Yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook about his frustration with making a living as an artist. I think this is a common theme for many of us, artists, writers, and other individuals who work from home. Let's face it, no matter how much we love what we do, it can be depressing to work alone. Some of us (like me) also face depression issues naturally, and they can be made worse by working alone.
Like many artists, I struggle with the business side of it. I do okay, but it's constant work. And I'm always looking for new ways to sell art. Part of the advice I gave my friend was to broaden things, and try to sell in different venues. When you create a piece of art, sometimes you have to try to make that art work for you in several venues. That painting that you're going to list on Etsy might also make a cool t-shirt design, and look good on other products offered by sites such as RedBubble and Society6. (See my links, hint hint.) That fan art sketch card or pin-up might make a cool shirt on TeePublic, or be submission fodder for the various shirt-a-day/week sites.
I also suggested that when he's frustrated, he should change up his routine a bit. Take a break. Read a book. Go see a movie. Walk around the block. Whatever. There are days where I cannot look at what I'm working on any longer, so I take a break and go read a bit. Of course, I often have multiple projects running, so I might just switch gears and work on something else. My project queue often looks like:
*scan photos for eBay (my biggest sales come from eBay, and they are of my beefcake photos)
*ink and/or colour the current batch of sketch cards
*finish the current painting
*write more on my novel
*write some comic scripts
*letter comic pages
*ink or draw comic stories
*create new digital art
I feel like I'm leaving stuff off, and I probably am. The gist of it is that I'm usually juggling a lot. Sometimes this works in my favor. Other times, not so much. (I've been dragging my feet with comic-related work, for example, and I've gotten stuck with writing that novel.) Sometimes this list makes me feel overwhelmed. Add to it projects like a return to beading and a desire to create custom Mego-esque action figures. "Oy! With the poodles already!" (bonus points if you know where that's from!)
I will say this... walking helps. I started walking again recently, in an attempt to lose weight. But it also helps with the depression issues that often walk with me. Depression is not easy to deal with. It's not the "something bad happened, so he's depressed" thing that's normal. It's the "oh, it's a day ending in Y so I'm depressed" thing. I've learned to manage... Sometimes I switch gears, sometimes I give in to it, and other times I distract myself. I have trained myself to work no matter how I feel. But, walking does help to keep that depression in check, so I'm glad I'm walking again... even if the outdoors feels like an oven every time I step out.
Below is one of my favourite songs, by a favourite band... Madison Park. It's called "Another Yesterday", and I feel that this is about depression... but it's someone viewing a loved one going through depression. Excellent song, but an excellent band!
I hope there has been some help here... If you work by yourself, or even if you deal with depression, I hope you can take away an idea from what I've just babbled on about. Keep your head up and keep going a day, an hour, or even a minute at a time! Don't be afraid to reach out for help if depression is really bad, and vent to your friends, or even on your Facebook page.
#depression #art #MadisonPark #self-employed