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Struggling to stay an artist with a full-time day job


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Fellow NF artists, especially those with (non-art related) day jobs, how do you make time to practice your art? I've been working full-time for about 2 years now, and I feel my skills as an artist have suffered, or at least haven't improved, since I graduated. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you!

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freudianweapon.tumblr.com

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I'm learning to do the same thing, and new to N/F.  I'll have had a full time day-job for one year now and I haven't made any artwork I'm proud of in years.  

 

I've set myself a deadline (three days left to finish!) and wrote out a whole list of more deadlines throughout the year to stay accountable.  I've been getting home, eating dinner and drawing.  The household I'm currently in loves watching TV shows for the rest of the night, but for the past two weeks, I've had to make the difficult decision of saying no and sitting myself down to draw in another room for at least 30 minutes.  That way if I have other things that need to get done, I can attend to them after drawing.  Otherwise that half hour almost always ends up 2 or more until it's time to go to bed. 

 

Good Luck rebel artist!  

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I'm learning to do the same thing, and new to N/F.  I'll have had a full time day-job for one year now and I haven't made any artwork I'm proud of in years.  

 

I've set myself a deadline (three days left to finish!) and wrote out a whole list of more deadlines throughout the year to stay accountable.  I've been getting home, eating dinner and drawing.  The household I'm currently in loves watching TV shows for the rest of the night, but for the past two weeks, I've had to make the difficult decision of saying no and sitting myself down to draw in another room for at least 30 minutes.  That way if I have other things that need to get done, I can attend to them after drawing.  Otherwise that half hour almost always ends up 2 or more until it's time to go to bed. 

 

Good Luck rebel artist!  

That's awesome! Keep it up! What kind of deadlines are you setting? Like one piece of artwork a week? I think I might try your 30 min. rule, seems like that could work. (Also, I 'd love to see some of your work!)

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Thanks! For this first one, I picked a piece I have already started and gave myself two weeks.  That time has flown by, especially since I haven't been taking my drawing seriously for so long.  My current guidelines are two weeks for an unfinished piece, and one month for a new one.  It depends on how you work and function best.  Does one week for a picture seem doable to you? if so go for it!  I'm giving myself some slack to remember how to draw so to speak, and for the real world to get in the way.  I may adjust it as I go along.

April 1st, I'll post my piece! 

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Thanks! For this first one, I picked a piece I have already started and gave myself two weeks.  That time has flown by, especially since I haven't been taking my drawing seriously for so long.  My current guidelines are two weeks for an unfinished piece, and one month for a new one.  It depends on how you work and function best.  Does one week for a picture seem doable to you? if so go for it!  I'm giving myself some slack to remember how to draw so to speak, and for the real world to get in the way.  I may adjust it as I go along.

April 1st, I'll post my piece! 

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I'm not an artist, but my best friend is an illustrator who's slowly breaking into the fantasty/scifi field.  From my observations.... a significant lack of sleep and highly curbed social times.  If you want to improve your art and have it as a career, you end up essentially having two jobs - the one to pay the bills and the one to make your art better.  It's not fun, and it involves a lot of scraping by, but it's a Do-what-you-love thing.

 

I do know my friend sketches ALL OF THE TIME.  Even at his day jobs, he would bring his notebook with him, and sketch things out when he could.  That way his base idea was already worked on, so he wasn't exactly working from nothing when he went home to paint.

 

Good luck!  I'm lucky if I can draw a stick man.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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If there's one thing I know, is that if you love something, you make time for it.  Get up earlier, finish work earlier, do whatever you can.

Honestly, I'm in the same boat.  I've never had really any formal training, but I love drawing, and I want to do it more.  I've been trying to set time limits for myself:  10 minutes to draw something awesome.  It's really helped me in focusing on my skills, and not to sweat my mistakes as much.

Good luck.

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 Level 4

Character Sheet | Current Challenge |

| Past Challenges | #1 | #2 | #3#4 |
Educate - Entertain - Inspire

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Fellow NF artists, especially those with (non-art related) day jobs, how do you make time to practice your art? I've been working full-time for about 2 years now, and I feel my skills as an artist have suffered, or at least haven't improved, since I graduated. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you!

----------------------------

freudianweapon.tumblr.com

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Hi Freudian,

I used to struggle with the same thing. I do have to disagree with cutting off social time and sleep, because that cuts down any kind of productivity. I feel like that impedes the hand-eye coordination quite a bit. I gave myself a person project that now I've made public (Pressure is ON). I'm creating a comic, and also made it a part of my curriculum (doubly on). I've told my followers that I post a comic page every Monday. If I don't, I disappoint not just myself, but the readers I'm starting to gain.

 

It may help to find a project you'd want to invest time in, once you're comfortable with drawing 30 minutes a day.

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I have been working for 3 years as a Web Developer and I basically only do art when I feel like it which seems to be far and few between lol In highschool and the 1 year program at art college I would draw/doodle/create all the time. It was part of me and it defined me. Now I enjoy doing art for other people and as gifts so naturally I pretty much wait until Christmas and do a bunch of drawings/paintings for people. Or sparsely throughout the year for peoples birthdays. Lately I have been wanting to do more so I got a pack of 3 little sketchbooks that can fit in my purse or just be around without taking up space. One sits on my desk at work and one sits beside my bed. Manly I doodle or write notes of projects I would like to do. I am making myself an art station at my new house so I am better set up for painting. I have a few ideas I would like to do. I find the more I do it, the more I tend to want to do it and make time for it. I think a good step for you if you want to better yourself is either sign up for an after hours art class of sorts or life drawing or give yourself a small assignment each week or month to complete. "Do a painting of metallic objects", "Draw 8 figure drawings", "Paint a landscape" etc.

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{Chase the wind and touch the sky; I will fly}

 

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I have been working for 3 years as a Web Developer and I basically only do art when I feel like it which seems to be far and few between lol In highschool and the 1 year program at art college I would draw/doodle/create all the time. It was part of me and it defined me. Now I enjoy doing art for other people and as gifts so naturally I pretty much wait until Christmas and do a bunch of drawings/paintings for people. Or sparsely throughout the year for peoples birthdays. Lately I have been wanting to do more so I got a pack of 3 little sketchbooks that can fit in my purse or just be around without taking up space. One sits on my desk at work and one sits beside my bed. Manly I doodle or write notes of projects I would like to do. I am making myself an art station at my new house so I am better set up for painting. I have a few ideas I would like to do. I find the more I do it, the more I tend to want to do it and make time for it. I think a good step for you if you want to better yourself is either sign up for an after hours art class of sorts or life drawing or give yourself a small assignment each week or month to complete. "Do a painting of metallic objects", "Draw 8 figure drawings", "Paint a landscape" etc.

I do that as well, I have a small sketchbook I carry with me to work to draw in during my lunch breaks and I have the regular sized one at home. It's funny you should mention the classes, I've actually signed up for one the other day. My first class is tomorrow!

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I noticed the same thing with my art when working full time. It's definitely a use it or lose it skill. Like many of our fellow artists here I try to stress sketching every day, but also don't skimp on sleep. Sleep is incredibly important for healthy creative juice production. 

Your figure sketches have nice proportions. I'm interested where your art will take you.

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