Quitting My Job to Be a Full Time Artist · The Under-Painting #4 · semiskimmedmin

Quitting My Job to Be a Full Time Artist · The Under-Painting #4 · semiskimmedmin

Okay so it is Saturday it is half 12:00
and last week was a year exactly since I quit my job in order to pursue a career
in art full time. It was the biggest leap of faith of my life so far and a
decision that has come with a lot of lessons to learn along the way. So now
that I’m here, I wanted to share with you how I came to that decision how it’s
been working out for me, you know, how I knew I was ready, how I fared financially
and also just sort of how I structure my life, my day-to-day, my budget now that
I’m self-employed. So it’s gonna be a long one; grab your snacks get a drink
ready- I don’t have any Capri-Sun today but I do have an Innocent Smoothie
just for kids- grab your sketchbook or anything else you’re working on and
let’s talk art together. So if you’re new to this series, The Underpainting is a
little segment where we chat about different art issues while we hang out
together just kind of peel back the layers of work and mystery that go into
crafting a creative life and make sense of everything that goes on behind the
scenes. I am today drawing a couple of drawings in my sketchbook; I am drawing
the house that I grew up- in I thought I would draw this house but then I don’t
want anyone finding me- and I’m also, if we have time, gonna draw and watercolour a
house that I found just having a wander through Google Maps Street View. Just had
a little wander through the East Sussex countryside looking for a nice little
cottage to draw so if we have time I’ll do that as well. I’m gonna be using one
of my Pitt artist pens in the size small and if I get around to using the
watercolours I’ll be using my WH Smith watercolours in my portable painter
palette but you’ll see that once we get to it. And as always all the tools will
be listed below in case you want to check those out. The reason I’m doing
this is actually; I’ve decided to open up my commissions for the first time in
probably like two years, purely doing drawings of buildings. So like if someone wants
their house to be drawn or like what I’m doing the house they grew up in stuff
like that I have set that up now on my shop so you can check it out. I will have
that linked below if you want a custom drawing of a building of
your choice and they’ll be in either just ink like I’ll be doing on this one
or in watercolour. Different size options. Have a look below, see if it’s something
you’d be interested in. Right so today’s topic is something that
I get asked about a lot. I get a lot of emails from like high school students or
people just finishing uni, people who are interested in pursuing a career in art
but don’t really know where to begin with that. What are their next steps
might be and you know how you get to be earning money from making art. So my
journey to where I am now has not been a straightforward one, it’s not the kind of
thing I feel I can give like a step-by-step guide of how to get there
but what I can do is at least just share my experience, my story and you know if
it helps anyone then that would be great. So last year, 13th of September, was my
last day at work. I had spent the last like three and a half years working at a
supermarket. And like sometimes I stocked the shelves, sometimes I worked on the
tills but my main job was actually to check
the dates on every single short-life item in the shop. So things like sausages,
cartons of milk, profiteroles… I would have to go up and down every single
aisle, up and down every single shelf, going through individual items checking
the dates on them. And obviously it was in the fridge section so it was freezing.
Very repetitive as well. I’d be doing that for like four to eight hours a day
and then the next day I would come in and check the exact same items I had
checked the day before. It sounds pretty awful. It sounds quite grim but the thing
about me is I do quite enjoy repetitive actions. I like- I don’t know- I quite like
the monotony of things like that. I like being able to come into a job, come into
work every day and know what I have to do that day I don’t really have
to talk to anyone I can just sort of grab my tools and get on with it.
I’m kind of a paradox of a creative person I think just because like if I
wasn’t an artist I would love to either work on like a factory assembly line
doing the same thing over and over and over or I’ve always always always wanted
to work in like a sorting office in a post office. Like if I wasn’t an artist
that’s like my dream job. But I did, you know, grow up with the idea that I wanted
to be an artist from a very very young age. I loved drawing and I was always
kind of told that I was good at it so I thought that that would be something I
could just do as a job forever. My main dream as a child was to write and
illustrate children’s books and because I loved drawing and I loved reading it
just seemed like the ideal combo for me to put those two together and
write little stories and be able to draw along. I really loved people like Quentin
Blake who did the illustrations for Roald Dahl’s books also I can’t remember
who did the Jacqueline Wilson illustrations but those were quite a
staple of my childhood. I think anyone that read Jacqueline Wilson books will
remember the illustrations that went along with them. But as I got older that
idea, that dream, kind of faded. Not for any particular reason, just just kind of
moved on from it. Like when I was about 13 I started watching CSI and I suddenly
wanted to be a forensic scientist and I was properly obsessed. That went on for
quite a while. I don’t think I genuinely wanted to be a forensic scientist I was
more interested in like living a really snazzy life in Miami with hot
co-stars. And then after that, my next thing was that I wanted to be an
interpreter. I really loved learning languages I really love listening to
languages and I thought that would be a great great career path. I was about 16
at that time and that is a time- I don’t know how it works like
around the world- but that’s a time like here in the UK where we start doing our
GCSEs. So we choose our GCSE topics, GCSE subjects, in order to move on to our A-level subjects in order to go to university and then obviously to get a
degree and get a job. So it was a time where people were starting to think
about what path they were going to take and being an interpreter was something
that I was quite happy with as an idea. I genuinely do enjoy languages and
learning them. So I did well. I got A’s in my A-levels for English, Spanish
and art and a B in French just because that was the one time in my life that I
decided to spoil my hundred percent attendance rate and start skipping
classes. So could have done better but overall I did really well in school got
the grades that I needed to get into my first choice of University which was
King’s College London. And there I started to study english and spanish for
my degree. So i was on track in life. Like the whole sort of ideal plan that you
have when you’re going through school and stuff, I was definitely on track to
get to where I wanted to be. And I was also still kind of drawing here and there.
I guess like once you start drawing at school you know for coursework and stuff, it kind of takes away the fun of things. So not drawing as much as usual but
still doing a lot for coursework and also had quite an interest in like
deviantART at the time. So I would go on there and sort of get inspired out of
nowhere and want to draw. It’s the kind of thing where you see something great, you
see people doing these really cool drawings and things and you just want to
do something similar. You want to do something just as cool and put that out
there and have other people see that. So that was sort of the extent of the art
that I was doing at the time. So yeah, I got into Kings, it was a great uni, met a
lot of nice people. But… overall, yeah, I like I hated it. I
genuinely hated it. If I have to think of like a rock bottom in my life that
would definitely be it. Because all of a sudden, all the things that I had been
working for, all the plans that I had made every step of the way; doing well in
