We aren’t talking about silent film The Artist which struck gold (five times) this year at the Oscars. The artist we speak of has many forms: Artist, Musician, Thespian, Chef, Photographer, the list goes on. Creative trades come with a schedule that is anything but nine to five. Continuing our series on flexibility, we focus on the creative professions and why they need a flexible work schedule.
Each Day is Different
You get up each morning, make coffee, eat breakfast and take the same route to your job every day. There is a large demographic of people who don't have this traditional routine. Photographers for one are at the mercy of whatever event they will be shooting. Weddings mean weekends and events mean evenings. “If you work for yourself, I would like to say that the majority of photographers never have a day that repeats itself,” from The Lifestyle of a Professional Photographer
For those involved in theatre, rehearsals sometimes last nightly for an entire month leading up to performances. Chefs (other than Project Runway stars) are back in their kitchens cooking every evening and lunch for hungry patrons. Artists work as inspiration moves.
Personal Branding and Income
For many young and aspiring artists, you are investing time and money into getting noticed. Getting involved, networking, and doing whatever you can to expand your trade are paramount. Personal branding “will turn into a part-time job, consuming about 15 hours out of your week. Create a website that shows case studies, your bio, a client list and samples of your work. From there, you should be going to industry events, blogging about your business, speaking at local associations and conferences, creating an e-mail newsletter to keep clients and potentials engaged, and writing articles for trade magazines and websites,”says Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding.
Ability to devote 15 plus hours a week means you will have to delicately balance a current paying job, your dreams, and branding your name. “I think for lot of artists you have a job on the side and then you make your work and maybe you continue that until the work that you made can somehow sustain you,” says artist Fritz Haeg on bigthink.com.
And the Oscar goes to…
There are many artists that made their way from a humble beginning of working a flexible schedule. Celine Dion used to practice her songs at her father’s piano bar. Famous talk show host, David Letterman was a stock boy at Atlas grocery store in Indianapolis. Madonna worked at a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant at one time.
Writer Debra Ginsberg wrote an entire memoir about her 20 years of experiences working as a waitress on the side. “It was waiting that enabled me to support and raise my son as a single mother. In these years of waiting, I have developed a self-reliance, resilience, and the ability to manage high levels of stress, all of which have become invaluable life skills.”
We get it and we are behind you, the artist, as you persue your dreams. Sean Aiken for TEDx Talks has said it well, "Yet our career is only one means of expressing our gifts, one means of fufilling your passions. For some working to pay the bills allows them to explore their passions outside of work. What is important that in some asspect of our life we give ourselves permission to express our gifts. This is when we feel truly alive."
If you are an artist perusing your dreams, know you aren’t alone in finding flexible work to support yourself. Registering your expertise at NextCrew and selecting shift work based on your personal schedule allows you to be your creative self! The sky is the limit!
Photos by: Rebecca Peplinski Photography