SELF EMPLOYMENT AND THE ART-IS-iT
Art is a labor of love.
There is no ‘easy’ in that statement, but there is a lot of fun.
Being self-employed is not just having a dream and putting in when everything is going well.It is an endurance test, a test of self-discipline, a test on you - personally.
One of the best things of being a self employed artist is the choice of when and how I work. but it can be one of the aspects that can sabotage even my best intentions. It is easy to work when I am inspired and motivated, things are going well and I want to be creative. That is not always the case.
When you are employed by someone else you have your schedule and tasks laid out for you, and your daily routine is set. Eg. 9am – 5pm hours with a lunch and coffee breaks and the jobs that must be attended to during the day. There are other employees to help out and offer support, to socialize or share ideas with. Money matters, such as superannuation, sick and holiday pay, insurance and tax are taken care of by the employer. Websites and other media and marketing are often managed by someone else. Even the general cleaning , occupational health and safety matters of your work environment are attended to by your employer.
For me, the self employed artist is very different because I have to deal with ALL that and more. There is not the option of cruising along working when I “feel the urge” or the “creative juices are flowing” if I want my art to succeed. Making my passion into a business has never meant sitting back and letting it all happen. Although wasting time, and making excuses doesn’t seem to cause any immediate pain it creates a lot of drama for me later on. There is always the opportunity to learn more as well as keep working on creating.
My advice is that if you wish to produce lots of incredible artwork and become a successful artist making a living of your passion, you need a great deal of self-discipline and motivation. Good support really helps and deciding what you can realistically manage. Source those that can professionally assist you, such as a good book keeper and an accountant.
Live your dream I say. Be motivated and choose to be organized. Be productive and see your art as your serious business. It is worth it!