these exams to do well in these exams to get into this uni to get my degree and
get my job… it all kind of fell apart and I was stuck there thinking like ‘I
don’t want this, I’m not interested in this, I don’t want to be here’. And it was
a very kind of ‘who am I?’ time. And like ‘what do I want, what am I
gonna do’. I felt very lost. Very uncomfortable in my own life and
just kind of started having my lowest days. I think at the same time my anxiety
was probably at its worst but at the time I didn’t really know what anxiety
was. So it was all just a bit of a mess. Also at the same time I had been working
at a train station a little coffee kiosk on the platform. If you’ve ever been to Brockley Station platform 2 on the overground there is a coffee kiosk on
the platform and I used to work there. 6:00 a.m. every day making coffee for
the grumpy- so grumpy- rush-hour commuters. Lots of free coffee though so it was
kind of worth it. But yeah because at the time they were working on changing the
East London line to the overground there was a lot of engineering works
which meant that the station was closed a lot of the time which eventually led
to me having to be let go from that job. Which was a shame but also not that deep.
Like it really wasn’t a position that I saw myself staying in for very long
anyway. I also around that time had got my
license and bought my first car and realised that I hated driving. Driving
filled me with so much dread. I would get behind the steering wheel of my car. I’d be
shaking and I’d feel sick and I wouldn’t want to drive
anywhere. So my car was just sitting outside my house most of the time while
I was paying insurance and road tax and all that kind of nonsense that goes with
owning a car. So I was at a stage where all these things that I had been
building towards; getting into uni, having a job, having a car… I felt like a proper
person and it all just kind of flatlined. Kind of all at once. And I found myself
just kind of drifting and floating in this… not liking where I was but not
knowing where I wanted to be. And so still not really knowing what my next
step was and not knowing what I was going to like move on to I decided that
whatever happened I didn’t want to be where I was at. So without a plan or
anything, without like a plan B, I just dropped out of uni. Stopped going. And that
was hard. And my parents understandably were a bit,
you know, I think we were all shocked. Because I had always been very good and
very reliable and I just always had it together and did well. So I think, you
know, I was kind of shocked and confused about what was going on obviously my
parents were as well and I understand now that had I said you know ‘okay I’m
not working anymore, I’m selling my car and dropping out of uni but I have a
plan’, I guarantee they would have been behind me 100% especially if I
had said I want to be an artist, I want to do art. Because they probably would
have said like ‘oh great, yeah finally, we’ve been saying that you should do
that like your whole life’. But obviously because I didn’t do that and
they could just sort of see me drifting and floundering it was a hard time, very
tense time. But at the same time there was a lot of there was a lot of support
and understanding. You know, they put up with quite a lot of crap from me in that
time where I was lost and confused. So for the next few months- maybe up to a
year- I lived off my student loan which was still coming in. I spent a lot of
that on a trip to Greece and a laptop and a DSLR camera because that was a
time where everyone was kind of into ‘photography’. And buying that DSLR camera
when I had that money was one of the best things I could have done for myself.
It’s one of those things that really helped for things to fall into
place without me realising it at the time. So I also spent a lot of time and
money- a lot of money- on nights out at that time. So I was 18 or 19, and had no
job, I had a lot of free time and I was just kind of drifting. So that was kind
of one of like the worst times in my life but also weirdly one of the best
times. Like I felt like absolute garbage, I felt like completely worthless and
completely lost, but at the same time it was nice to finally have a moment- the
first time ever- where there was no structure and no commitments. I was just
completely free. And somewhere along the way, I started drawing again just for fun.
I was surrounded at that time by a lot of creative people. A lot of my nights
out were spent at lots of local live music events, lock-ins in pubs, open mic nights
and jam sessions and stuff like that. Being around those people just kind of
reminded me that that kind of life exists there are people out there who
are creative and who do that as their thing and they share it with other
people. So I desperately wanted to be a part of that again because I remembered
that I used to be that kind of person. So I was drawing again and, in the time
that I hadn’t been focused on drawing, things like Instagram
and Pinterest had popped up. So there was this huge new bank of inspiration for me
just just waiting to be discovered. And so, like with deviantART, I was seeing all
these things. I loved seeing like an artist’s full body of work, the things
that you don’t normally see, that behind-the-scenes. Seeing real people
living life as artists and you know creating these amazing pieces and
putting them out there. And, as I said, like with deviantART I loved seeing that
and I wanted to be part of it, so I started posting art on my own personal
Instagram and then eventually I moved on to a separate one- I think mainly because
I find sharing my art with my friends quite cringe and I don’t really-… I mean
I’m still really bad at showing them things I draw. And I just wanted to keep
it private, I kind of wanted to build up a following before I shared it with
anyone, because it was weirdly embarrassing for me. And the more I got
into it the more I realised that these other people that I’m seeing and
admiring are really making a living out of this especially using their online
presence so I quite naturally got into looking at like branding and marketing. I
watched a lot of YouTube videos on like search engine optimization things like
that- mainly out of curiosity but then I would end up applying that to everything
I did afterwards. And the timeline of things is kind of unclear for me but at
some point I decided to set up a YouTube channel, again because it was something
that I was consuming so heavily that I just wanted to be part of it, I wanted to
be even more deeply into it and there’s no better way than making your own
channel. Now obviously at that point none of it was making money. I obviously had
hoped that it would make money but when you’re first starting out I think that’s-…
it just takes a long long time to start seeing any real return on it. So
eventually my student loan money finally ran out. I sold my car that money ran out
as well, so I ended up getting a job at a local
supermarket; just the Sainsbury’s down the road from me. And on the day of
my induction it was me, a guy called Sam and a girl called Sonya.
Sonya left pretty soon after we all started but me and Sam became really
good friends because we were kind of in a similar position where we just needed
this job as a temporary thing. We were both trying to work on our own passions
in the background so he-… so obviously I was working on trying to build a career
as an artist, he was trying to work on setting himself up as a personal trainer. So his dream was to, you know, open a studio or have his own space have a sort
of portfolio of clients that he could be training here and there and earn his
money from that, so we connected on that level and ended up working there for
quite some time. I was kind of working on building my art career but I really didn’t
fully commit to it. I think it’s very much in my nature to be lazy and not put
100% into anything so it took me a lot longer than it should have done for me
to start seeing any sort of progress of things in that aspect. The great thing
about things like YouTube is that they do sort of generate their own growth so
things were growing for me quite steadily, quite slowly. I remember the
