Vanessa Turner - Artist & Coach

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5 Steps to Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

6 Strategies for Growing An Art Career While Working Full-Time

Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

Right now working as a professional artist alongside another career may seem impossible. But I can indeed confirm it is feasible, not just for others, but for YOU as well!  We often hear of artists making dramatic shifts, suddenly quitting their jobs to become full time artists. Whilst that may be the goal for some, it is not always feasible nor desired by all. 

And that’s ok! Success has multiple paths!

Some artists simply take a job to pay the bills. Others wish to pursue full-time meaningful careers alongside their art. Many famous creatives took pride in their 9 to 5 work and kept at it even as they wrote and painted the masterpieces we know today. Artists have happily and successfully established art careers all while working full-time. 

If that is your chosen path too, then I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this and I’m going to share with you the strategies that make it work.

6 Strategies for Growing An Art Career While Working Full-Time

5 Steps to Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

1. Get into the Right Mindset!

Before we go any further this is numero uno folks! You need to get into the right mindset. Talk the talk that supports you, not that which hinders you. Declare today “I am an artist!” Say it aloud and post it somewhere in your home as a reminder. If you don’t consider your art as a ‘career’ as opposed to a ‘hobby’, then it will never grow beyond that. Consider the ways in which you can foster positive thinking.

2. Develop A Creative Practice

If you found your way to this post, then you’re likely familiar with the challenge of building an art career while working full-time. After a full day of work and then tending to your other responsibilities such as family, you may feel as though there is no time no space in your life to truly build an art career. 

You don’t need eight hours a day everyday to be an artist. Many artists simply create ‘in between’. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s an approach I too have used enabling me to create beautiful collections. 

Your creative outlet is key to your happiness and fulfillment. And we know that in order to be an artist, you MUST create art.

How can you do that in a busy life? – You must build a creative practice that is tailored for YOU and your lifestyle. Developing a creative practice is the secret that helps successful artists to remain creative and productive!

3. Trust in Your Microsteps

Be intentional with your efforts and start super small, micro small… SO SMALL that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to not do it! For example, you may say, “I’m going to sit at my easel for 15 minutes every other day this week and work on this specific section of my painting”

It’s so much easier to get started when the goal is reasonable and achievable. Breaking down your big creative goals into small bite sized tasks will make things feel less! Everyday those small.

4. Let Go of Perfectionism – Do What You Can with What You Have

A huge inhibitor of creativity on an already busy brain is perfectionism. You may be thinking,

  • I’ll wait until I figure it out…
  • I’ll wait until I have more space…
  • I’ll wait until I have time…
  • I’ll wait until my kids are older…

But at the core of perfectionism, is fear. By waiting until everything is just right, you feel like you have a better chance at success. This sounds harmless until you accept that deep down it’s really an excuse. 

Yes, I said that and I mean it – it’s a hard truth. You are scared to get started because you are scared of the possibility of failing. But remember, start small! Start sooooo small that failing is not a factor. You will most likely find that once you start something, the process isn’t so scary after all! You can grow your practice as you determine what does and doesn’t work for you.

5. Prioritize & Protect Your Time

I bet your employer expects you to show up on time, refrain from excuses, and fulfill your tasks to the best of your ability. Sounds correct, yes? We’ll let’s reverse that now. Are you ready to hold yourself accountable to your art, in the same fashion for the sake of your passion?

Try your best to block out distractions during your creative time. Turn off your day job email and notifications off. Let your family know that you’re about to start creating and would appreciate some quiet time to focus. By prioritizing and protecting our time, we can build amazing art careers while working full-time.

We already know, that if you don’t develop your own agenda, then you’ll end up working under someone else’s agenda!

6. Find a Coach to Support You & Keep You Accountable

Finding a mentor or a coach is one of the greatest career boosters. It’s rewarding when you have someone whom you trust to guide you along your journey. Coaches who have been through the process before can offer you weekly accountability check-ins, provide constructive feedback, share knowledge and so much more.

Much of my achievements would not be possible without the fabulous women who supported me and nurtured my passion along the way. They truly urged me to grow and learn without fear. This is one of the reasons I now love doing this for other artists.

Building an art career while working full-time is not impossible!

Want support from someone who has first-hand experience?

Want support from someone who will be just as passionate about your goals as you are?

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Join Me – Let’s Build Your Dream

In retrospect, these were CRITICAL to my development, and looking back, had either one been missing, my journey would have been far less fulfilling.

If you’d like to make 2022 the year you stepped into your superpower, consider joining me in the Level Up Program!

  • Let’s get you into the right mindset 
  • Let’s develop a creative practice tailored just for you
  • Let’s start making microsteps so that you can begin taking huge steps
  • Let’s let go of perfectionism
  • Let’s prioritize and protect your time

You deserve to find greater success in your passion, and I’m here to support you!

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