What’s your creative Art?
Whatever it is, you may have thought about turning that creative spark into a career. I’m 100% behind people doing something they love for work. BUT… how do you make that transition from something being what you do in your outside-of-work hours and something that you do as your sole means of supporting yourself?
There are lots of different ways to approach it. One school of thought seems to be that you should just throw yourself off the deep end and sink or swim. Bank enough to give yourself x months/x years to “make it happen” and then just go all in.
I would argue that’s not necessarily going to make you happy. And here are a few reasons why I would suggest the “easing in” method for most folks.
#1 – Pressure to perform your Art to a deadline
Not everyone works well under pressure. And even if you get results when you’re working to a timeline, making a career in the creative arts isn’t just about what you can create. It’s about what you can sell, and developing a market for your work. That’s not something you can schedule as it’s dependent upon a lot of external factors.
#2 – Investment vs. gift of the time you dedicate to your Art
If you look at your time spent on your creative endeavors as an investment, then you have certain expectations about a return on that investment. What happens when you get to the end of your allotted time period and, just for argument’s sake, your return on your investment is not what you had hoped? Frustration, a feeling of betrayal perhaps, disappointment…all kinds of negative feelings can become part of the equation and suddenly that thing that you loved so much you wanted to do it all the time is no longer enjoyable for you. If you are gifting yourself with the time however, with no expectations of return on investment aside from the joy you get out of doing the activity, then you’ll always be a winner.
#3 – Making the kind of Art you think will sell
When you’re putting all the pressure on your Art to become a career that will support you, you will likely find yourself spending a lot of time thinking about what will sell. Which may in fact curb your tendencies to go a little crazy and fully commit to whatever ideas strike you. And in turn, this curtailing of the awesomeness that is YOU, might actually compromise your ability to succeed.
A few words of encouragement for your Art
All that being said, I absolutely encourage people to pursue whatever you’re passionate about. But the happiest, most successful people I know (writers, painters, visual artists) built up gradually to their art being their careers, often over a decade or two or three. It didn’t happen overnight, or even in a year.
So be patient, be persistent, and every single day take some step to move yourself closer to your dream.
Just be gentle with yourself along the way.