A close-up of a vase of yellow daffodils

Croshare Catch-up – March 2017

As an artist, you might feel pressured to be working constantly, to be productive constantly or to be ‘involved’ constantly. We’re told that those who enjoy the most success are the ones who are ‘out there and doing it’ every day of the year; it’s a simplistic and reductive view of art practice that often denies the value of an artist’s experiences outside the production and promotion of their work as contributors to the success of these, and can make those of us who aren’t full-time artists feel as though we’re ‘not proper artists’ or that we’re failing, or falling behind, in comparison with our peers.

If you’re a part-time artist, working around and outside of a ‘day job’, or educational or caring responsibilities, it’s important to acknowledge and accept that you can only do what you can do, and to remain aware that what you can do may change suddenly, without warning or a great amount due to unpredictable changes in your personal and other professional circumstances. You must also remain aware that there may be circumstances, people, places or things in your life that demand – and, sometimes, deserve – more attention than your art practice, and you must not be afraid to set this aside in order to concentrate on these.

Croshare is a part-time practice between two very different people with two very different lives; the need for each of us to adapt not only to our own personal and professional demands, but to the other’s also, forces us to think about this holistically, taking into account the external pressures and influences that affect its progress alongside those guiding aims and objectives that we devised to help us develop and manage our work. It helps us find a place for Croshare in our lives that works with us and for us, and not against us.

If you find yourself in an analogous position, it’s worth bearing in mind the following advice: Whilst you should always make time for your art and your practice, you shouldn’t take time from other important areas of your life for this; don’t allow yourself to prioritise the diverse components of your personal and professional lives in relation to the expectations or successes of others, and remember that your artistic practice is only one part of the activities of a much more complex individual – degrees of success or failure in this area, or changes of capacity to complete work in this, do not define your entire life nor the essence of the person you are.

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