I cannot begin to tell you how much I truly love the way that I make a living. I have a theory that the universe is just one living, breathing entity and we are all like cells living in the body of the universe. Each cell has to have a role to play, a specific job, in order for the universe to be healthy and function properly. We know what our role is by our desires.
Whatever it is that we strongly desire to “play” is what we are meant to do for a living. There’s no question in my mind that I was meant to be an artist.
I think that it would be a simpler and shorter article if I were to tackle the topic of “Why it isn’t wonderful to be a self-employed artist”. For that I have only one answer, and that is, there are no shortcuts. You have to figure out what works and do it.
BUT – that, for me, is part of the fun. I LOVE figuring it all out. I’ve been studying this and working hard at not only figuring out what works, but also planning and executing that plan.
Here’s a list of all of the reasons you should become a self-employed artist if that is what you want to do:
- I can be super creative in my business. Actually, this is a HUGE perk for me. Not only can I be creative in the creation of my art, but it is also necessary that I be creative in my business as well. There’s too much competition trying to do the same thing. In order to stand out, I have to be creative, and it’s so much fun.
- I get to be weird. There’s not too many other jobs that allow such self-expression. Outside the box self expression is encouraged. When you’re an artist you are free to dye your hair pink, wear tutus and basically do express yourself in whatever way you choose. Nothing is so weird that it isn’t “cool”.
- I can make my own schedule. I work when I want for however long I want, on whatever I want. Generally for me this doesn’t mean taking days off when I want, instead it means staring work at 5:00 am and not finishing up until dinner is on the table.
- I make AMAZING friends. I cannot express how awesomely amazing it is when me and my artist friends can paint together in my studio. It is the BEST.
- I make my own rules. Being self-employed means that I get to say what works for me. I used to HATE answering to a boss and doing thing the way that the boss wanted, especially when I felt that there was a better way of doing things. Which brings me to:
- I don’t have to answer to a boss. While I do have to make sure that my customers are pleased and often I work on commission which is always to client specs, there’s never anyone looking over my shoulder. The only one that pushes me is me. Thankfully I’m a good boss. I do push myself and challenge me, but I’m also encouraging and appreciative. It works out nicely.
- I set my own income. Yes, that’s right, I decide how much money I will make. There is no such thing as a starving artist, unless they want to be. There’s always something that they could do to make money. If you are struggling as an artist it’s because you are deciding to starve. This is tough love, but it’s truth. You may need to produce more work, learn new skills, offer something new, establish a brand, put yourself out there more or something else, but there is ALWAYS something you can do to make more money.
- The last but definitely the most important reason being a self-employed artist is wonderful, I get to make art all day! Essentially, I get to blissfully play all day. This is the number one reason that people want to become full time artists and it should be the number one reason. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to be able to do what I love all day long.
If money is your reason for not diving into being a full time artist, I understand completely. However, I can tell you that it is possible to make enough money to support yourself if you’re willing to put in the time and energy. There are many artists who you’ve never heard of, that are able to make a very healthy living from their art. It’s possible for you, and it’s absolutely worth it.