Making a living, while keeping the creative process pure – an interview with Jay Alders

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:

  1. They lived deeply creative lives, with a focus on appreciation, giving back, getting involved, and finding balance.
  2. 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.

You can find Jay at:
Twitter: @JayAlders
Instagram: @JayAlders

You can find Jay’s amazing wife, Chelsea, at the following places:
Instagram (personal): @Sundreams
Instagram: (doula): OmMamasDoulas