first sort of hundred subscribers was such a struggle. And then the first thousand.
Those sorts of milestones really took a long time but there was a steady
kind of growth in the background. I think within maybe a year year and a half, I
started to see money from it. The threshold to get a paycheck from
Youtube is sixty pounds, so I started earning like sixty pounds a month from
YouTube which obviously wasn’t enough for me to be full-time but in the
meantime I had been enjoying my work at Sainsbury’s. I
liked being out of the house it was something to sort of help me build up
more people skills I guess, and just gave me a much thicker skin. Because when
you’re working in retail you definitely need that. People do not treat you like a
human being. But I met a lot of great people, I made a lot of friends there and
it was definitely a nice chapter of my life. But eventually I did kind of get to
a point where I had had enough. I’d been there for like two and a half years, I
hadn’t anticipated on being there for that long, and I just thought ‘okay it’s
time to kick my butt into gear and start working on a plan to get me out of here’.
So that’s when I sat down and sort of wrote out a quite detailed financial
plan, a sort of guide to what I need to, do how much money I need to be making,
how I can make that money through my art in order to be able to leave. I’ve
always- I’d say since I was about 18- I’ve had to pay rent for living at home and
by that point, because I was probably 20 20ish, it was… while it was
reasonable, it was something that I needed to have a job to be able to pay. I
needed to be earning a substantial amount of money. So my main goal was to
be able to be earning that much money to where I could pay my bills; my phone
bills stuff like that, and the rent to be living in my house. And then anything
else, I didn’t really need. Like I just needed to be able to survive. So I wrote
down that number and thought about what parts-… how much my making now from my art
and how can I make that more in order to add up to what I need. So I thought about
you know how much I’m making from YouTube, how can I make more… I could put
out more videos stuff like that. Just literally wrote down this whole plan and
had the amount of money at the top that I needed to be earning
and sort of broke that down into, you know, ideal goals of where those funds
could be coming from purely from art. But obviously it isn’t as easy as that. You
can’t just write a plan and then it falls into place.
So things did kind of stall after that. I again didn’t put in as much work as I
should have done. I had written out this plan but didn’t really follow it. And
also it was a very idealised plan you know like in the best circumstances
that’s how much I would be making. One piece of advice I will give, if you are
planning on leaving your job in order to pursue self-employment, try to save
at least three months worth of essential money; so rent money anything you need to
pay and can’t sort of live without, food money… save three months worth of that
and then you’re in a better position to leave. I wouldn’t just leave having had
like a month savings or anything like that. Just just because you never know
what unforeseen circumstances might pop up and what you might need that money
for and you don’t want to be just stuck without any funds whatsoever. So I was
saving in the background which definitely helped me a bit later on. It
just didn’t really click fully for me and then another year passed really
quickly and I had been there for three plus years. And Sam, my friend, left. He
handed in his resignation. He had built up his personal training business enough
to a point where he could leave. He had made it. And I was stupidly proud of him
and I still am. So a week after he left, I handed in my resignation- I handed in my
notice to leave within a month- and I wasn’t ready but I think that at that
point I needed to do that, because I was too comfortable in that job and I was
never gonna push myself. I just know with me, I was never going to push myself
until things got kind of desperate. So I put myself in the position where I was
gonna have to work harder on my art because I wasn’t gonna be earning money
elsewhere. So obviously thankfully I had been
saving. I don’t think I would have left if I didn’t have the savings that I
built up for a few months of survival. I actually had quite an eventful summer
that year. That was the year I went to Spain and we had a great holiday but it
was quite a disastrous holiday. A lot of things went wrong and there were a lot
of unforeseen expenses so a lot of that money that I had saved to survive off
comfortably had to be spent on all sorts that I won’t really go into because it’s
a long story. By this point I was however earning a
few hundred a month from YouTube so again that was just enough really to pay
my rent. Anything else would come out of my savings so just you know things
like food and shampoo and travel that was all slowly eating away at my savings.
But all in all I was staying afloat at that point because I had I would say…
about 50 to 80 thousand subscribers I was getting more sponsorship deals and
those are a godsend just in terms of getting a cheque. Essentially just
getting a proper sum of money for still doing what you love, still doing your
usual thing but you’re getting a little boost, a little financial boost from it.
So those very few sponsorships I did made it possible for me to keep going
with things, would really bring me back from the edge of complete like financial
ruin. I also spent a lot of time in my overdraft so
essentially spending money that I didn’t have, pretty much building a small debt. I
think it got to the limit eventually but in the back of my mind I did know that
if it got to the point where I was completely broke and I had nothing left
there was still going to be a job waiting for me at my old workplace. When
I left Sainsbury’s the manager told me that if
I wanted to come back then I could, so that was always there as a backup
but at the same time I knew whatever happened I wasn’t going back there.
There’s no way. But there was always the back-up plan of ‘if it doesn’t work out
I’m just gonna have to get another job’. You know I’m not gonna get myself into a
position that I can’t come back from, I’m not gonna build up a huge amount of debt.
Also that’s why it’s taken me this long to sort of announce on this channel even
that I quit my job, because as far as you guys knew I was working. I think quite a
few people here are new so they might not even know that but the people that
have been with me for a while will remembered me talking about my job at
the old supermarket and I didn’t sort of announce that I had left, that I’ve
become full-time, because it really wasn’t like ‘this is it now, I’m ready,
were doing it’. It was like ‘I’m gonna try this and see if it works and it might
not work so I’m not going to tell anyone yet’. So my next challenge was sort of
becoming a good boss. Being my own boss and you know making sure that I got work
done. Being consistent and motivated and… within the first couple of months after
I left my job, that was around September October time, I think I spent at least a
month not doing anything. I completely lost all focus all motivation and I
could tell myself I really need to do stuff because I am hemorrhaging money
right now and I’m in control of earning the money… but it just didn’t materialise
in that way. So that is when I actually started my ’30 ways to fill a sketchbook’
series. I again had to sit myself down with a notepad- that’s the only way
for me to sort of sort things out in my head- and I wrote out different ways that
I could challenge myself to be more consistent. It was a way that I could get
myself into a rhythm of filming, of editing, of drawing regularly. And even
though I had a few hiccups along the way in terms of recording as often as I
wanted to it ended up being just what I needed to get me back into a swing of
things. Really challenged me to get some solid content out there and sort of
figure out who I was as an artist and also as a youtuber. I forgot to mention
as well; way, way back I did start selling my original artwork and prints, maybe
within like the first year of starting to take art seriously. However I did
