You can be anything you want, they said. But let’s face it: making a living from you own creative projects – be this fiction, photography, painting, music, etc. – is pretty darn difficult. It can be pretty disheartening when you realize how many astonishingly talented artists out there simply don’t make any money from their work. Landing the sort of deals that allow you to earn a living wage from your art often has a lot to do with luck instead of sheer talent.
But those who are truly creative beings need to be able to maintain a creative life. If they don’t nurture this side of themselves, they end up feeling frustrated and even depressed. So whether or not you’re earning money, you need to find ways to pay attention to your creative side. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to balancing a career with creativity – and perhaps melding the two.
Alternative avenues of revenue
Part of the problem here is that a lot of people don’t think about all the avenues available to them when it comes to making money. For people working in arts and crafts, the likes of www.etsy.com can help you bring in money through the creation of clothes and posters. If you’re into photography, websites like www.clickasnap.com can earn you some cash when people use your content. Be open to your options and do plenty of research; while these are rarely avenues to millions, earning some money can help you take your art further and get you recognition.
Scheduling and routine
Chances are, if you’re reading an article like this for some form of advice, you’re working a full-time job. When this is the case, it can be difficult to find the time to focus on your creative endeavors. In fact, it can seem nigh-on impossible. The problem is that working on your art, as comforting as it is, does actually feel to most like work – and when they’ve just got off work, paying attention to creativity can seem like an uphill struggle, as though you’re not really taking any breaks. But try not to fall into this mindset – most people who create art for a living built their career in their “spare time” outside of work, so try not to be too discouraged. www.brainpickings.org has some useful information about building a creative routine – while ‘routine’ may sound like the antithesis of creativity, it is, in fact, very much required.
Using the Internet
Building an online portfolio by creating a website and building a following on social media can be extremely useful and very encouraging. You can read more about this over at www.mashable.com. The best way you can go about this is if you don’t go in with grand expectations. By all means, put all your effort into creating a good website and making yourself known over social media, but don’t go into this assuming it’s going to land you a big break. Think of it as throwing another hook into the water; it just makes it that much more likely that people will stumble upon you.