I am loving the below image by Hugh MacLeod. So much so, I am thinking of buying a copy, unless you want to make an awesome donation. His random thoughts on being an entrepreneur is something all artists should read. Is it delusional to think as an arts entrepreneur that I can create a work/life/art balance that allows me to pursue all my artistic avenues?
I was thinking about this when @JessHutchinson commented that artists are imploding by over-commitment, self-overwhelming, inbalance between life/work/art. This led to a conversation (a reason why Twitter is important) with fellow theaterosphere/2am Theatre people (#2amt) @nickkeenan, @RZrow, @dloehr, and @MaxEPunk. @RZCrow reminded us that, “We need to realize there’s time & sometimes we need to take everything in moderation.” I responded that artists “might be over committed, but this artist has to work three teaching jobs, because the art doesn’t pay.” I think this issue is at the heart of arts entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur looks for finical backing to support their idea, project or product. It is no secret that the arts don’t pay well and funding is difficult, so many artists take on other freelance/part-time work, like becoming teaching artists, because it is a way to use their art to connect with others and its freelance schedule allows artist to also work on their art. Due to this freelance nature many teaching artists work multiple part-time jobs to pay the bills. This, at times, creates teaching artists who are more teachers and less artists. Even though the idea that working a freelance/part-time job creates time and space for creating art, instead sometimes more time is spent going from part-time to part-time job and less time is spent on creating art.
As a teaching artist that works with three different organizations pretty consistently, I spend a range of 13-17 hours teaching a week and commuting 13 hours a week for a total of 26-30 hours a week on “teaching”. I also freelance in web design and SEO, to help pay the bills. I have other special circumstances that do not allow me to do theater at the moment (baby and wife that works three nights a week). Does your schedule allow you to create art or are you about to implode? How are you creating a work/life/art balance? Are you working part-time/freelance or as a full-time employee? To end with Jess’ question, “How do we begin to find true balance?”