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I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment of “crossing things off the list.” We all do. And I confess that I indeed have added, then crossed off, tasks that I accomplished but did not add to the original list. Discipline is what fuels your artist lifestyle. There is no such thing as “waiting for motivation.” You are, in fact, waiting for discipline.

On the “this week” side, I know that I need to fix a fence section in the horse pasture. I know I need to get the leaves out of the herb garden and we both have to finish the painting and relaying of the wood floor over a new subfloor, the results of a leaking hot water heater which required us to rip out part of the kitchen floor. Add to that the annual “after Christmas” clean up of our art studio, and you can see where the list is going.


There is a direct correlation between perseverance, discipline and need. Discipline is seeing what needs to be done and doing it. Perseverance is sticking with it. Perseverance is working through those art problems, the art shows, the new ideas, experimenting and staying tough when the going gets tough. An artist’s life has the same day to day challenges that a non-artist ‘s life has. But you have an advantage of adding creativity to your job. Artists do they stop creating even when away from the studio. Perseverance is continually doing what needs to be done to create and market your art day after day after day. The buck starts and stops with you and it is up to you to meet your own goals. There is a way around every challenge and that is where you may discover if you have what it takes, both in your abilities and temperament, to face adversity, challenges and the surprises that life throws at you. The “right stuff” does not apply to just astronauts.


Life is all about choices. If you intend to live a life as an artist, the pressures of self employment will be greatly reduced when you make the decision that “keeping up with the Jones'” is not what life is all about.

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