Stories

The text used in the assessment tools are great descriptors, but its stories that bring this work to life. 

Below is a growing portfolio of stories from artists and advocates from across the country that can be filtered on the assessment tools, spectrum, and categories.  You can turn on and off these filters by clicking on the buttons. 

Use these examples to help locate yourself on the assessment tool and see how to move up on the spectrum. Read our Guidebook for more suggestions on how you can use Artists Thrive, putting the tools to practice, and sparking conversations with Artists Thrive.

Have a story of your own to add?   Click here to submit it.

Filter by Tags:

Remove Filters

Rubric

Spectrum

Category

Finding Balance with a Day Job

 As an actor, I was having trouble finding work, so I took the suggestion of a colleague to apply to be a tour guide, since I’m a huge state history buff. I was hired to became a tour guide on one of the boats and would walk off the boats with wads of cash. Then one day, I got the call for a big acting gig. I went to my employer and said, “I’m going to reject the offer if it will conflict with my day job.” But my employer said, “We love you so much. Go do the gig – your job will be here when you get back.” I felt like this was an example of taking responsibility for this stage of my life and finding balance and steady work that is still supportive of my artistic pursuits. Since then, I’ve continued to do the boats and the tours, and that stable income and flexibility have me time to write, produce, and act in two films. So, I think that’s a success story because it’s about asking not just “How can I look at all aspects of my life and protect the creative person?,” but also, “What are my values? What do I want in my life right now? And how do I adjust so I can set those priorities and be honest to them?”

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Struggle Practice

Taking Control of Your Career

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova shares his experience struggling with 'selling' his work and establishing a live/work balance.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Struggle Practice

Finding the Compatibility in Being an Artist and a Mom

Artist Michelle Weinberg shares about her initial struggle to balance having an infant and being an artist and how the two ultimately fit together well.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Struggle Practice

Ted Gillespie shares his artist story: "I Won't Waste Any More Days of My Life"

As a husband and a breadwinner, my art always took a backseat to life’s responsibilities. Today at 61, I can truly call myself an artist and love going to my studio every day. Throughout my life, I felt compelled to create art, but always felt I had to put other obligations first. I was unhappy going from job to job, went through two divorces, lost everything more than once and was suicidal at one point. No one took my art seriously, not even me, but I kept painting. A turning point for me was when a therapist asked “why don’t you paint what you want instead of what’s expected from you?” Today, I have been happily married for 14 years to a wife who is supportive of me and my artistic practice. I am more prolific and happier than I have ever been in my life. I manage my depression and it doesn’t manage me. I create the work I feel driven to make without being afraid whether it will be accepted by family, friends and society. I use my work to express my voice on politics, ecology, social and cultural conversations we tend to ignore.  I create because I have to and I hope people enjoy the work. If not, that’s okay. I won’t waste any more days of my life.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Struggle Practice