The biggest myth we are fed as artists is that we need to sustain ourselves solely on our art. This is ridiculous.
– Sara Benincasa
Real artists have day jobs. History is full of creatives who kept clocking in, even after they’d found success. Poets, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams found time to write in between working long hours. Bram Stoker’s horror stories were inspired by his work as a theatre manager. Mark Rothko was a teacher whose work with children encouraged him to explore very simple visual language. Nannying helped Vivian Maier afford her photographic equipment.
If you’re an artist, you’ll know it. How you make your living won’t stop you. You’ll work on your commute, during your lunch break or when you get home, even though you’re dog tired and your feet ache, because you’re compelled to, because it’s your passion.
Ryan Holiday says “art can’t be hurried. It must be allowed to take its course. It must be given its space – and can’t be rushed or checked off a to-do list on the way to something else.”
If your art doesn’t sustain you financially right now, give it space. Maybe one day it will, and if it doesn’t, that’s fine.
Think of your day job as your side gig. If your art is your true calling, no matter how you make a living, no one can take that away from you.