Supporting yourself as an artist has never been easy. Faced with this challenge, artists often take a job that pays the rent yet kills their creative potential. You can spend months, even years, in a “day job” that gradually becomes your life.
So what can you do instead? Take time to discover what’s available now in the world of jobs for creative people. Many jobs are remote, and there are also opportunities for freelance work. Start with the major search engines (indeed, linkedin, idealist, etc.) and review the arts-related jobs. For freelance work, take a look at upwork.com.
See what appeals to you, but don’t apply for anything yet. Use these job postings to learn about the experience and skills required for creative jobs.
Then create a “skills-based” resume. You take your own work experience and break it down into the skills you have developed. Use broad categories, such as “communication skills,” “administrative skills” or “technical skills. Use that resume to activate your network. Have conversations with your friends, neighbors, teachers, and relatives, to get their advice about job opportunities for you.
You do this because there are two systems operating at the same time: a formal online job posting process, plus an informal network. You still need to be qualified for the job, but you can get recommended by people who know you. Research shows that 80% of people who get new jobs do so through people they know.
The large job sites can be a black hole, especially If you don’t have all the requirements for a job. But you might get an interview through the informal process, when someone says: “hey, I know a person who would be perfect for that job. Can I pass on their resume?”
That resume could be yours.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.