value things quite low just because well, A- because I was working at the time I
didn’t really need that money and also I didn’t value my work very highly at that
time. But if you are someone that you see yourself as an artist and you see your
work being worth a lot then I definitely think you should charge a lot. I think
it says a lot more about you as an artist, it gives you more credibility. So
I was making like 10 pounds a month from my actual art, a lot of my money came
from YouTube back then. At this point I was making a lot more money from prints
and selling original pieces of artwork, I had a lot more confidence in my work and
therefore I felt happier charging more. And the more I do develop as an artist,
the more confident I feel about you know charging people for the time that it
took and the materials that went into it and also the whole thought process
behind it and also after the ’30 ways to fill a sketchbook’ series, I
gained a lot of subscribers , which gained a lot of more traffic to my youtube
channel, which in turn meant more earnings from Adsense and stuff. It also
led to a lot more of a following in general, so a lot more people that were
willing to check out my work and buy my work so
they all kind of grew and grew and grew Very slowly. But it all fed into each
other and I eventually got to a point where financially I was doing better
than I had been doing at my job- my ‘job’ job- and that was probably just a few
months ago. And doing better financially meant that I was now in a position to
save. Which is so so important when you are self-employed because you don’t get
things like holiday pay so if you need a week off you’re not getting paid for
that. You don’t get any sick leave which means you know if you’re in bed for a
week or even a month with something that’s all time that you will be
essentially losing money because you’re not able to create the things that you
put out in order to sell them. So having money saved is very, very
important. So as soon as you can start saving I would definitely recommend it. I
now have two separate bank accounts, so one where I get paid for everything like
YouTube and prints and originals things like that; that all goes into one place
and from that I pay myself a wage so that that money goes on our supplies and
anything else, postage and packaging things like that, and then the rest of
that is- and whatever I make in a month depends on how well I do as a company-
that obviously is money that I’ll spend on food and you know personal
things. [slurps] So it’s been a very slow and steady
process but it’s been almost a snowball It’s been- the growth has been kind of
exponential. So the longer you do it, the bigger things will grow, the more money
will come in and the easier it kind of becomes to be able to see yourself as an
artist. I think now looking ahead at what I want to make of this career, you know
as a future, I’ve been thinking a lot more about that recently for the same
reason that I made this video; that I’m feeling a lot more confident in my art
and my career as an artist. So looking ahead I love – I love the idea of doing
things like this, I love breaking down my experiences and the lessons that I’ve
learned and being able to share that as almost a guide for people who were in a
position like me of you know self-doubt or just being unsure. So moving forward I
would love to be able to do that in all sorts of ways. To finish off with some
advice I would first say if you are in school and you know that you want to be
an artist, it’s still important to focus on your studies for now. That’s one of
the things I get emailed about the most, where someone is saying that you know
their parents are telling them to focus on their maths homework and they just
want to draw. Focus on your studies now because you have all the time in the
world to work on your art. It’s really important to build up that strong work
ethic that comes from being at school and doing things you don’t necessarily
want to do. It’s really important to just build the skills that you can at that
time so you’re not looking back and thinking I wish I could work out
percentages because now I need to do my taxes. You never know how those things
that you learn then, when you have the chance, are going to translate into your
life in the future. You never know what position that might put you in above
other people as an artist. So build as much knowledge as you can. Do
your best. It’s not about doing well necessarily. It’s about doing your best,
putting in your all, and committing to the things that you have to at those
times. You can do art in your free time. You know I remember being at school and
there was always time for it, as stressed as I was, you know I could either go on
myspace after school- because that was a thing back then not YouTube- or I could
do some drawing. So there is always at least a little bit of time for it.
Another piece of advice kind of following on from that is to create as
much as you can. And do it for you. We- especially when were younger- I think
it’s important to express yourself the best you can because there’s so much
outside influence. Do the things that you want to do, draw what you want to draw,
create as much as possible and really explore different ideas and explore your
style and see who you are as an artist and be open to trying new things and
changing and just letting it flow. There’s no pressure to be a certain type
of artist, there’s no pressure to do things in a certain style. Do you and
just enjoy it. Another thing I would say is, if you know that being an artist is
what you want to do in your life and this applies to anyone any age, start
taking the steps to figure out how you can make that a possibility. So look
into different professions that artists can go into whether that’s design or
animation, think about what you want to do as an artist and then look at people
that have done it what they – what steps they took to get there, what schools did
they go to, what did they study. Things like that. Just be take a very
sensible and clinical look at the path you want to take and just really
consider all your options. And if you’re not sure if you want to be an artist, if
you do art as a hobby and you don’t know if it’s something that you do want to
make a career out of, that’s absolutely fine. Just you know – keep your options
open. You can become an artist at age 14, you can become an artist at age 84. It
really doesn’t matter. Just create art.. If you want to create art and if you want
to make money from it then follow that path but if not and then continue to
just enjoy it as a hobby. Right and my final piece of advice would
be; don’t wait until you’re ready, because you will never be ready and jumping in
at the deep end is the thing that made the biggest difference for me. Obviously
you want to be in a position where you have a safety net but you don’t need to
build a fort around you where nothing can go wrong and you’ve got all bases
covered. You need to dive in and make mistakes in order to learn and see what
works and what doesn’t. Right so that’s all I have to say on this for today but
I would love to hear about your experiences or your goals in the
comments below. Big thanks to all of you for watching
and for staying tuned to the end. As I’ve said before, without you, this show would
not be possible; the time it, takes the equipment I use, the tools I use- it would
all be non-existent. Special thanks to my Patrons whose support makes all the
difference. If you are interested in supporting me on Patreon I’ll have that
linked below. There you can see high-resolution images
of each and every sketchbook page that I do as and when they happen, as well as
behind the scenes pictures of what I’m up to
I also do a weekly real-time sketchbook Q&A so you can have your question
answered while you watch me draw in real time, and the occasional bonus video in
there as well. I’m also going to have the time-lapse of this and this page as well
for you to see the full process altogether.
So it’s patreon.com/semiskimmedmin We would love to have
you over there. For now this Under-Painting is over. Thank you so much for
joining me and I will see you in the next one. Bye!


