I often have people tell me that they would love to paint and become an artist someday. Some say that they loved painting as a child, it was the one thing that they enjoyed the most in school, and that someday they would really like to get back into it. My response to these statements is “Why Wait?” This is the time when I hear about the real world, real jobs, real bills, real responsibilities and a lot of really real stuff to do. I’ll do it when I retire, when my kids go off to school, when I have the money and most importantly when I have the time.
In actuality, what people are really saying is that they would like to have fun as a kid and paint when all the circumstances around them are perfect. When life is secure and you have a bunch of extra free time on your hands and nothing else to do. Here is the thing. This may never happen. You probably will be like most and always find that there is always another need. Whether it is family obligations, house repairs, or volunteer work, to simply trying to check-in and see how everyone else is doing, there will always be things to do.
For the first 15 years of my career I would preach that you should always follow your dreams and do what your true passion is. After speaking to so many artists that can’t create when the muse just isn‘t there, or when their work isn’t currently flying off the walls, or when a bad recession hits and they feel depressed and unmotivated, I have altered my views slightly on living the dream. I still think that you should find your true passion and follow your dreams, but I don’t think that having a stable job in an unrelated field makes this impossible. In fact, for some, this stability is what helps them feel secure and willing to try and take the risk of creating art. If you turn off the TV and put the phone down and instead use that time to work on your art, you would be surprised how much better you will feel. The timing might not be perfect, but nothing ever is.