How to Have a Day Job and an Art Career

by Raheem Nelson

Tips on balancing work and an art career.

Supplies

  • Persistence
  • Patience
  • Time
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Unless you're very lucky you want to have a day job as you pursue a career in art. When I graduated from SVA on 2007 I thought I'd land some big full time art job out of college...

    Step 2

    Unfortunately it's not that simple for most artists. We have to scratch and claw our way to success. Keep in mind all of this is from experience. An artist should have a day job or jobs...

    Step 3

    that are going to assist in the creative process of making and selling art. It helps to pay the bills and stay relatively stress free so art can flow.

    Step 4

    As for finding a job that's another story. I got lucky by having experience as an afterschool counselor when I was younger. That and the fact that my Mom teaches helped me get my job as a...

    Step 5

    Paraprofessional in New Haven Public Schools. It can be very grueling but the hours leave me plenty of time to work on my art which is the key. At the end of the day I'm an artist no matter what.

    Step 6

    I feel like I have two jobs at this point and I take them very seriously. Having a job gives me financial security and enough freedom to freelance.

    Step 7

    Sometimes your day job can also lead to employment. These are caricatures for a contract job with a high school in New Haven. I got the work because in part I teach.

    Step 8

    It's easier to stay creative when you can pay rent on time. Making time for my art after work is paramount to pursuing my art career. I make it a point to always be working on something.

    Step 9

    It's a balancing act but if you commit to the job your employer may understand when you need time off. Recently I had to take some days off for a job with Sony in NYC. I had my Principal's support.

    Step 10

    Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to leave feedback and head to http://raheemnelson.com to see more.