I’m Officially a Full Time Artist and Oh Boy is it Scary!

So I’ve known this was coming for a while. Covid was never very friendly for an Events organiser. I had only been working 3 days a week in my other job too. My illustration business has been growing over the last two and a half years I have been running it. I have worked on some amazing opportunities and it really has been brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, the chance to do it full time is excellent. The chance to have been able to work on it full time under the furlough scheme of my other job for a few months was a gift too. An opportunity I could never have imagined before. 

This blog is just about how scary it is! In general and in the current climate. My part time job ended officially one week ago. Even though I have been working on my business over lockdown, it has felt different since then. The feeling of “this is it kid, we’re on our own”.

The fact it is quiet sleepy August exacerbates this I think. Traditionally August would be a painting month for me. When the weather is nice it is a great time for painting murals. I would usually have a few sculptures on display and get the joy of seeing them tagged on social media. Even visiting a few. Covid has postponed all the arts trails. There are a few mural projects that are on hiatus. A few applications I have in that aren’t being reviewed until 2021. A part of my business has stopped completely, at a quiet retail time of year and it’s all at the time I have gone full time. Gulp!

We’re on Our Own Kid

There’s also now the pressure to ’do it properly’. I guess that’s tied into the ‘imposter syndrome’. There’s no reason for me to think I am not doing properly already. The stakes are just higher now. Change is big and change is scary. That’s coming from me, a person who thrives on change! It’s just, you know, a BIG change! 

I guess the other side is that I am conscious that a lot of other people are in the same boat as me. A whole wave of freelancers are coming at a time when it’s likely many opportunities will drop. I am hopeful that there is enough arts funding out there to support the industry. Also I am hopeful that industries that are thriving do their best to support freelance and independent business. I am hopeful that I love what I do enough to battle through.

There’s a misconception that artist’s work is not of as higher value as others because their reward is that they love what they do. The love an artist has for their work is what powers them to work crazy hours, pour their heart and soul into their business. It is certainly not something to undervalue them on. It’s precisely the secret ingredient that adds quality and value to what they do.

The Future

I guess that even though I am stressed and frightened about it all now there are things I can do to fix it. This is the best time to sit down and look at what I am doing, what opportunities there are, What I can do better. Am I charging enough? Have I got a good business plan? Everything I need to do to take my business to the next level. It’s scary because I care. Because I care I can build this thing as big as it can go. 

To everyone else in a similar position I wish you all the luck that’s out there. I know that like me you can use your love for your art to bolster your business. And If you ever want to chat, you know where to find me!

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