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    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2008
    So, I have a BFA in painting, drawing, and photography, and I currently work in a bar. I've been there for about a year and a half because it ays the bills, but lately the guys who own it have been intolerable bastards and the money hasn't been as good, and I think it might be time to move on. My question, how many of you make a living in an artistic field, and how do you do it? I'm trying to avoid soul sucking office work, but I'm at a bit of a loss.
  1.  (560.2)
    Learn to work with Z-Brush, Maya (or Max), Photoshop, and have a basic working knowledge of Perforce, and work in the game industry.
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2008
    I pull off an only marginally soul sucking, in-house graphic design position to pay the bills, but then i work a little freelance in graphics, illustration and photogrpahy on the side to keep things interesting.

    makes for some long days but it's art which helps.
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    I found that a good way to get into art is through the academic side, depending on your skill set there are a wide array of "technician" type jobs in college and university art departments. You sort of bust your ass for 8 months, but then you can chill out all summer and do your own stuff. Been my m.o. for like 6 years now and it's gone pretty well.

    That being said I feel that we're all so preoccupied with work that people need to chill! One of my coworker's bestowed the "work to live" rather than "live to work" philosophy on me.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    Storyboarding, while hardly stable, pays well enough to support yourself on. And God knows there aren't enough art teachers in middle or high school.
    • CommentAuthoromer333
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    You could always get into tattooing. God knows there's too many clowns out there tattooing that can't draw.

    Just don't believe the hype of shows like LA Ink or Miami Ink.

    Tattooing can be a pretty rough business, you've got to be able to get over a lot of bullshit.
    • CommentAuthorSpadiee
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    <blockquote>God knows there aren't enough art teachers in middle or high school.</blockquote>

    That is the job for the iron willed. I've always been impressed by those who could do this for a living.

    I'm working on a creative writing degree at the moment. The eventual plan is to get my masters and become a professor and a university somewhere. Just a thought for you OP. It gives you the opportunity to pass on your gifts to others while still having time to practice your craft. I've heard that they pay you regularly for the work too, but that might just be a rumor.

  2.  (560.8)
    I have a mind numbing day job in Graphic Design, but am currently trying to build a more interesting personal portfolio to get a better position elsewhere. Do you have a portfolio of illustration work that could be used commercially? Hand drawn/painted/made art is very fashionable right now which should improve your chances. If you don't already have them, get a scanner, a copy of Photoshop and maybe Illustrator or Painter and work hard at learning how to use them in conjunction with your artwork. Try and get some projects - even if you have to do them cheap - to add to the portfolio. Hard work will get you there.
  3.  (560.9)
    Like everyone else said... mix it up a bit by adding digital illustration to your arsenal... Get in touch with magazines / publishers / etc...
    Try to find a good agency that can rep you for freelance work.
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    I graduated in 04 and I'm freelance illustrator.

    I was able to survive off my freelance alone for the past 11 months but i just picked up a part time job so i won't be SUPER broke. It's a slow start but i'm way happier than i've ever been. I'm on a steady course to living my dream even with my 80k of student loan debt trying to hold me back.

    How do you get there?

    - Find out what you want to do exactly and be mature enough to realize this may mean you have to change your stlye or concepts to be marketable. It's not ok to expect the world to throw money at you just for doing whatever it is you like to do in your free time.

    - Stay humble and kick your own but everyday.I work 14 hr days whether that includes my part time job or just my artwork alone on "days off."

    - Seek out professionals in the field you specifically want to work in.
    Ask for their honest opinion of your work and where you need to take it/make changes. Once they tell me you make the change instead of just talking about changing.

    - Remain patient but diligent. Don't go out parting regularly, don't go to the movies regularly, DO NOT PLAY VIDEO GAMES AT ALL! Try to keep all internet use work related. Realistically you may need to hold onto a bar tending job on the side for another 5 to 10 years. Are ok with that? If not you may need to find a new line of work. If you're doing what you love and growing at it what does it matter how you pay your bills right now?

    - Get involved in professional online communities that are specifically geared to what you want to do. Social network is a great way to get your artwork into the real world and get some legitimated feedback. Stay away from sites that have a lot of armature work on them. It's just going to lead to a bunch of young cheerleaders blowing smoke up your butt and that won't do you any good.

    -SELF PROMOTION. If there's a person on this planet you've talked to for more than five minutes casually that doesn't know you're an artist then YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

    I've got pleanty more words of wisdom if you're interested. shoot me an e-mail. you can find it on my website
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm applying to jobs right now. I never had any problem with bar-tending, it simply isn't paying anymore and I feel that a job related to art will help me make more connections and pay my bills. Money has gotten so tight right now I can't afford to pay convention fees, enter juried shows, or buy art supplies, so something's gotta give. Looking around I realized I can probably double my income overnight (really, I make that little right now) by taking an art-related office job instead of working in the bar.