How to Survive as a Professional Artist

Some people are just meant for an artistic career. Whether it's music, words, acting, dancing or visual arts, they'll always make it their full-time gig. However, the odds of making it financially successful are pretty low. Therefore, artists need to know how to survive while pursuing their offbeat career choices.

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Temp Jobs Support Full Time Creativity

Since you'll still have to pay your bills, buy food, and fund your artistic endeavors as you build a following for your art, you will need to get a "day job." A temp staffing service is a great way to keep yourself financially sound. There are many job categories to choose from; including creative and marketing jobs.

If your art tells stories, you'll find plenty of interesting subjects in the hospitality business. Hotels, resorts, and cruise lines often hire temporary help during busy seasons. As a waiter or bartender, you can easily work part-time and make full-time pay through tips.

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Teaching is a great way to support your artistic endeavors while passing along your passion. Many musicians teach lessons in local music stores or community centers. Dancers teach kids and some adults. Visual artists work with community organizations to create community art projects. Aspiring writers are found teaching literature and writing courses.

It's always wise to pursue a teaching certificate if you are going to make art your life goal. Even if you teach something besides your artistic discipline, you'll still have a stimulating day job that can inspire you.

Commission Your Art

Many artists will commission their talents to pay for their artistic pursuits. For instance, a painter will do portraits. A songwriter will write songs for special occasions. A writer will create poems. There are many examples of famous art that is commissioned. The sculptor, Charles Umlauf, was commissioned to create religious art. He also created artwork for companies like Southwest Airlines.

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Follow a Budget

The most important thing a professional artist can do is create a budget and stick to it. Most artists live simple lives to keep the cost of living down. You have to become disciplined with money to support an artistic career. Your status won't come from fancy clothes and homes, but from your creativity and vision.

If you need a studio, share space with other artists. If your housing costs are too high, get a roommate. Keep your life simple and healthy. Although the party life seems like the artist's life, it's the disciplined person, who lives simply, that usually excels in the arts.

Budget your time, too. A part-time job is a great tool for time management. Too much time on your hands can lead to procrastination, so work hard, get plenty of rest, and embrace discipline. Your success is only limited by your imagination.

About the Author: Teddy mallone is a professional artist who enjoys teaching and helping others in his spare time. Your talents as an artist are very valuable. Consider contacting a temp staffing service to see if you can find creative work to get you by when your pieces aren't selling as well.