  • Minnie Small says:

    But seriously, thanks for watching. Apologies for the loss of camera focus midway through. Things can never go perfectly can they?

  • AdventuresAmongAdjectives says:

    So refreshing to see someone not having a straight forward way to sucess! Feels like it gets really intimidating sometimes seeing all these artists and people on youtube talking about how they always worked towards where they are and always had the goal in mind. As someone who still doesn't really have any idea what I want to do in life, this gave me back a bit of hope 🙂

  • RahDaMost Prime says:

    Hold on….was that a cassette player and a tape…wow. Classic.

  • starr Moore says:

    Hello Minnie, thanks for the advice! I recently ran out of funds to keep going to school and am looking to continue on my own with art. As a side thing I wanted to make a channel talking about different art things.. However is there any longer any incentive to do this? Is it impossible to get paid by YouTube? Other than the exposure?

  • starr Moore says:

    Hello Minnie,
    Thanks for all the advice! I recently ran out of funds to go to art school and am looking to do it on my own via web( something all my professors laughed at my school professors were ignorant of modern times and opportunities, so its probably all good that I can no longer go) anyway I was thinking about on the side doing a channel YouTube is it impossible to gain from this any profit in short is it only good for exposure u said u get 60 a month…I just wondered because its alit harder now, would it be worth the while and time to a new person?

  • starr Moore says:


  • Mariska Botes says:

    you are a sweetheart for doing this xxx

  • LeniPelmeni says:

    I feel so emotional listening to your story…I just stumbled upon your channel btw. I relate so much to the things you mentioned like doing good in school, being praised for artwork, trying uni, being unhappy about it (I studied Translation too because I was obsessed with languages) and drop out, having a job in retail…feeling unhappy, earning just so much to survive and at the same time having no courage and no plan to get out of the situation. I managed to study Design and finish it the past year, but I find it so hard to fit in (especially Product Design) which lead me to apply for Graphic Design Jobs (my minor)…but in the end I still feel so lost. I almost stopped drawing for myself in Uni, which made me feel aweful and just the past months or so I gained a bit of motivation to restart drawing and painting, which until some point in the past, brought me huge joy. And in the back of my head I have this little, big dream of becoming an illustrator someday…
    I now know there are many people out there that struggle and I wish I did have people in my life that could have given me advice on my journey, like you do in your videos. I'm grateful that you open up and share your story and I'm sure it will help many artist or people in general who are struggeling with choices in life. I already feel better after watching one video :))

  • carriesteptoe says:

    Thanks Minnie! Your advice was wonderful.I could fully relate to your story.

