a Long Career & a Healthy Life
Table of Contents
Art is probably not the most physically demanding career. But unless your art consists of giving voice prompts to an AI Artbot (“Prompt Engineer” or “Prompt Artist” is a growing work category!) you will still need a healthy body to move your pencil, paint brush, tablet pen, mouse, ceramics wheel, printing press, welding torch, and so on.
Regular exercise is a good long-term life plan. That might mean going to the gym, taking an aerobics class, and swimming some laps. Or it might simply mean getting up every morning and walking a few miles. Whatever you choose, try to make it a regular habit. I find it easy to do things that I make a regular part of my daily routine. But I’m too lazy to remember to insert “be sure to try to” stuff somewhere in my day.
- Zucked, Roger McNamee
- Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff
- Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Jaron Lanier
- Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, Siva Vaidhyanathan
I believe that Social Media is dangerous to your health, your free will, and our democracy.
I also believe that Social Media builds art careers. Even as I try to personally avoid social media as much as I’m able, I think it would be irresponsible of me not to encourage you to build audiences and careers there. From the casually interested to your True Believers a bigger audience can give you power and options.
It’s also true that people get in trouble on social media all the time. You do want to share your creativity with your audience. But also be careful what you post! Don’t give out secrets and other information you’re not allowed to. Don’t get yourself fired, un-hired, or never-hired-again because you spoke out of turn.
Give Yourself a Time-out
If you’re ever posting about something emotional or upsetting, write it and don’t post it. Let it sit in your text or video editor. Sleep on it. The next morning when you’ve calmed down, look at it again. You might decide you don’t have to post it at all. Or that you can reword or redraw it to still express your ideas but in a less inflammatory way.
There are times to be inflammatory. If you’re angry that an earlier generation has sold your generation out with irresponsible inaction on climate change or any other issue, you might want to make a provocative cartoon expressing that. Even that you could give a night’s sleep before posting. Mostly however, I’m referring to comments and rants about people that you either shouldn’t post at all, or should be calm and clear-headed when you do post.
The pen is mightier than the sword! Wield your power for good, not for revenge. And not to get yourself in trouble you don’t want to be in.
Speaking of Social Media, try to not get all your news and information from Social Media. Or from Cable News. I encourage you to read a newspaper. As a starving student, or now as a budget-strapped emerging artist, I know money will be tight. I do believe that worthwhile things are worth paying for. Worth being the customer and not simply the farm animals Alphabet (Google) & Meta (Facebook) take to the slaughterhouse to distribute our parts to their real customers: Corporations and Governments.
The New York Times is the least generous. NYT lets you read 3 free articles a month. Then it’s pay to read. Most other major publications will give you more. Many will let you read lots of articles for free with certain articles as “subscriber exclusive content”. Some, like The Guardian and Al Jazeera, will let you read everything for free. Pay for a subscription if or when you can. Read for free if you need to.
Being informed with well-reported news will:
- Make you a better citizen
- Help make you a more complete human being
- Give you thousands of ideas and inspirations for making art you care about
- Keep you current on what other artists & culture creators are thinking about
Here are a few publications I like. There are many, many other great publications in our state, our country, and our world:
- Los Angeles Times
- Al Jazeera
- Le Monde in English
- The Guardian
- Washington Post
- New York Times
- Associated Press
- The Intercept
- Graphic Arts Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines
- LA 411 (Los Angeles Film & Production Directory)
Professional Art Organizations
- American Institute of Graphic Arts/Los Angeles (AIGA/LA)
- Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)
- IAAPA (The Global Association for the Attractions Industry)
- Lightbox Expo
- Meetup.com – groups of every imaginable kind, not always serious/professional, but sometimes valuable insights/contacts
- Set Decorator’s Society of America (SDSA)
- Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (SILA)
- Women in Animation