Quitting my Job to Pursue Art

PrisMiQue

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I’m feeling Unsure about how I’m spending a majority of my time.
some people may love being a bartender, and sometimes I’m ok but recently I’ve been Not feeling it.
I told myself I would work on my art nights and days I have off but I just have things I put before it and I haven’t been as productive with it.
I know that my art is what I should be focused on yet I’m not.
I feel that if I quit I’ll have more
Time to really focus on it and it would push me to truly work on it.

Bartending is a steady income and it’s nice but that’s not exactly what I want to do with my life.

I don’t know why I’m posting
This but I guess it helps me think it through.
Something inside me is telling me to quit and Freelance but I have a son now and I can’t just think about myself.
Maybe what it truly comes down to is self discipline, maybe I can work on my art when I’m off but I’m just lazy/tired/having an art block....All I know is something needs to change! Maybe my work ethic needs to improve or maybe quitting would help me focus...
Aaaahhhh! ::confused:: TBH I’m scared to quit...
am I just being a pussying and holding myself back??
 

Engineer J Lupo

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There's a book called "The war of art" that really gets into this situation pretty well. It seems to be pretty common with artists. You feel like you should be creating but you'll set up these resistances as to why you can't do it right now. That seems like the hardest part, just showing up to the table with your supplies. If you can just show up to create the art, the rest just happens.

I've been doing this thing lately when I get inspired to do something. As long as I'm not doing something that I absolutely cannot break away from.. if I have nothing really in my way and I think of a project I want to do I'll just instantly start counting in my head really fast. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, do it! And I just make moves right then, right at that very instant. I start walking to the closet where the supplies are, I grab the things I need. It's really just a distraction from the distractions.

If I allow myself to ponder the idea too long I'll come up with some kind of resistance as to why I can't tackle that project right this second. So the countdown disrupts my usual way of procrastinating. I think of the art, I start counting and it's not long before I'm sitting down creating. Try to not think too much, just get yourself to the place you create. Get that far and the rest will usually flow.
 
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James Meadowlark

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There's a book called "The war of art" that really gets into this situation pretty well.
Logged in to cosign this recommendation. A friend of mine turned me on to this book a couple of years ago, and it's amazing- The "chapters" are about a page or two max, so very easily digestible, and full of great content. Can't recommend this read enough. Pop it on your toilet tank and knock out a 'chapter' or two when you're in repose on the throne. The author was the screenwriter for "The Legend of Bagger Vance" movie if I remember correctly.

My two bits? I have known a couple of folks who turned their "side" job into full time work (albeit none aspired to be a working artist) and will tell you that some were successful, and some weren't. All were equally hard working, dedicated, and committed- It was never a matter of effort, although effort is critical.

Those that were successful built their hustle until that income reached (or was close to) replacement/goal level before fully committing, or had established a consistently mathematically verifiable, scalable, ROI on what they could generate per hour (or week etc)... Basically made a 'business' plan for themselves. The others justified leaving their main source of income by telling me that once they eliminated the 'distraction' of their day gig and could commit themselves fully to their enterprise, things were sure to be fine, right? Most of them underestimated the ramp-up time, market factors, unexpected expenses, etc. and found themselves broke, and looking for a regular check in the labor market again within a year. Not saying this is true for everyone, just for the handful of folks I know.

If I were in the position, I'd probably find some middle ground by saving six months or a year of living expenses just in case and then going for it even if it meant some risk, but setting very specific, measurable, incremental goals or benchmarks that would determine how long I persisted. Sorry it's not a "chase your dreams" endorsement, but I do a lot of (a very specific) type of financial analysis for work, and may be overly cautious/pragmatic, so TIFWIW. LOL you can tell I have a 'straight' job!

Whatever you decide- Good luck!!

Edit: I should also add that I'm closer to fifty than I am to twenty, so if you're young enough to fail and start from scratch a few times, why not?
 
