How, I asked myself, is it relevant to share what my days are like as an artist when everyone is different? The answer came simply: If I share how I structure my time, it might help someone else to shape their routine as well.
Comment below how you would categorize yourself:
A – Creativity is your hobby
B – Creativity is your dream career
C – Creativity is your career
Meaning, do you practice creativity for fun? Would you like to turn your passion into a career? Or, do you already make a living from something creative?
I started out with photography as my hobby. A few months later, I really wished it could be my career. And then a year after that, it was!
I’ve been working as a full-time artist (meaning that I make my living from my photography and related items) for the past 8 years. I make my living via the following avenues: print sales, image licensing sales, lecturing/teaching, and commissioned images.
Favorite quotes from the video:
“It takes being creative about how you are disciplined
and being disciplined about your creativity.”
“It takes a lot of good days to make a great career.”
Since so many of us in this community are interested in how to maximize our creative time (at the least), or to make our creative time into our full time work, I thought it would be great to share what my day is like as an artist.
For me? 50% admin, 50% creativity. Look at the to-do list I managed to complete on the day I filmed this video:
BROOKE'S TO DO LIST
Film a day in the life video
Update my CV
Write TLS email
Update licensed images list
Write pitch for grant
Build registration systemBuild prop
The only thing I didn’t finish was that last item. And, I finished by 4pm and had the whole evening for cooking and personal time.
What’s that? You hate admin work? You thought creatives only created?
Oh. Ohhhh. Let’s chat.
I believe that the most successful creative people you see, at least for the most part, have a really awesome mind for business. Take my BFF Lindsay Adler. If ever you have wanted to meet an insanely creative person who is equally, if not more, savvy in business – you’ve found your girl. Take note. (No, seriously, take notes.)
I’m not that great at it. Not Lindsay Adler great. But, I don’t strive to be. I am extremely motivated in business as well as creativity. I strive for a solid, happy medium between the two.
I get equally excited about a career move or endeavor as I do a photo shoot. And that is, in part, what I attribute any success I’ve had to.
Be it my 24 hour email policy, the contracts I’ve hand-written, the outreach I’ve done for opportunities, or my willingness to fail – I always put myself out there and give my business 100%.
Again, I’m still not the best at it. But I have managed to build a business for 8 solid years that has supported my lifestyle. I’m really proud of that.
Come with me behind the scenes in this video. It’s an in-depth look at my life with the curtain pulled back. What it’s like to go from hour to hour in the life of a working artist.
And please, tell me your top tips for maintaining creativity in your everyday life. I am always looking to improve!
And remember to share:
A – Creativity is your hobby
B – Creativity is your dream career
C – Creativity is your career
Jen Kiaba - Thank you so much for this. It really resonated so deeply with me on a lot of levels. Your being so honest with the fine art community is so helpful. For me personally, it really helps me re-orient myself when I’m floundering or getting frustrated with myself. So a thousand times over, thank you!
brookeshaden - I am so glad to know it was helpful! I felt a little silly when I was filming, wondering if it would be helpful or boring, haha! Lots of hugs Jen 🙂
Gallagher Green - First of all, when you watch those lectures do you also get a craving for Gummy Bears? I do! LOL And “Death’s End” is so great, and you are getting close to the end! Please, please say what you thought of it when you are done. I love hearing peoples thoughts on it, I really loved it.
Great video, I have a hard time sticking to my schedules. I know I just need to work at it more, I should write one up tonight.
Great post, thanks! 🙂
I finished my short story, and it will be ready to publish within a week or two! 😀
brookeshaden - That’s fantastic about your short story!! As for Death’s End, I did finish! I LOVED IT. What a trilogy. The Dark Forest was my favorite concept, so I loved book 2, but book 3 was more fast-paced and THE UNIVERSE IS A PAINTING. Okay, yes, I loved it. I’ve since moved on to a book that feels very disappointing after that 😀
Tom Miles - I am a definite B! I so wish I could make creativity my business. I feel like after reading this, it’s woken me up to realising that I need to strive to improve my business mind. I motivate myself to create regularly to maintain creativity in my life; I am doing a project I created called a 183 project, where I create a photo every other day for a whole year, to express how I am feeling around that time. I like to find inspiration wherever I go, aswell as channeling how I am feeling to create personally fulfilling work that helps me express where I am in life and with the hopes of helping others find their light. ♥️
brookeshaden - Aww I love that idea Tom!!
