Step 15

The Dreamer’s Manual:
Sixteen Steps to Achieve Your Creative Goals

Step 15: Be Careful

Artists should treat themselves as carefully as their artwork, but far too often, they sacrifice their health and happiness to the creative process.

Think of an artist as a factory that makes widgets, but in this case, the widgets are music, dance, jewelry, websites, stories, and paintings. Like a factory, an artist has peak operating hours, when she produces her best work. If she develops a reasonable work schedule, she can produce quality work at a regular pace. But, if she overdoes it, she will soon deplete her resources and have to shut the whole enterprise down.

 A graphic designer needs to be as careful as a ballet dancer, when it comes to the physical aspects of her job. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can end a designer’s career as fast as a torn ligament can end a dancer’s. Wear and tear, and the possibility of career-ending dangers, are common to all artistic fields.

Imagine you are a jeweler, who etches designs into metal bracelets using a chemical process. At first, it is just a hobby. You only make jewelry for a few hours each weekend, in your garage. You do not wear a mask or work in a ventilated area, because you do not spend much time using the chemicals. Eventually,  your jewelry business takes off, so you move the operation into the house and work on it five days a week. However, you maintain the habit of not using a mask or proper ventilation, so the chemicals begin to take a toll on your health. 

A lack of caution in this situation could lead to severe injury. It is important to learn what physical risks are involved in your creative career, and take appropriate actions to insure you will remain healthy over the long haul.

Art Addiction

Artists are often extremely passionate about their work,. This passion can be pursued intelligently, or it can turn into a dangerous addiction. A creative medium can be used to escape an unfulfilling life, and if an artist feels the need to run away from reality, they might spend an unreasonable amount of time making art. This can lead to physical injury, if the artist does not take the time to insure they are producing work in a healthy manner.

Creating artwork improperly over a long period of time can be as dangerous as operating heavy machinery. It is critically important to take care of yourself when engaged in the creative process.

Be careful to avoid injury when making art. Every creative field includes physical dangers, and learning how to avoid them is the key to having a long career

Step 15: Be Careful