I find as an artist that one of the best things you can start doing early on in your musical career pursuit is staying in your craft as much as possible. Now I know that some of us out here don’t have financial backing and a cohort of team members pushing us right out of the gate. So that means that the majority of us have to stick to doing something to pay the bills during the day, while pursuing our craft when its clock out time.
I’ve found that over the years that some of the people that have the easiest advantage making the transition to part-time artist to full-time artist are the ones that kept their craft top of mind always. But it can be kind of hard if you’re stuck in a job that requires your full attention and dedication (as it should), when you have a passion for something else. Depending on the job, you’re focused on something else for 8 or more hours a day, and then may actually need motivation to work on your own craft. Which I’ve heard many a story where people are too tired from the day job, and need to rest and recoup to get ready for the next day. And the more and more you put off working on your craft….the easier it gets to do so, and the next thing you know life has taken over and your dream has gone bye-bye.
Now we obviously need money to invest in our craft, so how do we balance this? Because the last thing any business owner wants is for employees to be half-assing on the job because they are too focused on their passion. For some professions that can be a safety concern, and besides, you’re getting paid to do a job, so do it to its fullest.
But something occurred to me a few years ago after talking to a few fellow artists, and that was simply to stay as much in the flow of the craft as possible, and then working on your passion after work is never a problem because you’re already in the headspace.
In simpler terms, get a job that allows you to use the same skills you would in your passion.
My day job is running a film production company. So I’m always behind a camera somewhere, editing something, talking about producing, movies, films, etc. I’m constantly using the same creative energy I would be when I’m in the studio. Not to mention that most film projects have music that go along with them as well, so I stay in a zone of music and entertainment.
An R&B singer colleague of mine took a job at Guitar Center so she stays around music, people who love it, and of course can get discounts on new equipment whenever she needs to.
Another buddy of mine took a night job working on computers so he can stay in his graphic design element always being on the computer and enhancing his coding skills.
Every job won’t be the perfect fit to stay in your craft, but if you can somehow find a way to make the money you need without putting restrictions on the ability to work on your passion, you can get to the goal a lot faster. Just my two cents on it.