Whether we do art part time, full time or in our spare time, it doesn’t make us any less serious, less talented or less worthy than anyone other creator out there.
The only thing that matters is that, in lieu of the reality of our life situation, we always find a way to look back and think, and I was still making art.
I’ve been a part time artist, with another job to pay the bills. Meaning creative work was a partial source of my income. In this situation, I kept one eye cocked to the commercial possibilities of my ideas. As a result, my projects often netted a modest, but not insignificant return. And by focusing on being heard first and paid second, getting my name out there and finding my voice, I earned just enough money to support my lifestyle, underwrite my addictions and keep my career alive as an amateur.
One foot in, one foot out. And I was still making art.
I’ve also been a full time artist, with no other job. Meaning creative work was my primary source of income. In this situation, the quality, quantity and frequency of my thoughts determined my livelihood. Creation became the organizing principle of my life. As a result, I committed enough to build an iconic brand, a profitable enterprise and a prolific body of work that did the talking for me. By growing my audience and diversifying my product and service lines, my annual earnings increased every year.
Both feet in. And I was still making art.
I’ve been a full time employee, with art as my side job. Making creative work was a supplementary source of income. In this situation, I started to make art independent of my need to make money and keep the lights on. As a result, that freed my work from the burden of having to support myself. Creativity wasn’t so claustrophobic anymore, now that I wasn’t worrying about money. And by removing the acute business pressure, I had the sovereignty to experiment with new mediums and genres and ideas.
Both feet out, some toes in. And I was still making art.