Making it as an artist takes dedication to craft

Featured Story

By Carrie Haderlie
The Sheridan Press


Artists don’t live paycheck to paycheck — instead, they live sale to sale, and with that uncertainty comes a specific lifestyle unique to the arts.

“I always dreamed of being an artist, but life circumstances and finances didn’t permit me a formal education, nor the luxury of time to pursue art as a full-time endeavor early on,” said Sonja Caywood, who has studio space in Dayton and is well-known for her expressionist artwork.

“This didn’t stop me, though, from making time for art whenever I could, and taking classes and workshops when possible, even when my schedule was busy with family, horses and working two jobs,” she said.

Working jobs outside the art world is key — many with dreams of making it as an artist find themselves doing other things to supplement their income. And that is OK.

“Similarly to the majority of artists I know, my fine art career is a part-time venture,” Polly Burge, who has studio space in Sheridan and works on commission, said. “I have to have other jobs, in addition to taking commissioned artwork, in order to help support my creative work.”

Burge said that the most important thing for anyone thinking about pursuing a creative means of income is to accept, or even embrace, other jobs and work opportunities that may afford the time to stir in creativity.

“Doing so also helps to fend off loneliness,” she said. “I used to get very frustrated when I had to do anything else but work in my studio because I felt like I wasn’t giving it everything I had… but, I also had to eat and pay bills.”

She also wanted a life.

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