I’m out today, but here’s something I hope you read, following up on Steve Bissette’s posts about the difficult life of Steve Perry and freelancing in general.
While I don’t want to be the voice of reason that buzzkills your art dreams, the fact is few people can make a full- time living in this business. Fewer still can sustain a long term career in the creative arts.
A few days ago, I wrote about my difficulties financing A Distant Soil, and the debt I incurred trying to push the project forward (read comments section as well). It’s hard to know when to let something go. Or when to keep pushing through.
Many creators lie to themselves and everyone else about their professional prospects. Instead of getting a day job between assignments, they sit for months or years without paying gigs. They incur huge debts they can never repay, or take lousy assignments they’re ashamed of, always hoping for the big payday that never comes.
Not being a full-time creator is not some kind of art crime. Sometimes it is better to get that day job and do art on the side. You may even appreciate it more when you don’t have to rely on art for money.
This job has no benefits, no guarantees. Nothing. If you don’t make enough money to pay for every dime of your health care, your retirement, and all your business expenses, you are not making it as a professional creator. Getting by is not good enough.
Self awareness is key in this business, and few creators have it. We live on dreams.
But dreams don’t pay the bills.
It is possible to have that day job and have your dreams nights and weekends, you know. Let some other job finance those dreams with benefits.
Think about it.