The reality is most artist work a day-job of one kind or another. Finances, time management and self expression require continual juggling. The myth of the artist working as he or she chooses, not needing to concern themselves with finances and always staying creatively challenged, is difficult in reality.
In the next two posts I will explore the pros and cons faced by artists in having a day-job. First let’s look at the pros:
- Schedule – Working around a day-job schedule forces you to focus in on what is most important in your art. You tend to waste less time on things that do not matter to the big picture.
- Inspiration – The people and events that you are a part of give inspiration you would not otherwise have. The fact is if you work with the public much you will find yourself often saying, “You just can NOT make this stuff up!”.
- Interaction – Working as an artist can be a solitary act. Working a day-job forces you to interact face-to-face with other breathing humans.
- Equipment – If you are fortunate you will have equipment openly available to you that you could not afford on your own.
- Financial Freedom – When you do not need to worry about a roof over your head because the day-job finances it, you feel freer to explore your creative options. That less than desirable commission can be turned down in favor of pursuing your own projects.
- Benefits – Insurance, vacation, sick leave and paid training can be difficult to come by when you work exclusively on your art. If you work it right you can use this paid time to your advantage.
To have a day-job can be a tough personal choice, one that needs to be weighed by an individuals situation. Next we will explore the cons.