The art of taking a vacation: can a self-employed artist really take time off?

Abstract artist, Claire Desjardins, on kayak with dogs.

Being a working artist is a dream come true for many creative individuals. However, the reality of being self-employed means that taking a vacation can be quite challenging. Artists often face unique struggles when it comes to managing their time and finding a balance between work and leisure. I know that I do!

Pros of taking a vacation as a working artist

Abstract artist Claire Desjardins on vacation.

Despite the challenges, there are several advantages to taking a vacation as a self-employed artist:

  • Recharge and rejuvenate: taking time off allows artists to recharge their creative batteries and come back with fresh ideas and inspiration.
  • Exploring new perspectives: traveling or simply taking a break from the usual routine can expose artists to new experiences and cultures, which can greatly influence their artwork.
  • Quality time with loved ones: artists often work long hours, and taking a vacation provides an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.

Abstract artist Claire Desjardins takes a break with her husband and dogs.

Cons of taking a vacation as a working artist

While there are many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Financial concerns: taking time off can mean a temporary loss of income, which can be a significant concern for self-employed artists.
  • Work interruptions: artists may worry about interrupting their creative flow or losing momentum on ongoing projects.
  • Difficulty disconnecting: artists often have a deep passion for their work, making it challenging to completely disconnect from their artistic endeavors.

Artist Claire Desjardins enjoys cocktails with family.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can a self-employed artist afford to take a vacation?

While finances can be a concern, proper planning and budgeting can help artists save enough money to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. It may require setting aside a portion of their income each month or taking on additional projects to cover the expenses.

2. How can an artist ensure their work doesn't suffer during their absence?

Prioritizing and planning ahead are key. Artists can schedule their projects in a way that allows them to complete essential tasks before their vacation. They can also communicate with clients or collaborators in advance, setting clear expectations and deadlines.

3. Is it necessary for artists to completely disconnect from their work during a vacation?

It depends on the individual. Some artists  find it beneficial to take a complete break and focus solely on relaxation. Others, including myself, may prefer to engage in artistic activities during their vacation, such as visiting museums or sketching in a new environment. The important thing is to find a balance that works for them.

Artist Claire Desjardins enjoys the natural beauty of Barbados.

In conclusion...

While taking a vacation as a working artist can be challenging, it is not impossible. By carefully planning, managing finances, and setting boundaries, artists can enjoy much-needed time off without compromising their artistic careers. Taking a break can ultimately lead to renewed creativity and a healthier work-life balance.

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