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How do I cultivate an artistic career when the financial incentive is secondary or in some cases detrimental to the principles of my values

I have made a conscious decision to make more of my passions and abilities. I am at the beginning stages of starting a family, and cannot realistically raise children and support my wife to be on my current wage. I do not wish to invest any more of myself in a career I resent purely to meet these financial pressures, I want to invest my time and energy in the things I am truly passionate about, however believe that the necessity to create for a financial gain is detrimental to the creativity itself. The saturation of creative markets with people trying to make a living out of their arts means that just creating is no longer a viable lifestyle choice, without the sacrifice of the woman I love and the family we hope to build. I do not want to abandon the fundamental principles I have about the value of art being greater than that of money, but not at the expense of my family. Compromise?


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    Jun 18 2013: Question: Could you pursue your artistic career without worrying about remuneration for your work while pursuing other activities that do pay? That leaves your art untainted but allows you to support your family. Many great creative people have launched themselves this way.

    If you want to earn adequate money through your art alone to support your family, you probably do need to look into how to make money through your art.

    Because there are maybe hundreds of thousands of people in your position of wanting to make a living of art without worrying about making a living of art, you will find lots of resources online about best strategies for making a living through your art or dealing with this quandary.

    These resources are of different types. There are sites offered by people who may or may not really be artists but make a living giving advice on how to do this, though how well their advice works for artists, or other artists, is not clear. I wouldn't pay someone for advice on this who doesn't have a clear track record.

    The best resources I have seen in this area are: 1) The website Wetcanvas. There artists in every area form a community of practice in which they discuss technique, give feedback on works-in-progress, but also discuss issues related to creativity or questions such as the one you pose. Working artists who do make a living through it offer their perspectives. 2) Lateral Action. Mark McGuinness is a poet who used to be a management consultant. He offers a free 6 month online course called Creative Pathfinder that covers such topics. Importantly, he does not then or during follow you to try to sell you anything. But you could also look at his blog archives for perspective on your question.

    I have no commercial affiliation with either of these resources.
    • Jun 18 2013: Thanks for the sites, I will have a more in depth look. In the past that has been a viable solution, working whatever job whilst maintaining creative development independently. I do however feel as though the time an energy required to really progress up the pay scale to a place that is feasible to feed a family is energy that could, and currently is, focused on my creative endeavours.
      Thanks again for the ideas.

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