The trick to the elusive art of finding a job that allows you to express your creative side.

You are a person of passion and that passion is fed through creativity. It could be painting, writing, acting or music. For creative souls, the draw to their art is undeniable and worth investing in. There was a time when wealthy nobles would pay an artist’s room, board, and wages and let them embrace their art to their heart’s content. Sadly, artist patrons are a thing of the past.

What about the noble “starving artist?” There are those who throw themselves so fully into their art that they are homeless and don’t know how they will get their next meal. They take pride in making no compromises and pursuing their dreams to the fullest. Sometimes it works out. Most often, it’s a dead end that leaves you broke and without any real employable skills.

There is a better way and it doesn’t mean giving up on those dreams. You can be an artist and pay the rent with these jobs for creative people. In fact, by setting yourself on the right career path, you can make yourself better at your art while gaining great work experience.

Here are a few ideas on how you as a creative soul can have a rewarding career without giving up your art.

Find your balance.

What exactly is your dream? If your dream is simply to be a rockstar, that’s great. However, if you are a musician who simply wants to be making music, then you may have some better options.

If you’re the rockstar, you need to consider what it takes to make it big. Do you need more classes? How much practice time? What kind of equipment? Then, look for jobs that you would enjoy that could help you pay those bills. Could you work at a music store? Is there a local music venue that needs help? For you, the key might be to just to make enough money to keep working on the dream. This goes for best-selling novelists, painters dreaming of gallery shows and actors eyeing the red carpet as well. The trick is to make sure that the work you do is somehow tied to your passion. If you keep learning while you’re on the job, you’ll only improve your chances of success.

Finding the balance that works for you is important. Working a day job that you hate while trying to keep the dream alive during your off hours is mentally and emotionally draining.

Pro Career Tip: Pay attention to the company, not just the job. You’ll want to find a company that embraces employees’ personal growth.

Find a career that embraces your artistic skills.

For those of you who are not driven by the limelight, you have other options available. For every artistic skill out there, you can find jobs for creative people like yourself to utilize your talents. Do some research and find one that you think you’d enjoy. Here are just a few examples of creative jobs.

Writers

  • Journalism – The news is always happening and with today’s online media market, there is always a call for writers. Find your favorite niche from sports to fashion and you’ll be happy.

  • Copywriting – Advertising requires writing. Good writing. From billboards to TV and radio ads, there is always a need for fresh ideas that are written well.

  • Blogging/Content Writing – Websites need good articles to draw readers and turn them into customers.

Musicians

  • Audio Engineer – Work with bands at live concerts or in the studio working the soundboard. It takes a great musical ear to do it right.

  • Instructor – Establish yourself as a private music teacher for voice or instruments. Or perhaps you can become a full-time band or choral instructor at a school.

  • Session Musician – Play your instrument or sing as back up for a recording artist or look into making jingles.

Visual Artists

  • Graphic Designer – Graphic design uses an artist’s eye to create anything from websites to advertisements and logos. It can be a great career for artists who also have computer skills.  

  • Photographer – Photographers are needed for weddings, websites, news events, and a lot more. If you like using your artist’s eye behind the lens of a camera, there are opportunities out there.

Actors

  • Local Theater – From stage managers to executive directors, small theaters need people to help operate them.

  • Sales – Really? Sales? Yes. Actors are natural show people and that’s a big part of sales. Having the ability to read your audience and react accordingly is crucial.

These are just a few ideas. Figure out what your biggest strengths are and do a little research on your own to find a career you’ll enjoy.

Pro Career Tip: Some careers will take some schooling above and beyond your personal talents. If you’re still in school, consider adding in some classes that will help you get your start. If you’re out of school, try taking a couple of continuing education classes.

Learn to promote yourself.

Remember, no one is out there looking for you and your work. You have to get it in front of them and knock their socks off. Luckily, you live in the time of social media where you can make use of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram (to name a few) to get your name and your work out there.

Create posts that highlight some of your best work. Keep in mind what kind of jobs you are looking for and play up the relevance of your work to that field. Have you won contests or awards? Get that information out there and then engage with your followers on social media. Soon, they’ll see your personality as well as your talent.

Next, consider hitting up some live networking events. This means getting out and meeting people in your own community. You may think, “They’re all realtors and HR professionals. I have nothing in common with them!” Wrong. They are people who are doing what they love to do and they may just need someone with your skills. Besides, who doesn’t want to talk to the person whose name tag says, “Jason – Singer” or “Sandy – Actor.” You’ll stand out in the crowd.

Pro Career Tip: As you promote yourself on social media, keep in mind that everything you post is representing you, personally and professionally. Do your best to keep it professional and useful.

Create an online portfolio.

If you’re a creative soul, you need an online portfolio. It’s that simple. You need to have a presence on the web that shows examples of what you can do and have done. Like it or not, you won’t be taken seriously until you have it.

Here’s the good news. There are a lot of freebie sites that will allow you to put something together without spending any money. However, before you start building your site, look at the portfolios of some other artists who are similar to you. Take note of what you like and don’t like. Then, map out how you want your site to look, feel, and what features it needs. If a freebie site won’t do it, there are many that will let you have your ideal site. A great portfolio website is worth dishing out a little money.

Pro Career Tip: You may have to pay a little, but if you’ve made any money in your trade, you can likely use that as a tax write-off next April.

It’s a wonderful world we live in where some people are instinctively drawn to engineering or accounting while others are pulled to the arts. If it weren’t for the engineers and inventors, we wouldn’t have television. If it weren’t for the artists, there wouldn’t be anything on worth watching.

If you are drawn to the arts, embrace it. You have a skill many others wish they had. By using your talent to create a career for yourself, you can do what you love and have steady work. You’ll have the best of both worlds.

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