Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you need to stick your head outside your cardboard box and see what other people are doing….

We just discovered this fantastic list of recommendations for artists who are also parents, trying to balance a life in the visual arts with parenting a kid–and the overlap between their community and ours is staggering. (Though not at all surprising, when you think of it.) The article is full of wonderful comments and surprising findings and terrific recommendations. Note that it is very long, and presented as a cute “zine” — perfect for a quick read between soccer drop off and pickup over the next few weeks.

You can find the whole study here.

Some of the findings that really surprised us were:

  •  Artist parents talked much more about needing time than money. 10 to 1, at least–but artists considering having children worried about time and money equally.
  •  Artist-parents who cannot work out the time-money equations often leave the field
  • Artist-parent schedules are more effective when they include a margin of error, since changes and emergencies will happen.
  • Many artist-parents no longer feel comfortable living hand-to-mouth and paycheck to paycheck [after having kids] They want more security, more of a cushion. And they are less able to cut back to zero and live on no money when things get tight.

It’s all this good. The “identity” section and the “what we can do” sections bear reading from start to finish. Especially the “what we can do” section.

Our favorite finding was this one. It carries over into the literary world, and then some:

If you have a realistic, flexible budget and schedule that include time and resource to make your art, you will make your art.

Do not reinvent the wheel – just take a glance over at our visual artist friends, they’re sledding. Really.