What are some of the benefits to working for yourself as an artist? Some downsides?
The biggest issue being an artist full-time is that you’re wearing so many hats. That’s tricky. Some days I just want to paint, but sometimes I don’t have the luxury of painting because I have to send invoices or deal with stuff like that. And for me, if I’m not painting I feel like I’m wasting time.
It’s kind of a double-edged sword because as much freedom as I have, all I do is work. I think it’s pretty common for someone who owns their own business. They work, work, work.
So I never do anything else, which is kind of boring and not really interesting. Because I have friends who have [traditional] jobs and they’d say, Oh, it’s my day off, and they’d just be hanging out. And I’m like, What do you do? You just hang out? [Laughs]
That’s the problem. I work too much. No free time.
But then at the same time I can leave, depending on my projects. My girlfriend has a pioneer house down south and all the time we’ll just go down there for three days. Whereas if I had a job, I couldn’t do that. Tons of freedom, but I’m still working and worried about what’s coming up next all the time.
The freedom is nice. I love being able to not go to work if I don’t want to or to work and do art. Because I don’t have to be here at the store now, we have employees who do the work and I’m kind of a bonus employee.
I think you feel removed from society in a certain way. When you’re working full time you have co-workers, you have a job, you have a purpose. Nine to five you’re going to be there, going to have lunch. You start creating relationships with co-workers, go to Christmas parties, make friends. When you’re an artist you’re by yourself all the time. So I think the hardest thing now is just finding that sense of community. You still have your friends, your family, community, but you’re moving from place to place.