When you meet someone new (be it a hairdresser, possible partner or that hot personal-trainer at the gym), how do you introduce yourself and your career? “Hi… I’m an artist… But I currently wait tables like 6 days a week… Otherwise I can’t afford my rent… So I don’t know if I can call myself an artist right now… Haha… Lol […curls up into a ball on the floor]”
It’s no secret that, as an artist, you often need to subsidise your income with a flexible temp job in order to survive. And there’s absolutely no shame in that! Actress Amy Adams, Comedian Katherine Ryan and Singer Emile Sande are amongst dozens of successful artists who began their creative careers with a job on the side. But could your ‘day job’ be eating up all of your energy, leaving you too tired and uninspired to crack on with your creative goals?
Think back to all the things you didn’t tick off your list last year, last month, last week or even yesterday. Instead of pouting about the past or fantasising about the future, make today as productive as possible.
This might mean having to kiss goodbye to that 9 hour shift of stacking shelves you agreed to because you need the extra money right now. If you dream that your primary source of income will one day come from your song-writing, oil-painting or ballroom-dancing career, then you need to make room in your life to immerse yourself in creative opportunities.
To quote famous American columnist, Eppie Lederer (better known by her pen name Ann Landers): “Opportunities are often disguised as hard work”. Are you waiting for that record label contract to fall in your lap before you break up with the safety net of your temp work? Sadly, ‘the perfect time’ to hang up your job at the call centre is unlikely to present itself to you by magic. The moment you take that leap, you’ll find yourself with heaps more time on your hands to practice the craft that you truly love!
So don’t wait around for an opportunity to come knocking; seize the day, take that risk and remember that if it isn’t giving you joy, give it up!
Words: Natalie Ann Boyd