One person’s idea of taking risks will differ from another, so it is important to know yourself and your own limitations, and in order to know this requires a good deal of honesty. That said; there are basic tenets I go by when forging ahead with career decisions. One way for an artist to take a risk, calculated as it may sound, is to risk looking at his or her career as a responsible business practice. This would require each individual to:
• Properly assess the directions they are moving with their work
• Keep a check on their balance sheet with their income and expenditure
• Regularly check in with their progress on a creative as well as a fiscal level.
Most artists don’t do this and most artists, and I do hate to have to say it, have big failure rates, both in their ability to maintain a successful direction and trajectory with their work and also to maintain a positive cash flow. I believe this lack of a developed business sense is a major reason there is so much instability with individuals in the creative industry, so much depression, confusion and abnormal patterns of behavior. I believe much of the instability artists experience in their lives centres around money and the inability or the refusal of creative types to put the spotlight on their finances and making sure they have a positive cash flow.
Artists are not taught to consider these things either at most art schools and universities, and more often than not they are not taught these skills by their parents, either by having dysfunctional childhoods in the first place which may be one of the main reasons why they became artists, or because they rebelled against their parents and any positive business sense teachings their parents were offering. One person’s idea of taking risks will differ from another. The fact remains that for most artists it poses a sense of risk to deal with their finances, so that they not only have a positive balance sheet at the end of the day they also have a greater peace of mind overall
I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to be living in a garret or in dire straits in order to produce your best work. Many of those romantic notions are way out-dated by now and the sooner artists and students realise this the better it will be for them and for the industry in general. I suggest you check in on all aspects of your career as a regular thing and look at risks as being small rungs of the ladder, which is taking you towards success in your career.