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Forum > General discussion > Is making a living off of art a mistake?
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"Is making a living off of art a mistake?", 13 days ago, 11:30 PM #1
ewolf20

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someone asked me who can make a living off of art? i can't believe what am hearing...though he is right. in my years of art, it's been only a year since i decided to make a living off it. it's not as rewarding as it seems. being observed on the internet has lend a hand on making that so. maybe i should be a doctor. at least you get regular pay.
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12 days ago, 12:09 AM #2
Kelsey -Nutty- P.

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You'll get regular pay, maybe.

After 8 years of study and thousands upon thousands of dollars in school debt.

Just stick with it and get a part-time job to make bills and food and such. That's what I've been doing!
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12 days ago, 1:01 AM #3
lirvilas
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It can be done without the degree, but it takes craftiness and flexibility and a razor sharp business sense.

And of course always, always improving technical skills.

I mean, if it were easy, everyone would do it, amirite?
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12 days ago, 2:09 AM #4
Bear

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"Is making a living off of art a mistake?"

No, it's called "Nirvana" LIVING off art, that is... merely SURVIVING, hand-to-mouth, i.e. the traditional story of most of our famous artists of the past, is another matter B-)
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12 days ago, 10:02 AM #5
Leafa
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Different strokes for different folks - I think the grass is always greener. Being able to live comfortably is great, but so is spending most of your time doing something that you enjoy on some level which you feel is worthwhile. The trick is probably balancing those two.

Personally I have maneuvered myself into a day job which gives me a moderate amount of spare time in the evenings, a very generous annual leave allowance and a salary that lets me live simply but comfortably so long as I keep a close eye on my budget. This gives me the time and resources to pursue my interest in art and comics on the side.

But I'd be lying if I didn't wish I could spend all day telling stories (not just comics, but writing too.) I have so much I want to create, and it's slow going. I also feel like I need to improve the standard of my art, I'm always worried that it is a bit stagnant at this point, and not at a standard where I could ever be published.
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12 days ago, 10:24 AM #6
Kevtrev

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Leafa:I also feel like I need to improve the standard of my art, I'm always worried that it is a bit stagnant at this point, and not at a standard where I could ever be published.


Interesting; if it makes you feel better, I've always seen the quality of your work as perfectly publishable, a standard to aim for if I want to level-up my own work from its current amateur standard.

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As for the main topic - if you are able to make a living off of something you love, then of course that is not a mistake. You do you! But if it's a struggle to make ends meet, then it's hard to say whether it's worth it. I would ask myself: does the good outweigh the bad, or is it the other way around?

Another factor to keep in mind: Turning your hobby into your job sounds great, but I've noticed I lose passion for drawing the moment it becomes something I have to do.

It's all very much a personal thing. Do what "feels right" to you, I suppose.
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12 days ago, 12:23 PM #7
Damatris
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No!! But you should be aware of the difficulties of the profession and prepare for them.

It's much harder to achieve the level of income that let's you live comfortably than many other fields. It also takes longer to really kick in gear so it's good not to think you'll be able to support yourself completely with it right off the start. Better to have a day / part time job that'll tide you over until you can start cutting those work hours and switch to making money solely through your art. Of course, you might be one of those lucky and hard working people who can do it right from the start but better to be prepared.

Also, better prepare yourself mentally to work long days. Like, really long. While everyone obviously works on their own pace, even 12 hour days aren't uncommon. :') Especially if there's deadline coming up. This is demanding profession that can easily end up eating time from other activities and socialization, although it's really important to also take breaks to avoid burn out. Or wrecking yourself physically. That's a real danger. Just remember to take care of yourself.

There's a truth to the fact that you need to be passionate about it and have good self-management skills.
And honestly, it's not impossible thing to achieve. I have a lot of acquaintances and friends who do it for living without needing any other jobs, both comic and fine artists. And they love it.

It's also something I'm aiming at now that my health is getting better and I can do things for more than couple hours a day. Although, I'm getting hopefully a part time, not full day, job to have a secure income. I'm really not hang up on having much spending money, just having enough to live so not having many work hours at some place would be perfect.
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12 days ago, 4:08 PM #8
Leafa
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Kevtrev:Interesting; if it makes you feel better, I've always seen the quality of your work as perfectly publishable, a standard to aim for if I want to level-up my own work from its current amateur standard.

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Thank you, that's nice to hear!!! I think it's really hard to be objective about our own work. Part of being an artist is seeing flaws and figuring out how to improve on them, so it can be hard to feel satisfied.

The good news is it probably means we're all doing better than we think we are!
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10 days ago, 4:03 AM #9
Nooga

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Honestly for the sake of consistency you're best off doing it as a side gig rather than your main job. If you can get popular enough Patreon can end up being a lifesaver, but you'd have to be incredibly lucky to get that popular. Sad truth is, the starving artist stereotype exists for a reason.
10 days ago, 4:15 AM #10
Morgenstern
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I live on ramen, cheap hotdogs and Shur Fine Cola, but they would have to drag me back to a "real" job kicking and screaming

like, I'll probably die at this computer but I'm the happiest I've ever been
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10 days ago, 4:17 AM #11
SinisterRabbit

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Yes it is.. So throw away your tablets and art supplies.. I'm kidding.

It's difficult but not impossible because there's so many artist out there and so many free content posted online that people think it should be free.

You can make a living as a studio artist but those jobs can be hard to come by.
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Forum > General discussion > Is making a living off of art a mistake?
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