Juggling Jobs

I’m frustrated at the moment by the lack of time spent on my art work and other related activities, such as visiting exhibitions. The problem is that I have to have a part time job to support myself and my practice, but I want to be working full time as an artist. At the moment the hours of my part time job are increasing, further squeezing the time I can spend on my art work. I knew when I decided to become an artist that finding the time (not to mention money!) would be a challenge, and I dedicate as much time as I can to my art work, but I had hoped to have progressed further than I have by now.

So practical head on, what can I do? These are some options I’ve thought of;

  1. Find a new job
  2. Look for artist opportunities, such as residencies
  3.  Apply for funding to help with projects
  4. Sell some work and merchandise to support myself

 

Ideally I’d like a mixture of the above solutions, working part time and further supporting myself and my practice through sales of work and funding for new projects. I have an exhibition planned for early next year, so I hope that that will provide me with a bit of exposure, more experience, and an opportunity to sell some work.

I knew that being an artist would be difficult, but it’s much more than just a career, so giving up is simply not an option.

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About Sharon Mossbeck

Sharon Mossbeck is a conceptual artist based in Sheffield. Mossbeck's work focuses on themes of death and religion, often presented in a vibrant, hedonistic manner. While based on themes of death, her work is more easily read as a celebration of life while questioning what may happen beyond. Mossbeck works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture using found objects, photography and textiles. Available for commissions.
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9 Responses to Juggling Jobs

  1. Hi Sharon,
    A classic conundrum. Always remember,”This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. It is, however, the end of the beginning.” Churchill, in his address after the landing at Normandy.

    There are many days ahead, an entire life in fact. People (even artists) are multi-faceted beings; we spiritually, professionally, in relationships, family, philosophically, etc. All these take time, and may be taking place rather than art production (or success).

    Take heart, work when you can. Do compelling work and let everyone know about it. But live life. Your artwork will be the better for it, even if it takes a decade away from the studio to fulfill all of your various aspects.

    If you have to spend all night in the studio, then do it. Do what you need to do and keep us posted on the process–over the decades it will be a wonderful document! A work in itself, no doubt!

    All best wishes,
    James

    • Thank you very much James. I’m very hard on myself and to hear someone say that everything will enrich my practice, rather than just agonising over my work (or lack of it) is very refreshing!

  2. Hi Sharon,
    A classic conundrum. Always remember,”This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. It is, however, the end of the beginning.” Churchill, in his address after the landing at Normandy.

    There are many days ahead, an entire life in fact. People (even artists) are multi-faceted beings; we develop spiritually, professionally, in relationships, family, philosophically, etc. All these take time, and may be taking place rather than art production (or success).

    Take heart, work when you can. Do compelling work and let everyone know about it. But live life. Your artwork will be the better for it, even if it takes a decade away from the studio to fulfill all of your various aspects.

    If you have to spend all night in the studio, then do it. Do what you need to do and keep us posted on the process–over the decades it will be a wonderful document! A work in itself, no doubt!

    All best wishes,
    James

  3. Madeline says:

    This post really hit a chord with me. Some regular work of mine is just about to finish and I am struggling to find other paid employment that will fit in with time spent on my own practice.
    I wish you luck in finding the balance between earning a wage and having time for your own practice.
    Madeline x

  4. Vincent Lee says:

    I have similar thoughts. Making art and selling art are two different animals. Remember though, the most difficult decision has already been made – becoming an artist.
    Monetary success is difficult. You need to find patrons. Sell yourself without diluting your brand, then you’ll only have true patrons.
    Grayson Perry didn’t start making enough money from art to live from until he was 38.

  5. Sharon, I really feel compelled to comment. I was injured and was unable to work on my art. I needed money, so I got a full time job at a university. I spent over a decade working more and more hours at that job. I really didn’t even recognize myself after a while. I quit my job and am back to my art work. Most artists will never make enough money to support themselves.They continue to make art because they must. I struggle with the financial responsibilities but recognize that it is more important to be myself. So, I do what I need to, barter, sell what I can, etc. I am at peace with myself and the world. I believe my art practice will thrive as a result. My best to you!

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