Life as an indie artist means a lifestyle of freelance assignments PLUS entrepreneur skills. Art schools need to add these skills to their curriculum. Fortunately, workshops, convention panels, and internet sites offer educational opportunities. (Art below by Alina Chau) http://alinachau.com/
Your work is the result of your practice... how much.. how often.. how well. Don't pick yourself apart by finding faults. Look for your improvements.. where you've made them.. and where to work next.
How do you stay on course??? Know your day rate. Keep track of your income and expenses. Include how you are spending your time. Always write up an invoice for yourself.. even if you do "free" work for a friend. Any time you work, it needs to be contributing to your income.. otherwise you are working at a loss. You cannot afford to work yourself to death... or to broke...
Long-time animator Will Finn dreamed of a career at Disney .. got an early job there.. and returned there years later.. but the route he took wasn't what he anticipated starting out. Link below to his blog post "Why You Shouldn't Want a Job in Animation."
Need more inspiration??? Industry icon Bobby Chiu has a You Tube channel with episodes of advice for working artists. https://www.youtube.com/user/digitalbobert
Bobby is a long-time teacher, and host of the fabulous Schoolism workshops held world-wide. http://www.schoolism.com/
His You Tube videos are upbeat and practical, often with helpful lists of actions to take to direct your progress on the episode's topic.
Here's a sample ... "Tips for the 21 year old me"
"What great artists have in common"
As an independent artist...Sometimes you're doing a job that's not art related, just to pay bills. That's fine. But if art is what you love.. and art is what you feel called to do... make choices to keep improving. So-called overnight success is the result of years of work. Do the work, and you will get better.
Life and art are complicated. Animation explains complicated things so well.. here's a refreshing take on a familiar fable...Animated by Katy Davis.
More on art and anxiety at this frequently updated post: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/get-inspired-art-and-anxiety-dance-steps.html