Advice for the full-time creator
A theatre artist that I truly admire announced that he is leaping into the full-time artist waters. The metaphor of jumping off the edge of a waterfall into the watery mist below is one that hits home for me. I metaphorically made that leap several times in the last decade, the last time being when I left traditional employment and became a full-time visual artist. It's not an easy leap to make, but I believe that it is one that makes the world a better place.
What wisdom could I pass along that might provide some value to other creators who bravely jump into the life of a full-time artist? I'm not sure, to be honest. But here are a few things that come to mind.
LISTEN TO THE UNIVERSE
God, The Wind, angels, guides - however you understand the higher powers that surround us - give us signals every day. Learn to listen and watch for them. These tiny creative inclinations or inspirations will take you to surprisingly wonderful places.
EMBRACE THE VALUE
Your artistic gifts and explorations have value. The key is connecting with the greatest number of people possible who will see that value and be willing to pay for it.
Establish a daily work flow that works for you and stick to it. There will be days when you're just not feeling it. Those are the most important days to keep creating and working. It is the little things done consistently that will make the biggest difference.
NURTURE YOUR TRIBE
Artists need encouragement and support just like everyone else. The people who love what you do will declare themselves in a variety of different ways. Find ways to strengthen those connections and relationships. They will be so important in your journey.
There will be times when irrational fears and doubt creep in and attempt to drag your ass out of the water and back onto land. These stormy days will be brought on by forces, both internal and external. The difficult times will happen and they are essential to your development as an artist and as a human being. They will make you stronger, more resilient and ultimately, more creative.
In order to thrive in the full-time artist waters you need to believe deeply in what you have to offer the world and the important journey that you've embarked upon. If you believe, others will believe, too.
I'm excited that another creative soul has taken the leap. It will be fun to watch the new ideas, projects and possibilities that get realized in the months and years to come.