Skip to main content

When Frustration Calls


Every artist will find times of frustration. It goes with our world as much as the bliss of being lost in creation. Those times when time itself seems to stand still and we awake from the process of being engrossed in that which we love, and yet the hands on the clock did move, a lot.

But frustration will come. Maybe in the form of results below our expectation, maybe in a task we have given ourselves, perhaps in running out of time for an important project, the loss of a sale, a missed class, an out of stock frame, not enough time in a day, rejection, a lack of business interest or knowledge, and so forth.

Listen, learn to deal with it. To truly carve out a career in art or the arts, is to be taking on a great challenge that few can or have overcome. If you really want it, you have to face the crappy part of this with a good deal of tolerance, meaningful balance, and of course, determination. In its purest sense, this is not a career of punching the clock in and out. You are not choosing a cubical and a healthcare plan. You are following your heart, your inner vision, the control of yourself, your passion, and your mind. These are lofty things.

I think for those of you who realize the reach to the cookie jar is pretty high, choose at first to find a position within the establishments of the art industry. For instance, it’s okay to be a graphic, web, or set designer, or an art teacher, lighting assistant, even gallery personnel, or any job which involves being in art or the arts. These positions will give you a great taste of your world of art and frankly, they may satisfy it completely, or allow you to develop as a fine artist on the side, in a more comfortable fashion. Thus, your frustration may be lower.

But choosing a career in art where you directly either bring originality out of you as is done in fine art or where you become the art, as in acting or dance, will require a bit of leather on your back. You will have to allow yourself an inner chuckle when frustration calls. Stay in focus and know that frustration is not 100% of your world, it is, however, the percentage you have to most manage. So be a manager, just as you are an artist. It’s the ying and yang of artistic success.