Art school does not teach you about depreciation or GST, and it doesn’t go into much detail about marketing strategy or legal liability. There’s no one to tell you how to establish a viable commercial identity, nor does it quite prepare you for the setbacks you will inevitably face.
What it does teach you is a personal process for creating work, to think in a conceptual capacity. The ability to explore what interests you and channel this into tangible projects is not to be underestimated.
Balance is key, and when it comes down to it I think nothing will hinder creativity more than the inability to organise and plan for bigger and better things. But creating work will not always come first and it is easy to lose sight of yourself as an ‘artist’ when the Excel spreadsheets take over.
I guess the best thing is to keep moving forward, keeping goals in sight in order to remind yourself why you do what you do. Often it feels like there are a million more critics, but the supporters are what matter the most.
Refocus attention into the right places, spending time on the important things and with the people that matter.
Making work doesn’t need to always feel like ‘work’ so much as an extension of what we love doing to balance out all the business-y stuff. I don’t leave my camera at the studio at the end of the day. Some of the best ideas come in the middle of a sleepless night. Generating images, visual ideas or experiments is only going to help keep the momentum going, even if they are ridiculously imaginative.