Alissa - This was really great Brooke. I struggle with organizing my day, staying on task and also making enough time for family. I like how you have a structure, but it isn’t rigid. You pay attention to how you are feeling and work with it. I will have to give this method a try. I went to school for fine art photography but spent the last 10 years in a different field, I was in denial of where my passions were. I am happy to say that as if this year C- Creativity is my career! Thank you for being so open and honest with your process.
brookeshaden - Aww I’m so happy to hear you’re back to what you love!!
Sofi J - Thank you so much for making this video. It inspired me to organize my days!
I am an artist (model/photographer) who dreams of making my art, my career.
Pete DeMarco - I’ve been going back and forth about where to focus my effort in the morning – admin or creative stuff. Like you I have more energy in the morning. But I feel like I’ve drained my “creative energy well” for the day if I do a bunch of admin/marketing stuff in the morning.
Have you ever experimented with doing the creative stuff first? Wouldn’t it be better to create our art during our peak performance time?
Just curious to hear if you’ve ever encountered this.
brookeshaden - That’s a great observation and comment Pete. I have tried being creative in the mornings, and it goes great. I have done a photo a day project where I’d wake up early and shoot and edit. BUT, for me, I’m ALWAYS excited to create. No matter what time or what my energy is like. I just love it. So, if I do it in the morning, I have zero energy to do my admin stuff. When I was doing my schedule opposite (which I did for years), I simply never got any admin work done. Or, I absolutely hated doing it and had to slog through it. For me, this is the only way that works.
That said, I do take a “muse day” every Wednesday in which I only do things that inspire me, no admin work at all. And I largely take weekends off, too. So, I do have mornings of pure creativity regularly.
Pete DeMarco - That makes sense. I’m flipping my schedule and will give it a try. I’d be interested in hearing more about your muse day if you ever make a video or post about it. Thanks for sharing Brooke!
Anna Bruce - I am B going on C. I am not sure if I maintain creativity in my life everyday since I am currently working on some personal issues but I look at objects with the attitude of “what could I do with you?”. Driving, for some reason, also inspires new ideas – which is great and not so great at the same time.
Thank you for sharing a look into your life. I always appreciate the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff. That is why I love your instagram stories and instagram stories in general. Keep being awesome <3
brookeshaden - I’m so happy to be watching that shift from B to C 🙂
Chrystal kelly - Hi Brooke. What a awesomely motivating and positive video. I am in between B and C. Because I am trying to be a full time artist but have had such a hard time with the business end of things that sometimes it takes a toll on my creativity. I also have a hard time prioritizing my needs when in all honesty it is easier to prioritize the needs of everyone else. It’s resistance I know. A pushing and pulling that I allow in because of fear. I’m in the process of working through these things using mindfulness meditation. And your videos have been very helpful. Thank you. I’m currently working on my first emerging artist grant, and I know that even if I don’t get it the experience of trying and following through will be positive.
brookeshaden - Chrystal, that is fantastic that you are pursuing grants. I hope only amazing things come from that. Well done!!
Alice Saga - hey:))) i loved this little film of your day, i love all that you do and give to us. such talent. i would say that i am both dreaming and living the artist life. i am sort of inbetween since i have not been well for a few years. i was made homeless in november of 2016 for a couple of months, it happened because of mental illness and then my recurring eating disorder came back in a sadness way. now august 2018, i am building up my life again with the help of wonderful support systems build by the community here in epping england where i currently live.
so brooke such a positive influence you are for me. you are one of my 5 people:)))
John Apodaca - I would have to say a hobby. My hopes for it to go further is slowly dying. Even though me and my wife have a website to advertise our photography, no real business has come through. My motivation is low when it comes to my work as it seems the following is not there. I am very proud of my work and yet others are not interested enough to commission or purchase my work. Many people like what we do but will not take it further than that. I loved this video and see how some structure can keep you going. You once said that (there’s someone out there who will appreciate your work) and I believe that. From the business end of it, it would be great if someone would take it the next step. Thanks for sharing the video. It really was nice. My wife LOVED it! It motivated her to a whole new level of planning out her day-month, including color coded marks for easy referencing. She took the video and made it her own! We really appreciate you heart for this community. Thanks!