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PrisMiQue

PrisMiQue

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@James Meadowlark very much appreciate the insight and advice. I’ve been reading up on it and have decided I should have a business plan already in effect before leaving my job. Also considering I do have commission work in line just finishing those and gaining more audience via social media to produce more patroens. This is a big step in my life and want to do it in the best way I can.
Thanks again!
 

PotBellyFatGuy

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way i see it is you can always come back to bartending.

in the arts, it will take a year or more to really learn the tricks of the trade. this is a brutal industry as anyone can join and there is no licensing unlike law, medicine, or any such "guild" type of work so competition is fierce.

i watched a youtube video on jim lee. he was one of my favorite artists from 1992 or so when he used to draw x-men comics for marvel. anyway he said in an interview that he would draw from 7-8 am till 7-8 p.m. every single day without any days off for months so he could adjust to "hard work" and meeting deadlines as well as mastering every single detail on how to draw a hand, or a forearm, or a shoulder blade at certain angles. this was before he joined marvel comics. the same was said by todd mcfarlane. what is the point of me telling you this? running your own business (which is what you will be doing as an artist) is extremely time-consuming and very taxing. you will have to go beyond "i like drawing," and treat the task as a business just like any other: setting financial goals, learning which pieces sell the best, who and how to market your style to, cost of materials vs. quality produced on paper, and so on.

in the end, you do control your destiny and as someone in his or her 20s, i fully say go for it because you have to bet everything on your youth and energy while you're young. this is not going to be reasonable in your late 30s or 40s. if you're going to go to bat, try and hit it out of the ballpark right now. even if you strike out or are caught out on bases, at least you will have played the game. don't look back and wish this or that for your youth when you are older. i struck out over and over again in pursuits in life and today as an older guy, i am satisfied that i gave my all multiple times and have now found what i truly value (and rightfully deserve AND don't deserve).

go for it PrisMiQue.
 
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Matt Derrick

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if you can afford it, i'd say take one extra day off a week to do the things you're interested in persuing. at least that way you can pay the bills and (hopefully) provide for your son while taking the time to keep your mind/soul healthy as well.
 
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Dameon

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Save up everything you possibly can, do research, and make a business plan. Give yourself at least a year, figure out how much money you need to save to live for that year without any income, add 30%, and save that much. Figure out how much you should be able to make off of your art based on how much other people are making. Do research on how successful artists market themselves, and figure out your strategy. Treat the business side of it like business; make sure when you're working on a piece that the money you then turn around and make from that piece works out to a decent hourly wage. Set goals, and meet them.

Another possibility is to find a job that makes use of your art skills, which may be a nice middle ground between fulfillment and making money off of creativity.

I find that normal jobs suck away creative juice; when you've been working all day, you're pretty drained and most people just don't have it in them to work in their time off. You can only force your brain to do so much, so don't beat yourself up over it.
 
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Tinman

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if you can afford it, i'd say take one extra day off a week to do the things you're interested in persuing. at least that way you can pay the bills and (hopefully) provide for your son while taking the time to keep your mind/soul healthy as well.
This is excellent advice. I did something similar in days past when working full time or something close to it and still wanting to be productive with my writing. I took a class/workshop two evenings a week so I’d have a spur to produce and some interaction to get feedback and reactions, and I’d take my monthly work schedule and write in the evening classes and three four hour shifts a week of solid work on my writing, with no distractions. Treat it as a commitment of the same degree as a shift at work, holding yourself to account the same way an external employer would.
 
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PrisMiQue

PrisMiQue

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@PotBellyFatGuy thats how I see it, I can always go back to bartending.
Thanks for your advice, commitment and a strict regime is mandatory!

@Matt Derrick I think that’s where I’ll start, cut back on bartending work days and replace them with hardcore art work days. I was thinking about it and just quitting would be too risky! I need to slowly integrate myself into a Good business and art work ethic. It’s def a self discipline thing!

@Dameon yes I’ve been researching successful artists and how they market themselves, learning from others really going to help me. The research doesn’t stop, there’s so much to learn!

@Tinman true! I need to treat it as an employer would treat their employees, no slacking!

  1. Thanks everyone for all the great advice!! I truly appreciate it! :)
 

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