Career Counseling for Artists, Musicians, Writers, Actors and Other Creative People

I work with many people who, in the ideal world, would be spending all of their time pursuing music, writing, visual art, theater, a craft…one of those occupations that, for most people, does not correlate with "high paycheck" or "financial stability."

If you are in this group, or if you have a strong desire to pursue something creative but feel that "reality" is getting in the way, here are some of the things we can address in career counseling:

  • If you are choosing to pursue an artistic career full-time, how to develop a strategy that allows you to maintain focus and consider income-generating options you might not have considered.
  • The types of work you might be able to do that would allow room for your creative projects on the side, including part-time and nontraditional options.
  • Career possibilities that allow you to incorporate some of your creativity into the job, or that at least maximize the possibility you will be working with people who respect your creative/artistic side.
  • How to foster and maintain your creative work despite potential stressors and roadblocks that might arise.

Regardless of the approach you choose to take, it is typically very important to honor your desires to continue moving forward with your art or craft, whether that means as a full-time endeavor or as a part-time, recreational source of joy.

(As for me…when I am not doing career counseling, I do some creative writing and play Irish tin whistle and flute.)

Here are some online resources for creative people trying to sort out their careers or find jobs:

New York Times article: Transforming Art into a More Lucrative Career Choice

Huffington Post article: 10 Artistic Careers with the Brightest Futures

197 Careers Related to Visual Arts

Art and Design Careers in Colorado

Art Bistro (the art section of

Careers in Music

The Savvy Musician Blog  (also contains information relevant to other types of artists)

I'd Rather Be Writing Blog (a blog about technical writing, which is a good option for writers who want stable full-time jobs)

20 Creative Writing Careers (a blog post with comments adding more ideas; part of the Writing Forward site, which has lots of good info. for creative writers)

AIGA Colorado (graphic arts)

Craigslist art/media/jobs listings for the Denver area (of course, if you are not in Denver, look up the Craigslist page for your own city)

Barbara Winter (author of Making a Living without a Job): Barbara's books, tele-classes, and other resources present a model for earning income without being a full-time employee, thus allowing for the flexibility to pursue your art and the opportunity to make money from your art

Self-Employment in the Arts (a professional association focused on helping artists with the business end of their work)

Americans for the Arts Job Bank (even if you do not see job postings in your area or feel you are not qualified for the jobs, you can get a sense of some of the possible career directions you might consider)

Denver Career Counseling


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