What is it about art that forces us to put impossible pressure on it?

“Yea, I’d like to quit my job and paint, but that won’t pay the bills.”

You know what, it probably won’t. You have two courses of action then, get rid of your bills and then quit your job. Or, keep your job and paint.

What other outlet takes us to the fantasy world of semi retirement?

“I’ve taken up hang gliding, now if it would only pay the bills.”

“I’d love to join your softball team, let me go give notice to my boss.”

I’m going to speak at a college this week, a school of art, about financial planning. My message is this: “No commercial project will go forward without a financial reason. so it is a good idea to get your arms around the concept of money and business. BUT: personally, I hope you always create something on the side for you, just you. Don’t become a total mercenary, we have enough of those. (I am one.) If you are among the few who are fortunate enough to get paid to do art, do it with spirit, excellence and passion. But don’t sell them your soul. Keep the part of you that likes to create for fun, the part of you that has to create because you can’t help it. Nurture that Creative Beast because that is your soul, that is the real you.”

So, even if you have a day job, I implore you, feed your Creative Beast. If you don’t, he will tunnel his way out, and that isn’t pretty.

If you can’t get rich writing a screenplay, do it anyway. If you can’t find enough work as a painter, paint anyway. You are allowed to have a day job to support your creative habit, it doesn’t make you any less of a creative person.

Go Make Something.

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