What’s the right balance between work and non-work time? The traditional 9-5 has slowly disappeared with the emails and zoom and texting going far beyond traditional business hours. We asked members of our community to share with us how they think about work-life balance.

Mo Davis | Fine Art Photographer

I’m a 42 year old single woman who’s self employed. It was extremely difficult to set boundaries and balance. People automatically assume that since you’re alone all of the time, so. Read more>>

Courtney Nicole Googe | Artist | Teacher

The year 2020 has definitely challenged the Work-Life / Studio balance! You never know what tomorrow is going to bring and nothing is for certain. Life will certainly have its fair share of unexpected moments. The work-life balance and the work-studio-life balance will change depending on individual situations. Some adaptability is required, but also a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation to keep up the habit and routine of working even when it’s difficult. I’m a teacher as well as an artist, so when the pandemic first hit, all my classes went virtual. My studio time decreased dramatically as I needed to take more time to prepare all my classes and students to move to virtual learning. Even when I did find the time, the increased anxiety made it more difficult to work with more tedious materials or intricate processes. Read more>>

Chuck Roach | Professional Portrait Artist

Pre-civilization humans did not have much distinction between life and work. I think we are all striving to get back to that state of being. My “work-life,” balance slowly evolved from employee (teacher) working for the state of Texas, to independent artist working for myself. At the age of 53, I qualified for full retirement—meaning I would get a check each month just because I was alive. This money covered my basic expenses so I could focus on art. Any professional artist will tell you that even at the best of times, art sales income is sporadic. Some reliable source of money is essential for true creativity to flourish. This concept is the source of our common verbal meme, “starving artist.”. Read more>>

Anya Bosworth | Artist

I work with a relatively loose schedule. It’s important for me to leave my schedule flexible enough to make time for my friends and family and also avoid burning myself out. I recognize that not everyone has the luxury of working when they “feel like it,” but it plays an important factor in my satisfaction in my work and life. Being self employed without strict hours can give me anxieties about how I should be working at any given time. I think the guilt was much more apparent when I first quit my day job. Now that I take longer to make each room guardian and they sell for more than when I started, I try to give myself the permission to take time away from work without guilt. Read more>>

Katie Baker | Marketing for TUPPS Brewery

When I started working at TUPPS Brewery back in 2015, I didn’t have any kids. My husband was in medical school and very busy with school so I was able to put all of my time into work and there was PLENTY to do since we were a new, startup brewery. Then I had my first baby in 2017 and I had to shift my whole work schedule and work from home and I would bring my baby into work for meetings. I’m extremely lucky and grateful that my boss is my dad and he was willing to work with me becoming a mom. I just had my second baby in June of 2020 and i’m back to working from home a lot. It’s been very tough to balance work, being a mom and being a wife, but I love what I do. Read more>>

Cara Wildman | Musician & Educator

Wow, what a great question, and something that has taken me some time to figure out. The whole idea of work/life balance is actually one of the reasons I decided to pursue a career as a freelance musician rather than continue in my previous job as a band director in a large school district. While I LOVED my band kids, band parents, and coworkers at my school(s), and still love teaching, I did NOT love the the integrity of some of my administration or the 80+ hour work weeks. I knew I wasn’t happy but struggled to break out of the American workaholic lifestyle because I felt that was what was expected of me to be considered “successful.” Combine that with the fact that I lived in Ireland for almost two years and had really learned to appreciate the slower pace of life and you can understand why I’d be ready for a change! Read more>>

Aaron Garcia | Illustrator & Designer

I think the idea of “work-life balance” tends to deal with extremes in behavior and the inability to set boundaries. Even as a freelance designer, I make my bed everyday and get dressed. I tend not to respond to emails or work on Sunday’s. When I think I have to work later than usual, I try to be honest about what I’m producing or not producing and tell myself to turn off my laptop and just go to bed. Over time and experience, I’ve tried to adapt a “quality over quantity” mindset when it comes to the amount of hours and effort put into a project. This is way easier said than done though. People tend to have an ideal in their mind about finding the perfect work-life balance when in reality, life is so unpredictable and uncertain that the very ebb and flow of it all needs to be accepted in order to maintain realistic expectations of yourself and your work. Read more>>

Rachel Larlee | Mixed Media Artist, Teacher and Mum

A friend told me a few years ago that life wasn’t a case of getting a balance but more of creating a blend in life. They gave the example of a pie chart where you only had 360 degrees and that if one slice of the pie changed the rest had to adapt. I have found that to be true, as every week it feels like the blend is different. There are times when the demands of the various parts of my life change- e.g. the week we were potty training my 2 year old. Everything else had to change- that was the biggest piece of the pie for sure that week. Read more>>

Corrie Pocta | Ceramicist, Educator, and Founder of Trade Oak Cliff

My personal relationship with work life balance has been a chaotic one. Many artists can not afford to do their work without having an additional job to pays their bills. We know the importance of having arts opportunities in our communities, but on a governmental level in the US, we have seen a lack of financial investment in supporting artists to do their work full time. I believe this often results in artists not being given the opportunity to have appropriate work life balance. I have to work my job as an educator to pay my bills, and then to reach my artistic goals, I work full time with my remaining hours pursuing my craft. People talk about creative energy as though it is this beautiful gift, but I also see it as a pressuring presence at times. Read more>>

Niki Gulley  Contemporary Impressionist Artist

Before I became a full-time artist, I was art director at a Dallas magazine. I thought I worked hard then! With production deadlines and sometimes working 60-hour-weeks to get the magazine to press on time, I had very little time to create my own art. So, in 2003 I made the scary leap of quitting my job and following my dream of being a full time artist. Over 17 years have passed since that crucial moment and I have never looked back. Ironically, now I spend way more time creating and promoting my paintings than I ever did working at the magazine. I’ve segued from participating in about 18 art shows across the country to now being represented by several galleries from coast to coast with collectors across the world. I started out teaching classes in Dallas to now leading Art Treks across the globe with my husband and travel photographer, Scott Williams. Read more>>