  • JOKES APART says:

    Simple and Rich. Great motivation. Thanks

  • Akifa Qureshi says:

    I would die for a Sainsburys job.

  • N / A says:

    Right now I’m going threw my lowest I am no longer employed and am being very self destructive doing things I know will hurt my soul before this period i havnt touched my art in months but other than that art has been the only thing in my life I’ve stuck with starting drawing at a young age always had a talent and passion for art but I’m afraid my self discipline will slip again and I’m going to continue with my destructive path but god sent me your videos you really speak to me and inspire me hopefully one day I can be as successful as you !

  • TheSvartdemon says:

    Hey Minnie, my name is Fahad. Is it possible to have a 1 on 1 convo with you? I'm going to start my art business soon. I am also working full time. Great video btw Sincerely Fahad

  • SallyEditsStuff says:

    So many people I know, myself included, that got straight A's through school didn't cope well at Uni. I dropped out, to everyone's surprise, but it felt so pointless, also my lowest point.

  • SallyEditsStuff says:

    That is very good advice, before my partner quit his job to do YouTube full time we had 6 months rent saved (we have kids so we needed a little extra cushioning) 🙂

  • Sophie's Media Magic says:

    I had a big drifting hiatous for a long time too and my family was nagging me a lot, even when I sort of knew what I wanted to do, so don't feel bad. Sometimes the fear of having no money is what affects your family's behaviour the most, not you.

  • Sophie's Media Magic says:

    I wish I could think in the sense of building knowledge rather than focusing on art – if I want to create, and focus on art, I would feel trapped if I had to focus on something else instead. There wont be enough time to focus on your art if you are bogged down worrying about percentages, but obviously prioritise what is most important.

  • Scout of the Senses says:

    You are very inspirational. You are younger than I am and very accomplished. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Rose Beauty says:

    Omg this video does touch my heart i feel that every thing you say im living it right now , im on my path to being a full time artist so I guess my nex step is creating an YouTube channel .
    Thank you so much

  • Helena Lucy says:

    Thank you for this, very helpful video indeed x

  • Stephen Lillie says:

    A professional and intelligent video – helpful to many people.

  • Andrea Sophia says:

    I’m currently debating whether or not to switch to a part time contract at my full time job to focus more on my art OR to keep working and save for a year and then quit cold turkey so 100% of my effort can go into my art. I have been working on my painting instagram for 3 months now and have made £400 from my paintings but I’m scared to take the plunge… I feel like if I didn’t have a full time job I could paint waaay more and make regular(ish) money? I’m scared to take the next step but I hate my job

    If anyone is interested 🙂 www.instagram.com/andreasophiaart

  • Meeting Place says:

    I love your down-to-earth way of sharing and your personal insights make for beneficial content.

    This video gave me a lot of food for thought. Thank you as always Minnie…even though this was uploaded a year ago.😉☝💛

  • cMyCamell Roze says:

    You are the first drawing artist that I've ever seen who could be in a FULL conversation and draw simultaneously!!    This is exceptional!   I am a letter/calligraphist and designer, but I extract" from within" so I prefer "no chatting".  You have  a good and steady  hand.  Did you go to art school??

  • Maldives Baby says:

    Lol@wanting to live in Mami with the snazzy co-stars!

  • Kaleilia's Art says:

    This is my goal right now! I recently talked to my boss about giving me less hours at work so I have more time to focus on my art. I always pushed it off cause I was afraid of not having the money to cover the bills. But I know now that if I do nothing, things will just stay the same. And I'm unhappy where I'm at currently.

  • K3LL-3 says:

    I relate so much to your story. I'm a drifter with a commitment and passion problem. Best of luck to you!

  • Faylenn says:

    11 mins in: I am honestly glad I'm not alone in my story. I'm at this point right now. Right after. Deciding if i want to do art full time or continue school. Again, heh

  • andrea custodio says:

    I wish I could quit everything and just do art which I love e

  • Chris B says:

    Less talk more art work…

  • gomezga1 says:

    Wow, that was really helpful. I love your engaging style.. keep it up!

  • Rue Moriah says:

    Your rawness and honesty is amazing, thank you for sharing and inspiring people to not give up

  • chronicfish says:

    I’d like to ask for any advice you may have on the following. Hypothetically speaking, if you were able to find a small studio space in an office block with other businesses, for 80 dollars per month, all inclusive (rent, electricity and phone line/internet), would you proceed on renting that space, or would you still work from home? And what would your reasons be in doing so? Thank you in advance

  • Annika93DK says:

    Very nice and helpful video<3
    I am trying to follow this quote to become succesful:
    "If a man is working towards a predetermined goal and knows where he is going, that man is a succes."

  • Daria 01 says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. thank you for sharing your journey. 💓

  • rhythmandblues alibi says:

    This was so inspiring. Even with all the tough realities. I have struggled in my work life, working crappy manual labour jobs and have a lot of injuries as a result. I have just returned to drawing after about 8 years, maybe longer, because I didn't see the point of it given I thought it would never lead to a "proper job". I'm just considering now that it actually could be a job that I could do and your video was so honest about the realities of that, I so appreciate it. Thank you so much.

  • Castaña Eleven says:

    Castaña Eleven
    1 秒前
    I can totally relate! I majored in English and hated it. I continued hating what I was studying till grad school which led me to take 2 years of leave to build my art career. Now I'm back at school, woking on my thesis, and once I get it done, I will dive into the art world and never go back 🙂

  • t a u says:

    You live so close to me its scary…

  • Superpurplenails says:

    Just the kind of advice I needed. Thank you for a great video.

  • Lev Keatts says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You’re a fantastic artist and a great inspiration. It means so much to me to be able to hear from someone farther in their career than me.

