How do you earn a full-time living as an artist, while raising three kids, and navigating through a failed business venture? Today we find out.
Jay Alders is a professional artist, whose paintings, design work, and photography embodies the surf culture. But that alone is not what inspired me to interview him for the podcast.
I grew up with Jay. After high school, I lost touch with him, and by the time he re-emerged in my life, he was working full-time as an artist from his home studio, and a collaborator with many of creative people. He and his wife Chelsea (equally as awesome as Jay), seemed to have this strange duality:
- They lived deeply creative lives, with a focus on appreciation, giving back, getting involved, and finding balance.
- They were each incredibly hard workers, earning a living through pure grit and taking risks needed to create sustainability around their work.
In the past few years, I watched — astounded — as Jay and Chelsea had three kids back to back to back. In the blink of an eye, they went to “that cool couple that I know” to a family of five. Then, I was dumbfounded when Jay opened up a huge physical location on the Jersey shore — a gallery and event space. I just couldn’t believe how bold the vision was.
But that venture didn’t make it. About a year after opening, he shut it down.
My interview today delves into a range of topics that I think are critical to anyone who wants to make a living with their creative work, while also honoring their creative process and lifestyle with those they love.
- Lessons from a failed business that actually brought him closer to his art and his family.
- How he works from his home studio, while parenting three kids, and supporting his wife who has her own business as well.
- How he finds the time (and energy) to create.
- Why he feels marketing and business are a welcome part of creative work.
- His path to going full-time as an artist.
- The value of taking care of yourself, even when you are swamped, so that you can take care of those who rely on you, as well as your creative work.