The Professional Artist

The professional artist has plenty of challenges besides meeting deadlines. There’s concept design, color palette, execution, and client revisions just to name a few. But perhaps the biggest challenge for the professional artist is not losing themselves in their work…and I don’t mean in the good way, like time flies when you’re having fun kind of way.

What I mean is, as artists, we always have ideas and random what-ifs that pop up into our heads for potential personal projects. They usually get put on the back burner because we feel obligated to work on client’s projects. Let’s face it, money talks and it can be a huge motivator. But in doing so, our own creative imagination gets put on hold, sometimes indefinitely.

There’s no question that money can be a huge motivation to accept any and every job that comes your way even if it’s not in your best interest. (Photo Credit: Copyright: Narongrit Suebnunta)

As a professional artist, getting paid to do work for a client is great. But ultimately, it’s someone else’s project and someone else’s idea that you’re helping bring to life, not yours.

Are You Putting Your Ideas on Hold?

Never getting to do your own work can make you start feeling like your hands are tied. It can be a stifling experience not being free to create what you want. Most, if not all of the time, it is up to the artist to maintain the boundaries necessary for you to do your own thing.

Not being able to work on your own projects can be stifling. (Photo Credit: Copyright: Alexandr Ivanov)

For creatives, being able to express ourselves through our art is as important as eating, sleeping, brushing your teeth and bathing. You make time for those things (hopefully), so make the time for your own art also. Even if all you can eke out is 15–30 minutes, it helps you to get that release and keep the creative fires going.

So if you are a professional artist, or even an artist making money with your art as a side gig, congratulations! But don’t forget about your own creative well-being. Make it a point of making time for your own art and don’t lose yourself in your work!

Further Reading:

Creating Art for Yourself



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Myra Naito

Myra Naito


Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at or follow me @mnaito_fineart .