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The Liberation of the Part-time Artist

Sometimes I wonder how things would be if I stayed the course, completed my academic art-related studies and a career of as full-time artist.

More often than not I am grateful I went a different route - I believe the path I chose has proven to be the best path for me.

Much here to unpack but there are two hugely important benefits that come with being a part time artist -- freedom and limitation. If they are leveraged properly they can be quite liberating.

On freedoms enjoyed by part time artists...

  • We get to create what we choose with no constraints or fear of feedback, failure or irrelevance.

  • We can leverage our primary sources of income to purchase all kinds of resources, supplies and equipment.

  • We can leverage our broad experience for inspiration and depth in our work

  • We can benefit from our own unique social network developed around our full time careers.

  • We can shift gears, branch off, experiment and change direction within our art practice whenever we wish.

  • We don't need to hold art-based income up as a high priority.

  • We can take a break from art without fear of loss of income.

On the limitations enjoyed by part time artists...

  • Most of our limitations are found in the areas of time, knowledge and focus. Paradoxically these can lead us to some of our greatest advantages...

  • We experience the polite little nudge to create even if the conditions to do so are less than ideal.

  • We have to be flexible and creative in the effort to find time to create.

  • We have to practice discipline, consistency and effective prioritization - we have little choice.

  • We have to own the development of our creative process.

  • We have no choice but to focus intently on producing art when we have the opportunity to do so.

  • We have no choice but to work as efficiently - sometimes as quickly - as we possibly can.

  • We get to be really selective amongst the artistic opportunities we take on.

  • Due to limitations on our time we must learn intentionally-- if we wish to improve and progress.

  • We have the element of surprise on our side as people wonder how we do what we do with the limited time we have to do it.

The push and pull found among the Freedoms and Limitations experienced working as a part-time artist can work as a kind of yin and yang dynamic within our lives.

I don't think I would change a single thing.

Thanks for hearing me out...

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