  • Althea Jarvis says:

    Thank You!

  • Yasmin Le says:

    I've just made the leap today! You're massively inspiring!!

  • Rachel Louise says:

    Absolutely loved this video and really resonated with it! I think it's such a scary decision to leave standard employment but I've never heard anyone say they regret it and for me, it's been the best decision I could have made. It's so encouraging to have people like yourself to look to and kinda see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm almost 6 months in and it's been TOUGH at times but it's allowed me to really feel like myself again and start really enjoying life! Thank you so much for this video, I wish more people would tell their stories! x

  • samweller2099 says:

    Hey thanks for making the effort to create this. I do a lot of stuff on the side. These videos are always helpful. Thanks. 🙂

  • Lisa Noon says:

    Thanks for this. Im 50 and a teacher and have just started a business. very encouraging.

  • Haunted by Kpop says:

    OMG..!! I wanted to be a Hacker after watching CSI, just to be around hot guys with guns. 😁 😂 And after that I also wanted to be a interpreter, so I did a diploma in Korean language. Now, I am planning to start career in arts and illustration, after graduating in CSE.

  • minihoney13 says:

    Thank you, Minnie. This was exactly what I needed to hear in my life right now xx

  • Eatfreshlivefresh says:

    The car thing really resonated with me. I have no interest in driving, I did have a car and it filled me with dread when it was time for me to drive. Driving was something that hated. Thanks for sharing, I am spending my Saturday watching your videos. You are most certainly a muse.

  • kcsnipes says:

    32:11 😒

  • Suede Component says:

    What does "half 12" mean? Half past 12 or 30 minutes to 12?
    I've never hear that half 12 phrase before.

  • Catsy Mousie says:

    It's quite amazing to listen to your voice. It's so soothing and consoling. That can be another possible talent of yours:)

  • penny x proud says:

    Seriously, thank you for this video and telling your story. I've never related to someone so much when it comes to my life and career path. From being indecisive between majors, to staying at a retail job because I've become too comfortable, to being naturally lazy. I'm still very insecure about my artwork but I'm also not fully taking the time to improve. I've considered quitting my job for the past 2 months and luckily I still live at home with my parents, who are so supportive, and at this point I just want to give myself time to get my life together and become really serious about my art. Just… thank you.

  • hyg612 says:

    Thanks for your sharing, your story is so inspiring.

  • pvcollectives says:

    Do a video on art freelance & budgeting.

  • Melissa Joe says:

    Your voice is so soothing, my goodness.

  • K C says:

    First, let me say that I have never watched a 40 minute YouTube video, like ever! I was compelled to keep viewing – your voice, your skill, the topic. I am a 41 year old who recently decided to pursue a long-buried passion of becoming a full-time artist.

    Thank you for sharing your path, the ups and downs, as we often only see people post the good stuff on social media. This is what I needed today. I have an art show coming up soon. I have to work within self-imposed deadines to get things done creatively because, you know, life! Anyway, I was struggling with how to price my work, and you reiterated what I already knew. There were so many nuggets you dropped here, for young, and us more mature, folks.

    Big, fat thanks and squishy hugs across the pond to you for using your eloquent voice to soothe my anxiety on this day!

  • Sugar Sheila says:

    Fantastic! I really enjoyed watching this. I like hearing your story and watching you work at the same time. Very good. Happy for you.

  • Imani J. says:

    Wow I really enjoyed this video. I can relate on so many levels to your life experience in my own life. This was so helpful and gave me inspiration.

  • ml benson says:

    What an honest and candid video. It’s a kind thing to do – I’m sure you have helped many people by being so open and honest. God bless you.

  • Hals Art says:

    Love you artwork soooo much!! You inspire me daily, and recently I have just posted my very first timelapse. Feel free to check it out ! ❤️💕

  • Char K says:

    My son is 18 and he needs to watch/listen to this. It's so hard to know what to do at that age, but you gotta get started somewhere, and if you work in a boring kind of job, it helps you know what you don't want to do! I worked in a cereal factory and knew I'd do just about anything else!

  • Dania Dessine says:

    Nice desk but if I were you,you would see lots of colors in there,a looooooooooooooot more colors!🌈🌈🌈 🌈 This is too plain for me!And repetition is something I really don't enjoy!I hope it's working for you because to me that is torture!🤣💛

  • Bo Žica says:

    OMG we had the same job. And i’m probably gonna apply again just cause I need money for supplies and i can still have energy to do art.

  • Dana Cecile says:

    So, I'm currently in process of transitioning into making art my career, and I wanted you to know that I listen to this video ALL THE TIME to help keep me motivated! (I actually have a whole playlist of videos from you and other artists that help me stay motivated and inspired to do whatever it takes to reach my goal) I'm very grateful that you share these kinds of insights with us, because i know I can't be the only person who goes through your videos to find their own inspiration. I miss the underpainting series, I do hope you decide to revisit it sometime. 😌 I hope you're having a lovely day! 💖

  • Kenneth Marsh says:

    The problem with a career in art is that noone appreciates it enough to dig into their wallet. But you will here "that's so good , will you paint me a picture." I've studied art my whole life. It's got me nowhere. And I refuse to adhere to social media to make a living. They expect you to sell for next to nothing.
    Yes I love art with all my soul, but unless you are doing as a hobby, you will end up homeless and starving.

  • Elena Kostyreva says:

    Your drawing reminds me of Paul Madonna, love his Coffee series books. If you haven't check them out, the work is amazing and inspiring!

  • Tea Wetyšková says:

    Oh my God…our journey is so similar. Except I never got the courage to start YouTube because I would prefer talking in English rather than my own language haha. I am still in the phase of growing and having very little money, but I am hoping to start selling prints soon 🙂 Wish me luck. Thank you for such a great video!

