Monday, April 08, 2013

Work Art Balance

I've had a fortunate life where I can always make time to create art. Not fortunate enough to make a living from my art but I've worked in my own business since 1995 so that I can balance work to pay the bills and art to feed my soul. Sometimes that is more challenging than other times.

And this is one of those times.

Typically working with small to medium-sized businesses to help them with social media, their websites, their online marketing and relationship strategies, I've taken on a client for 9 months that is much larger than is typical for me. I'm very excited for the project, building a large online community for a very large company, but it will take my full focus to succeed at their aggressive goals. I've built many online communities over the years, and still host one at that began in 1994 and is still running and active and vibrant today. I love building communities and connecting people with each other and with good content. So all of that is perfect for me. I'm the right person for this job.

But I'm aware art is going to take more of a back seat in my life for awhile. I'll have to work harder to schedule time to paint and balance that with my chores, and seeing people. The stuff of life. Although a solitary activity for me, art is the stuff of life for me as well.

I did just complete two large oil paintings right before I signed this contract. I'm glad I did that. And while my art studio is there and will wait for me, I also brought a full set of paints home so that I might be able to do smaller projects or maybe just shorter painting stints here and there on the weekends - just to keep it going.

I find I can't let painting go more than several weeks. I begin to not feel quite right. And so, beginning today, I embark on an experiment of balancing work and art and making sure both feel heard and supported and expressed.

A friend (not an artist but someone who appreciates art) told me not that long ago, "It used to be artists had benefactors. Now they have jobs."

I'll take that thought with me as I re-enter the corporate world and create another great space for community online.

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