The road to becoming an artist or writer is often windy. Though Nona Howard knows she was born an artist, she also appreciates the stability and perks of a consistent job. Read on to hear insights from an artist who has taken a middle way.
I was born an artist, but it wasn’t until I developed a chronic pain disorder 5 years ago that I realized I had to clearly acknowledge what I am meant to do in this life. It is a soul urge.
What are the biggest struggles you think artists face when it comes to pursuing their work full time and making enough money to pay the bills?
I’m not very good at marketing or networking. In fact, sometimes I think I could care less if people see or enjoy my art. I know that I would create anyway, because I have to. Obviously, this is a not the best attitude to have in order to make money as an artist! So, I’ve always lived a double life, I suppose; working in corporate offices to receive health benefits and decent pay. My advice to potential artists? Learn how to type.
What are your favorite channels for sharing your work?
I have my art and films available on the web, but my favorite thing to do is to put on art shows. I especially like creating a theme and having a group of artists design or contribute art that works within the theme or paradigm. It’s exhilarating to have a packed room and hear the opinions and discussions.
Does your work as an artist and work as a writer overlap? What draws you to each pursuit and does one strengthen the other?
In broadcasting school, I was a both a strong writer and camera person. I enjoyed both equally. When I struck out on my own as an artist, I saw my filmmaking evolve into something more obtuse and experimental. My writing however, conforms to the needs of the editor or client, whether that is news writing, technical writing, etc. My favorite style of writing is satirical, that’s where I truly shine.
The two mediums really don’t overlap – my art and filmmaking tends to be much darker and intense. Art and filmmaking are where I speak my truest language. It is the way I would want to communicate who I am. Writing is just easy for me; I’ve been doing it for so long that I have a decent amount of confidence and proficiency.