day, even if I just sat in my window seat watching the world go by. I found too much solitary time a lonely and uninspiring experience, though others thrive on it.
So despite the fact that I’ll have less time to create art, I’m looking forward to all the benefits my job will bring. And funnily enough, I think the biggest one will be that I’ll do more creative work.
Here are some reasons why being an artist with a job works out well for me.
Are you a “part-time” artist? Let me know in the comments if a day job helps or hinders your art.