Joe Murray On Balancing Art and Business

A short and sweet post today but that should not detract from it’s meaning. Over on his blog, Stephen M. Levinson has posted this great quote by Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life:

Most artists would just prefer to paint, draw, play, create all day without a thought of how they are going to pay the bills. But that is not reality. The trick is to pay the bills while keeping your individual spirit as whole as possible.

It’s an absolutely spot-on observation on how animators have to combine art with making a living. Joe should know, he’s been in the position of having to do it himself, and so far he seems to be doing OK for himself.

I know myself, when I graduated from university, no-one told me anything about running a business or even how to manage my money. Thankfully my uncle gave me one or two excellent books by Ric Edelman on how to keep basic tabs on your money and where it goes.

Finding a job in animation is tough, becoming a success is even tougher and being a continual success is near impossible, but it can be done. Having even a basic business knowledge can be a huge benefit, and the library is full of excellent guides and textbooks on business. You don’t need and MBA to be a success, so take Joe’s advice to heart, and learn how to balance your art and your bills. It might be a little painful now, but it will pay off in the long run.