  • BikangArts says:

    Oh wow…!!! 2 months ago, I left my day job at a golf course for 15 yrs to pursue a career in art also… I came up with this decision after watching ur video and others as well, but yours hit me most… same time I started my youtube channel to share what I do while I don't get commissions… struggling still… to get noticed…but hey… I'm being me… and it's what keeping me inspired… thankyou… and let's keep drawing…

  • Eddy otu says:

    Geart video… nice to see fellow artists making their way…i am in the midst of trying to start my own clothing business with artistic designs so its great to hear this advice…ive just subscribed…hope . you are still making vids

  • Hanneke Teunissen says:

    It's so interesting hearing you say that your other dream would be routine work! Nice confession. I'm all for knowing EXACTLY what you want instead of just conforming to what society thinks is best.

  • Rinku Arnouli says:

    My from India my work painting call my me phone number 9317853175


    Dang that accent got me ❤

  • Donut Planet Studio says:


  • roma bloom says:

    We all are so different yet look, everyone finds something to relate to in your video. I wish you to grow and expand your art, never give up. And to all of us in the comment section – don't be scared, follow your dreams and chin up when facing the difficult times!!

  • Island Childd says:

    this video really helped, thank you !

  • Makaila IG: mikeinthe70s says:

    Gosh you're beautiful!

  • GamingTV says:

    what a moron, who quits their day job to do a hobby? why not keep your day job, but make money from art on your days off? hard concept i know

  • Jordan Peklo Art says:

    Your voice is so soothing! I love listening to this video while I do my daily artworks. Your story gives me so much motivation to chase my dreams. Thank you for putting out amazing content like this. 🙂

  • Victorianne Castle says:

    How many hours a day do you work on your art?

  • missSilwina says:

    i have a driving licence but i have not bn driving now almost 10 years and before i drove very little few times when i was a new driver.i had job always in walking distance ..but i feel presure from other people,friends,my bf now to buy a car..my job is 7 min.walk from my house ..so..but it scares me. before i felt strange driving.my sister is a total opposite of me .she is an excelent driver. i try to do art paintings with acrylics and open my etsy store..got a big ilusion about it

  • Andreas Ranthe says:

    I'm thinking of pursuing a career in art, but a lot of people say it doesn't pay the bill, what do you think?

  • gumpfoo65 says:

    What have you been up to lately? Hope your art career is making you so busy you have no time for you tube. These vids you made are an inspiration to artists all over the planet.

  • Michael Taylor says:

    My god you’re beautiful ❤️

  • Olivia Dixon says:

    I just dropped out of uni, and i've been interested in illustration, this video has been really helpful!

  • Bun says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this 😃. I have a similar story and I just recently came to terms with the fact that I want to persue a creative career and was super lost because I'm in an entirely different job.

  • Gustavo Lertora says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  • bed562 says:

    its all trash get job

  • Merry Graphix says:

    You are amaZing 🌟👈🏻 Thank you for sharing ✨❤️💫

  • Gee Mee says:

    This video was the push I needed, thank you x

  • Twilight Star says:

    I went to university to study English Literature becz of family pressure n was topper every year. Found a real job one year later;) Now after 10 years of all this I hv realized that I was not a literature person though I love reading (I hv hundreds of books in my shelf)composing poems occasionally but still it's not my passion. I loved to draw n paint since I was in kindergarten. Then I lost in the education system where there was no place for art. Minne Small doesn't know that she was the very first person who rekindled that light again within me to which I had extinguished years ago by this very video. Thank Minnie:) I watched it in Oct 2018 n god knows what happened to me that day that I gifted myself art supplies worth of 5000 thousand dollars on my birthday which was the same month in October. I purchased sketch book, different types of colours,brushes, pencils, eraser n u don't know how fulfilling it was just to purchase them. Now i have been 9 months ahead with my art love.. practicing,enjoying drawing n painting more often with my real job;)

  • 4 Eyes says:

    You are precious ❤️ Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Glitzalicious by Eve Sparkle says:

    Hi Minnie, this is the 1st video of yours I'm watching. Your dream job is exactly what I would love to, repetative work, know what I have to do, get on and do it, then go home. I didn't know anyone else thought like this! I love your work. New subbie!

  • Robert Reid says:

    very good .. thanks again . I keep coming back to this one …

  • e r g o j o s h says:

    I related so this so much, I wish I found this when I was in the same spot but I still got something from it 🙂

  • Angela Beattie says:

    I love your art Minnie, I often paint and draw along with you. Glad you made the decision to do this.xx

  • BrewskaySA says:

    Mad respect from america!!! Keep doing great work QUEEN!!!!!


    Thank you for making this video 😭 I nearly cried watching this. I am in the situation like you said that wanting to pursue being a full time artist but you don't know where to start. I am currently in a stable job but I'm not happy about it so it's like extra hard for me to do my responsibilities at work 40 hours per week. I am thinking of quitting but I'm scared what if I regret quitting/resigning where will I go? I'm still in that situation now and idk how to finally plan out things. Idk my resources. Idk where to start first. But then thank you for this video. One day I'll come back here as a full time artist because that is what I really wanted to do. Keep making inspiring videos like this ❤️

  • Brooke Guthrie says:

    i loved this video v inspiring! my only question is what makes it so you can make money on youtube, the amount of followers?

  • Golden Spectacles says:

    not joking.Literaly 16 and my career paths right now are interpreter or illustrator/artist. Oof

  • SuperGirl1970 Carver says:

    strange you should say that artist liked repetitive work. I've always liked that kind of job also, not having to talk to anyone and just do your repetitive work.

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