Skip to main content

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. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Who Would You Have Dinner With?"

In college and even some job applications that age old essay question always pops up: "Who would you have dinner with, dead or alive, if given the chance?"

In 10th grade, I answered Madonna because I thought she was strong, ambitious, smart and could do whatever she wanted. I admired her so much, and wanted to be like her in many ways-not a pop start-but I wanted to be like her spirit. I was living alone at the time (long story), and had really no one in my life to look up to and she was a role model to me.

In 12th grade we were asked the same question and again, I answered, Madonna for the same reasons. Although at this point I had moved in with my mother and my step-father, who hated me in high school. I was really close to my step-brother John, but still felt isolated and alone and Madonna symbolized someone who made it on her own, even though things were hard.

Throughout the years I have had many idols and of course that question has been asked of me in interviews and su…

I Love Flying--It's My Only Quiet Time

Drawing by me, Stephanie Olivieri may not be used without permission. THANKS
I have several trips coming up this spring and while I don't like the idea of winter weather while flying I do love flying and here is why.  1. No one can reach me while I'm on a plane so I get that alone time I so desperately need.  2. I get to do nothing and it's okay. It's okay that I'm not at the gym or doing squats at my house, it's okay that I'm not working on anything-I'm on a plane so yay, it's okay to do nothing.  3. It's soothing to my soul to be up in the clouds.  4. You can eat, drink, sleep, and watch TV/movies while getting to your destination.  5. I love to meet other people so while I'm not that annoying chatty seatmate, I do enjoy meeting others. 

AIRPORTS. I love them. I love everything about them. 
I know I'm strange, but I implore you to enjoy your next flight. Think about the fact that you are just there to relax and get to your next city, …

How to Be Healthy and Fit-Don't Listen To....

People often ask me about health & fitness because I was so involved in that industry for so many years and I still post about great programs, blogs, books, trainers, online classes, programs etc. (like Denise Austin-who was the first person I trained with in the late 80s to get certified, Michelle Bridges, Mari Winsor, Tracey Anderson and workouts like Barre3, The Bar Method, Zumba, etc).

Here is what I'm going to say.
1) Just because someone has starved themselves and lost a ton of weight, that does NOT make them an expert.
2) Just because someone runs or goes to the gym, that also doesn't make them an expert.
3) People who give sweeping advice like, 'be gluten free, be vegan, only eat 1000 calories a day' etc.. are not qualified to tell you, or anyone else how to be healthy.
4) Also, SKINNY does NOT equal healthy, this is a dangerous concept.

These are important things to remember.
If you want to lose weight or get healthier, please go to your fitness club and spe…