Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Making Your Life As An Artist

Occasionally, I come across a tool that helps me as storyteller or as a business owner or as a human being.  Rarely do I find one that helps with all of the above. Until now...

Making Your Life As An Artist, a book by Andrew Simonet, has value to me as an artist, entrepreneur and human. If it has value to me, it may have value to others, so I must share.

Making Your Life As An Artist is a concise, clear and simple guide for artists seeking to have a sustainable and balanced life. (Two primary goals of mine.)

[If you already heard enough and know you want this book, download the ebook version absolutely free here.]

Sustainable Artist Life

Simonet writes, "Sustainable means your life can work over the long term."

I set out as an artist to carve a life for my daughter and myself where we were not simply surviving but thriving.  This book validated my perspective as a full-time artist. From the beginning until today, I encounter so many artists who have a starving mentality and work ethic.

"You have to do free gigs until you build a reputation then you can charge." I rejected this well-meaning advice I got when I first started as storyteller 21 years ago.

Coming from a decade-long career in the for-profit world, working for free, was alien to me.  I set out to study, train, research and practice until I had skills that were worthy of remuneration.  Then I sought out gigs that could compensate me in an equitable way.  My first gig was at Borders Bookstore and I was paid in books (a valuable commodity for any storyteller).

Balanced Life

Simonet encourages you to "have things in your life other than work." One of my many epiphanies while reading this book was realizing I am always working.  My work is so enjoyable to me I don't know how to turn it off some times.  My work is so rewarding I don't even realize I am working.

This book helped me see the value in real down time.

Your Art & Your Career are Not The Same

This statement is the other AHA moment I had.  "Your career is not your work: your career supports your work," Simonet purports.  To further clarify this distinction, he encourages you to write out separate goals you want to achieve personally, professionally and artistically.

What an eye-opening exercise!

Don't Starve. Make Art.

If you want to be a prolific artist...
If you want an art career that provides financial security...
If you want to live an artist's life that is full and balanced...