Maybe you can relate. You get a part-time job to help you bring in some steady income while you try to build your passionate business into one that supports you wholly. It’s like an unwavering friend, steady and true, who keeps you grounded in some semblance of the world we were taught to know, or the world that we were told is our responsibility to be a part of. But that friend never really challenges you; never really pushes you to become something bigger, stronger, bolder.
That friend doesn’t take you out of your comfort zone or grab hold of you and hold you over a cliff to feel the sweet breath of the wind on your face just to remind you that you are alive.
She doesn’t excite you. Tantalize you. Rush your senses.
But she does keep you safe.
And there we have it. A back and forth dance to determine when is the best time to let go of that friend.
For me, the part-time job has been a saving grace many times. It is giving me the ability to support my art and photography while I try to build my business. And I’ve even had some fun with it. In fact, I’m using some of my degree and I’ve learned a lot about business and client interaction. But there are limits to the support it offers. I can’t wholly pour myself into my art business, which is my true passion, because of this silly limitation that is called time. If you’re like me, you would create your art for free in exchange for all the time and freedom in the world. That is, if you didn’t need money to eat and put a roof over your head. Well, to be honest, a little extra cash would be nice too.
So I sit here with creative ideas bursting out of my head like a machine gun and very little time to actually make them happen. My craft suffers and my marketing suffers. My blog posts are sporadic. I know that many of you have been in the same boat, if you aren’t now. I want to stop feeling pulled in too many directions and focus on what I love to create – to really dive headlong into my business. But there’s that friend again, telling me the time isn’t quite right to say goodbye to my safety net.
I really, really, really wish I knew the answer, Kimberly. I used to work full time before moving to the US and doing photography on the side. This past year I've been doing it full time, while renovating on the side, which while it doesn't bring money compares to your part time commitment. Right now I am looking at a full time job again, because while my passion is my photography, this is not enough to make a living – sigh.
I'll be checking back to see if anyone had any good answers to your, and my, question 🙂
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Hi CW! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. I'm hoping we get some people around here who "have made it" as a full time artist to share a little wisdom. Or maybe to tell us they once struggled with the same thing. Do you think you might be able to find a full time job related to photography? I wish all the best of luck in whatever path lies ahead for you! Keep us posted 🙂
I wish I had a simple answer.
One thing I do know though (which I'm currently in the process of) is to set up and streamline processes so the non-billable hours are minimised and you're focused on creation.
Keeping kicking goals! The world is so much better with your art in it!
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Hi Caylie –
That's great advice, actually, and something that I need to get better at. I've been slowly getting more focused on the creation aspect of things lately and it feels really good! Oh how I appreciate your support and love. Thank you!!
Hi Kimberly, I just come over from Caylies ‘Sucker punch’ post and really related to your comment. I too am stuck between a sensible well payed job while trying to build up a creative business on the side. You mentioned growing up believing you couldn’t make a living out of art (as was I) . I have found it very difficult to get over that mental block. It’s what stops me from letting go of my part time job. I guess it’s just difficult to believe that you may have the talent/determination/motivation to stand out in a creative field and live the dream!
It was lovely discovering your blog
Hi Belin. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. It means a lot to me! 🙂 I just hopped on over to your blog and I am in awe of your work. It's so fun! I love your characters and your style. It's actually fun to see that some of our art has some similarities…the big ears and such…your illustrative technique…the somewhat whimsical feel. Anyway, it's also interesting to hear you say that because from my perspective, you look like such an accomplished artist and I would have never guessed you were doing this part time. I can say for sure, you are extremely talented and I would bet on you being entirely successful as a full time artist. By the way, watch for an e-mail from me. I would love to feature you on Joyful Roots if you have interest in that!
I actually enjoy my part time job. I like that it is steady and almost stress-free and doesn't surprise with many challenges. I also like the way it has taught me to value some things. I look at the whole life as challenge maybe – to be able to feed me, and provide for my child… This job is one good way to put some of the bread on the table :-). But maybe my ambitions are too low. I have always known that I will newer be the big shark in the art world. I'm more like "leave me alone and let me do what I want to do". Then I am happy. Of course I am even more happy when people buy my art or appreciate it with looking even… There are many ways to be creative person. Of course making business out of it is whole another job…
Sometimes when I feel I don't have enough time for everything I pick one priority and make the dayly routine so that it comes first. So when I think I should draw more – I wake up in the morning and do that first. And then the rest – job-cooking-laundry-blogging…. Etc. It is not always possible to be successful in everything, but you can always make choices and favour your current most important matters over the rest. Try it and tell me if it doesn't help 🙂
Hi Siret! That's great to hear that your part-time job is working so well for you. I love your positive perspective. Maybe that's what I need at the moment more than anything – to shift my paradigm. I probably have been focusing a bit too much on the negative aspects of my job lately instead of the benefits that it is bringing me, and perhaps that is why I am feeling so frustrated and a bit overwhelmed by it. I agree with you too; it's such an incredible feeling when someone appreciates what you are doing or making! I also like your advice about picking one priority for the day and think that would be very helpful for me since my schedule is so hectic. I've always felt like I needed more focus and that would probably help a lot. Brilliant advice! I will try it =) Thanks so much for being here!