Today’s guest is Laura C. George. I met Laura a few years ago through a Facebook group community and over time her name kept popping up as I joined a few new communities. She is a business consultant for artist and I love her break-free the starving artist myth message.
I’m Laura! I love art and food and beautiful objects. During my days (and sometimes nights) I teach artists how to build businesses, liberating them from stifling careers and arming them with the knowledge they need to create a career that supports them emotionally and financially. My clients are crazy artists who love life and want to share their souls with others through their art.
I think it’s important to do what you love but to give yourself time away from it as well. It’s hard to be happy when you’re doing the same thing constantly – a smart brain requires fresh, new, exciting things. So when I’m not knee-deep in art-related awesomeness or business talk, I am usually in the dog park with my pup, playing board games, or eating a hearty meal my foodie husband prepared. I have interests and activities (like ballet and aerial silks) that give me a break from business and inspire me so I’m even better at my work when I get back to it.
Can you share a bit about this idea of “starving artist” is a myth and how you can make a living creating and selling your art?
So I get this question a lot and I think people are coming at it from this tired, antiquated mindset that it would actually be weird that an artist could live off their art. But people like Andy Warhol, for instance, have designed businesses around making a living from their art. So this “starving artist” thing is really some weird phrase people use to describe a romantic vision of the artist, not a realistic portrayal of what an artist’s life is like, especially a successful artist. And for artists, the phrase is used as a crutch – a reason to not take the leap to fulfill their dreams. If they think an artist isn’t meant to make money then they don’t have to be nervous that they won’t be able to make money. They can admit defeat before they have to face it and it makes them feel more in control that way. Since it’s so important for an artist, I wrote a little about beating back this fear on my blog. But I feel there’s a lot more to be said on the matter that could be more accurately addressed by a mental health professional.
What advice would you give to women who crave living a richer/full life?
Now this is my kind of question! While I work with artists, I have a firm belief that everyone can be living a happy, fulfilled life. And that totally starts with you admitting what you enjoy in this world. If you don’t know what you like to do, you can’t be doing it.
You also have to realize that there is no “perfect career” that never frustrates you or feels tedious or boring. There’s always going to be something about your work that you don’t enjoy doing. But you can pick a career where you mostly love what you do. I don’t want to slog through my days, itching for 5 o’clock, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. And men for that matter.
The first key to a richer, fuller life is to be spending the majority of your waking hours actually doing something you like. And it doesn’t hurt to keep a success jar around.
What’s your go-to Morning Ritual (Routine)?
My morning ritual is a bit embarrassingly devoid of work. I’m not a morning person. So I never schedule calls or meetings before 11. I wake up late most days and stay in my pjs for at least an hour. I start my day by cuddling with my dog who is almost always waiting for me at the door to my bedroom. Then I play some mindless little game on my cell phone for 20 minutes, eat breakfast, maybe watch the news a little. When I’m feeling awake, I’ll get dressed and open up my computer to check my emails. Then I take the dog to the park across the street for a few minutes before (finally) starting my actual work day.
But in my experience, it’s more effective to play into your natural rhythms than it is to fight them.
What are your go-to self-care tools and experiences that restore you to your best self?
The most effective self-care for me is getting a massage because it forces me to schedule down time that I must follow-through with and then there are all these physical cues to relax – the atmosphere, the smells, etc. My body takes over and forces me to relax, not allowing my brain to rule the roost with its incessant thinking.
I subscribe to the concept that overwhelm happens to everyone but each person’s solution is totally different, so I stick to what works for me but never assume it will work for someone else.
I also use my dog as a reason to take time away from the computer, get outside, and actually give myself a break. I used to try to work while I sat in the dog park, but now I realize that it’s a crucial time I can spend pulling myself away from my work for once. It may or may not work for you, but it’s worth a shot to intentionally look for places in your day that you could be stepping back and breathing but instead are letting yourself sit inside that stress, worry, or overwhelm.
If you’re an artist, you might want to grab my free video, The Art of Pricing Art. It will really take the mystery and guesswork out of the whole pricing process, giving you a firm foundation for choosing the right number.