You may be asking “what is a balanced artist?”
If you work full time at a job and pursuing creative work is only an idea in your head…you may be off balance. If you’re creating art full time, but also homeless because you’re not making any money…you may be off balance. If you’ve been nominated for a Grammy, but your neglected kids hate your guts…you may be off balance.
The questions I often get from people with full time jobs are, “how do I replace my income by becoming a full-time artist”? Then you get the artists out there in the trenches who ask, “how do I make more money creating this art”? Two sides of the spectrum, and neither of them are truly satisfied with where they’re at.
The happiest and most content people I have ever met, have found a healthy balance of both. We’re human beings. We have a left brain and a right brain that both need satisfaction.
The left side needs stability. A notion that if the worst happens, we’ll still have a roof over our heads. The right side needs an outlet for creative expression. Steven Pressfield said “Don’t do art to express yourself, do art to discover yourself”. On our death beds if we feel like we didn’t discover every inch of who we are, then they will burry us with regret.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to live well. You’ve heard stories of vans breaking down on the side of the road and the band can’t make it to the next gig because they can’t afford road side assistance. Is that rock n roll, or is that just a system built on a house of cards that was bound to tumble anyways?
There is a myth that if you’re not struggling, then you’re not a “true artist”. That’s something that “struggling artists” say to justify their lifestyle. They tell you how great it’s going because they don’t have to be tied down to a job, or mortgage or kids, but then ask you for a ride home because their bus transfer has expired…
Art is about stepping outside your comfort zone. Giving yourself permission to be vulnerable and fail. Failure sucks. You feel frustrated and rejected, but as a balanced artist you have the stability side of your life to fall back on. When that stable side needs a release, it’s time to create more art. Each half is a remedy for the other. As a healthy human being, you need balance. Why are you trying to satisfy all your needs with one thing?
My hope is that this podcast will offer some value to people who struggle on either side of the fence. By listening to the conversations, I have with likeminded people, hopefully it will offer a sense of relatability or even relief that you’re not alone out there. You’re part of a community of creators who want you to deliver your best work to the world – and in the process live sustainable, happy and balanced lives.
Check out balancedartist.com to take the balanced artist quiz. You can find out just how off balance you are.
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