5 characteristics of a working artist

So true.  Couldn't have been said more eloquently.  Love this excerpt.  

This quote is photographed directly out of a book I am currently reading titled Living and Sustaining a Creative Life by Sharon Louden.  

This book is a collection of writings by working artists who each tell a short story of how they create, manage and live their lives as artists.  I haven't quite finished this book yet.  I think I am still trying to shake the above passage.

Hmmm...let's see...
"powerful ambition"
"self motivated"
"the most disciplined"
"hardest working people"

I don't know about you, but for some reason, I used to receive messages that these kind of people weren't artists.  Interestingly enough, I would (humbly) apply these adjectives to myself.  And I won't apologize (I hope).

Sure, we get to work hard doing what we love.  Maybe that's the catch.  I don't know.  All I know is that I live, eat, sleep, dream and breathe art.  Whether I am reading about it, walking it out, sitting on the couch, staring at the wall, stirring some homemade soup, writing about it, teaching, thinking about teaching, scrubbing the bathroom floor (this hardly ever gets done), driving in the car, on vacation.  You get the drift.  Oh yeah, and then there is the actual painting...

The truth is, I feel like ideas are just flooding me all of the time.  Creative ideas.  It takes a lot to filter through these ideas and decide where to focus.  

I feel like I am filtering one million ideas right now.  This is affecting my energy and focus.

This is a cycle we creatives go through.  The sky is stormy before it becomes clear.

Luckily, I have powerful ambition.
I am self motivated and organized.
I am the most disciplined and one of the hardest working people.

You are too.

Keep showing up.

I'll see you there.


  1. I've already done the homemade soup today, and now I am cleaning up my studio ahead of a morning visit from someone interested in my work. I'd rather be doing just about anything else at the moment; I've been working a lot and I'm so, so tired. And I'm working anyway because this is the life I *have* to live. This quote is true in my experience. The eccentric, unreliable, temperamental flake is perhaps a fun stereotype, but is almost never an actual working artist. We're pretty practical; we have to be.

    Thanks, also, for the part about being flooded and overwhelmed with creative ideas. That is me, very much of the time, and the more I create the more things I think of. Focus is a challenge. I've set myself the task of at least creating a system for recording and "filing" the ideas I get, so I don't stress myself trying to mentally hold onto them all.

    1. LOVE the reality of this, Tracie. Thank you for posting. Your day (our days), your life (our lives) are ones we DO live.


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