Connecting Your Art To Your Future: A Productive Life
One interesting challenge with the work we have created is trying to connect it to an artist’s mind, heart and subsequent future. Artists carry the weight of the world on their shoulders as we look to explore so many stories through humor, pain, love, Plays, Songs, Paintings, and the list goes on and on.
We rightfully cherish our very real ability to be able to tap into subconscious pieces of humanity and when something feels like it could encroach on that gift (structure, organization, budgets, plans, deadlines), we can turn a cheek. I get it more than you may know. But for me what trumps any concern with the extra work is the need to connect my art to my future.
Connecting your art to your future is about your creativity’s ultimate sustainability which lies in the balance of the work you’re creating and your ability to live a productive life.
What do you expect from your art in the next 10 years? Do you imagine it will pay your bills? If so, given the fact that so many of our mediums pay practically nothing, do you plan for a commercial career inclusive of your art or an artistic career that is supported by a side gig? Most, by the way, typically want their art to support their lives. No real surprise there but what *does* surprise me is the lack of subsequent action to make that a reality.
More often than not it’s simply because our training and industries haven’t equipped us so I’m here to yell from as many mountain tops as I can climb that it’s now your job to identify what that future looks like. Why? Because if we wait to see how things shake out all the while just hoping for the best, life could make the decision for us.
Here are some basic things to consider when weighing what you want as part of your future:
- 401K / Retirement
- Owning property
- Health insurance
- Mental Well Being
- Stories You Want to Tell
- Artists You Want to Work With
- Life / Creative Experiences You’re Longing For
- Debt or lack thereof
Any or all of the above can be included as part of your future as long as you take into consideration what you’re going to need to do to get there and make the decision as to whether or not you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
No matter how you’re currently taking responsibility for your future, if your creative work is as important to you as you say it is, you owe it to yourself to take a moment to think through what it would mean to connect your art to your future. However it plays out, I doubt it happens exactly how you expected it to. And maybe that’s exactly what stops us…how we thought this was going to happen versus reality.