Just One Thing A Day Towards Your True Vocation. ArtMummy Blog

Solo Creative is my share of 20+ in my industry of being a self-employed practising artist. Together and in no particular order, I'm going to be re-reading my diaries for you, tacking some of the problems I encountered, all of which are absolutely relevant for today, perhaps even more so that there are so many of us now working freelance.  

Feel free to send me any questions and I'll do my best to reply.  

One Thing A Day Toward Your True Vocation.

To make this applicable to everyone, I am going to write to you as if you are working in your back bedroom or garage and probably working elsewhere to get the money in.  I'm imagining that you are frustrated that all those years of study/work learning your skill has led you to where you are now and assume that you want to go further, earn more money and get a little more recognition for your art and perhaps more importantly, gain more time to make more work - all of which is highly doable.

Chloe Harrison Painter - Illustrator - Print Maker Based in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, UK www.chloeharrison.com

Chloe Harrison Painter - Illustrator - Print Maker Based in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, UK www.chloeharrison.com

I remember this stage well.  I remember the burning frustration I had at spending at least 8 hours per day on someone else's business let alone the hours I spent on trains and in cars getting to the actual office and back.    I'd been out of art school for a number of years by now and wasn't getting anywhere fast - or so I thought.   In retrospect I see that all my previous jobs helped me in various ways to become the artist that I am now.  I worked for a frenetic event organising agency as a general dog's body which of course helped me in the future to organise my own exhibitions and shows, another job was in The V&A Museum in the book shop, gaining vital retail skills , another position was cold-calling for a presentation company, again, honing those vital communication skills.  All very well to look back and see how each job helped me and the benefits I got from them -  but not then, in those actual years and months I could not have felt further away from my vocation and my precious time away from my drawing board seemed to go SO slowly.  

Maya Angelou

To combat some of the annoyance at my portfolio of artwork laying dormant under my bed, I told myself that I was going to do one thing a day, just ONE THING that would help me get to my dream of being a full time artist.  My one thing a day consisted of anything - literally anything that would help me get to my end goal.  Sometimes it was simply buying myself a paint brush, other times it might have been phoning a gallery to ask how like their artists to approach them, visiting an exhibition, calling an old friend from art college, take part in a life drawing class - my one thing a day helped me beyond measure because, weekends included, I was doing 30 things a month and those 30 added up fast to something much bigger.

My one-thing-a-day stage lasted for about 4 years and in that time I held my first exhibition, broke my arm and used the time off to paint (yes, with my broken arm) started to make new paintings and drawings, joined a printmaking studio and did the odd class and workshop and began to connect with other artists outside of my paid job hours.  I can't tell you that it was easy, but the frustration was certainly lessoned by my one-thing-a-day-plan.  I can see now that I  needed that frustration because that gave me persistence and determination to succeed in becoming a full time career artist.  

So now over to you - how can you implement the one-thing-a-day-plan?  My advice is to keep it simple when you begin, the smaller the thing the more your confidence builds.  Don't overtire yourself because you are precious.  Keep a journal, sketchbook or notebook to keep track of your things and like planting seeds, watch them grow.

Best, Samantha

 

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