Designing your life as an Artist


Let's face it - we've all grown up with a whole slew of preconceived ideas of what it might mean to be an artist. Here are some of mine:

  • I'd be poor.
  • I'd have to have another full time job, and keep my art as a side gig.
  • I wouldn't as good as my scientist sister.
  • I'd be poor.
  • I wouldn't be as good as my friend who has a real profession.
  • I'd need a certain amount of inborn talent.
  • I'd have to struggle - in one way or another. It's par for the course in an artists life.
  • I'd be poor.

So when I met Ria Sharon, a creative entrepreneur who see the possibilities of life as an artist in a  completely different light, it was like a breath of fresh air wafted over me and swept away all those old, outdated cobwebby ideas about what it means to be an artist.

The empowered artist

Ria is an artist, designer and creative entrepreneur with her own range of goodies behind her name, sold in stores across parts of America and online. She's also one of the top 1% of teachers of the online teaching platform Skillshare.

Ria has a certain way of viewing life, and it's through the lens of empowerment. She firmly believes that we can design our lives as artists. We can choose what we want our creative life to look like, feel like and how it will find expression.

riasharon.mantra (2)
riasharon.mantra (2)

Take a moment now and consider this. First, make a quick, off the top of your head list of your own assumptions about what it means to be artist, just like I did at the top of this article. Then imagine that none of those were necessarily true. They're only true if you choose them to be so. Imagine having a different set of assumptions about what it means to be an artist. What might these assumptions be?

After interviewing Ria for my podcast, 'The Not-Starving Artist', I did this for myself. And here's the list I came up with:

  • As an artist I can easily earn an income.
  • As an artist, I can easily a very good income!
  • As an artist, there are so many possibilities to express myself and put my art into the world.
  • As an artist, I get to live my life by enjoying every single thing that I do.
  • As an artist, I can be in full control of my creative business.
  • As an artist, I get to learn about so many things (business, marketing, networking, advancing my art....) and these are only more ways in which I'm empowered.
  • As an artist, I enjoy waking up every day, doing what I love.
  • As an artist, I'm just as good as my scientist sister/professional friend.
  • As an artist, I am empowered.

Not just affirmations, but new truths

This list was so easy to make, and they're not empty affirmations. After interviewing Ria (and talking to so many amazing women for the podcast) I realise that these are facts about being an artist in our modern times! Life as an artist in the olden days probably was really hard. Artist probably were mostly poor. Artist certainly suffered. But now? In the year 2018??

The possibilities for artists of all genres are endless, and what's more is that they are increasingly in our control. With the aid of technology there are so many ways to put our art into the world and reach people from anywhere on the globe. Ourselves! Of course, we could choose to work through agents, and that is a perfectly fine choice to make. We just don't have to anymore.

These modern facts are what we should be telling our children who show an interest in becoming professional artists. These are the thing  we should be reminding ourselves of when we find ourselves interested in pursuing our art with more fervour, more commitment.

Want to listen to Ria's inspirational podcast?

You can find out more about Ria Sharon at

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and let me know what you're doing while listening to the show? I'd love to know;-)

Art, Writingangie NollComment