How to Avoid Being the "Starving Artist"- Part 2

This is the second half of a two-part post. Click here for the first part, or read on to continue.

Here are some more things I've learned:

4. Ask for help.

Depending on others does not mean you are weak. It's an opportunity to learn humility while making room for others to be in your life as a source of support

When you're used to functioning as a strong, independent person, this can be a difficult lesson to learn. It's not impossible though! Honestly, I prefer to handle things myself whenever possible. I used to think that asking for help meant I was being a burden to others. Now, however, I realize that thought revealed more of a pride issue than anything else. 

Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.
— unknown

5. See your colleagues as support, not competition.

For some people, looking at others who are more advanced than themselves can be motivating. For me, it's usually frustrating. At the day job, I initially struggled with comparing myself to others. In my desire to improve, I would look at my colleagues who had been doing this sort of work for years and think, ‘I’m not anywhere near their level, therefore, I am inadequate.’ The perspective you choose makes the difference. As I learned to ask for help while mastering the ropes of the job, I learned to see my colleagues as a network of support and encouragement. After I chose to shift my mindset, my worries lessened.

Just because you aren’t where they are doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes.
— unknown

6. Be there for the newbies.

After working for a period of time, you eventually become a source of information and support to others. Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to calm and reassure an anxious new employee who was feeling overwhelmed by the all the things she needed to do. I was reminded of how I felt starting out and how there were people there to reassure and help me. My position had now completely flipped! That was a neat moment. 

Wherever you are in life with whatever you’re pursuing, you will always know more than the person coming behind you. There will always be someone who can learn from you. I’ve had the privilege of learning from others. To be that learning source, therefore, feels empowering, humbling, and encouraging. Know that you have the opportunity to influence others with whatever you’re learning and be encouraged to step into that role with courage and optimism.

To be inspired is great,
but to inspire is an honor.
— unknown

7. Remember the WHY

The day job provides a consistent source of income that allows you to focus on the work you want to do. If I had decided to forego the day job in favor of taking any art assignment I could get my hands on, my focus would be scattered and my energy drained. Being able to focus on my art enables me to continue creating quality and engaging imagery.

There will be those days when you either feel stuck, wasting your time, questioning why you're still here, or all of the above. Remember that the day job removes your financial worries and allows you to pursue your focus with singularity. Remember your vision and know that each day brings you closer to the inevitable overlap of your dream work over the day job.

Devoid of the office job, I wouldn't have learned the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a car, purchasing art supplies, paying the phone bill, and buying my own groceries. I enjoy these freedoms as well as their limitations and look forward to greater responsibility in the future. Be encouraged. The day job is not an end in itself. It's simply a means to a beginning and serves as a platform upon which you can jump to the next stage of your vision.

When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.
— Steven Pavlina