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Balancing life and art: A Self-Critique

Being a full-time artist is a kind of a funny thing.

First, you have to make sure you have enough money to eat and keep a roof over your head, otherwise it's unlikely any art-making will happen, obviously. We all are aware of the stereotypical "starving artist" persona and while I'd like to say that's me, I am definitely not starving ;)

Second, you have to make sure you can KEEP being an artist instead of spending all the money you have while bringing in nothing but "good luck" and "I hope you sell a lot!" from every market you go to. Shockingly, those well wishes don't pay the bills!

Thirdly (and for this list, it's the last one but I am sure there are many more), there is a distribution of time to create your work week that seems to make sense but when you break it down it actually seems excruciating to an outsider. For example I am currently teaching ay 6 different places that all run on a completely different seasonal schedule. I also work in an accounting office part time (it makes no sense but I swear it makes sense), and I am a clay technician at a local art gallery. Yeah, it's a lot. But in my head it makes sense. I've not committed to full-time hours anywhere and some places pay me a % of class fees while others pay an hourly rate. So in my head, I am a slave to no one!

But in reality, I work 7 days a week and often have little to no control over how I spend my time during the week and even some weekends. It's basically either I take a financial hit to paint, or I work and try to fit in the painting time elsewhere. Thus "Revenge Bedtime Procrastination" is born.

So recently I learned about Revenge Bedtime Procrastination which is basically a hilarious concept that a ton of people do when they feel like they don't have much say over their schedule so instead of managing it and taking care of themselves properly, they stay up extra late every night to "create" extra time in their day that they can use however they want. For me, I use it to paint or watch a load of TV. Then, because of their rebellion, they spend the next day tired and not functioning as well as usual, but its a vicious cycle!

I am getting better about this, but at my core I will always be a night owl even when it doesn't serve me.

Often people ask how I balance making art and doing all the other things. I hear "I don't know how you have time for all that" a lot, but the truth is I don't. I don't have extra time, I just don't really do anything other than art! 😂

That's all for now!


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