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How to Make A Living As An Artist


Hey everyone! Happy Thursday. How are you? I am doing great. I wanted to share something with you all because I think that it's important if you want to make a living as an artist. When I say artist, I don't just mean someone who draws or paints, I mean any creative. As you know I make my living as an illustrator AND a writer. For illustration slash "artist" I work in many areas. That is how I make a living.

People always ask me for advice on how to do this, what's the trick, secret, etc? Well the truth is, IF YOU REALLY WANT THE TRUTH, and most people don't, is that making your living as an artist is HARD. Do you hear me? It's hard. It's one of those careers that has a lot of rejection and sometimes months where you don't have any work coming in. 

I started my art career in animation. I worked 80-100 hours a week and put in 110% giving it my all on 10 films back to back to back... and I thought, "well I'll always have work because I work so hard and people like that." HA! Joke was on me. In 2003 traditional animation hit a real low with the closing of Disney Florida. Over here in La la land we had already seen it fall and then that was the final nail. Everyone was out of work, I am talking hundreds of qualified people who all had to reinvent themselves. Which we all did.

I continued to work in animation for years from project to project and that was great, but also hard as the traditional.hand drawn jobs became fewer and fewer. I loved drawing for kids so I went into children's books and I am happy to say that I am about to start on my 20th. I love illustrating for kids' books, but it doesn't cover everything as they take a long time. So what else do I do? I still work in animation, I paint, I do commissions, I do graphic design, I do logos, I do greeting cards, I work as a character designer, background painter, visual development, I am a colorist, I do infographics.....get it? I work on tons of different things and that is how I am making it as an artist. Truth is, I am not sure I could do anything else. This is what I know.

I am also a writer-but that is for another day. I work as a consultant (see my workshop and consulting pages) and help writers reach their goals. I am going to have a course for creatives called I Love Mondays, so please sign up for my newsletter for information on that.

I really want people to know that they can make a living as an artist, but until that is ready, here is a GREAT video from Marie Forleo (who is one of my business coaches-I am in B School and learning from her all the time) I hope you like it, it's really great and she basically says what I just said in her cute, Marie way. 

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