Why Being an Artist is More Than Just Painting All Day

I’ve lost count of how many times people have said, “It must be so great to be able to paint all day!” When I mention that I’m a full-time artist. There is a romanticized notion of what an artist’s life entails, but it’s not all glamour and ease.

Spoiler Alert!

As a full-time artist, I often feel like an expert juggler, constantly keeping multiple bowling pins in the air simultaneously. Initially, I wrote “balls” there, but then I thought, well… you know where that leads… I’m sure I’m not the only one with a mind that wanders in that direction! Alright, maybe I am, and I just don’t give you all enough credit!

Perhaps an artist’s life is more akin to a clown’s because I find myself dropping those darned bowling pins all too often! In addition to painting, my roles include accountant, copywriter, tech support, manager, and the list goes on.

At the easel, hoping the muses stop by for a visit.

The latest addition to my repertoire has been learning how to enhance SEO on the website. And what is SEO, you ask? Why, it stands for Search Engine Optimization! Please contain your enthusiasm!

Believe me; it can be just as mind-numbing as it sounds.

Unless, of course, spending all day at the computer is your idea of fun. Crafting engaging and inviting descriptive text about each webpage, all in an effort to entice someone searching “contemporary artist” to choose my website over countless other Google results… Whew! Just writing about it exhausts me — probably not as much as reading it did for you! Thanks for sticking with me!

To be frank, writing for the professional or business side is where I often struggle the most. (Remember, D in English). I have a tendency to make the text sound lifeless, in a dry, “just the facts, ma’am” kind of way. For instance,

About page = Nancy Murty is an artist living in Rochester, NY.

Isn’t very compelling, is it? Not very enticing to click the link and learn more.

When writing, I often find myself revising the text several times to try and add more personality to it. To maintain a friendly yet professional tone, avoiding any hint of creepy or annoying salesmanship. 

When I think about it, it’s almost like creating a dating profile for my website. However, instead of coming across as desperate for commitment, I’m aiming for a casual and friendly tone — like asking someone out for coffee. It’s funny, because I always thought of an artist’s life as anything but romantic, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe I need to rethink my stance on that.

My New Ally

So, I’ve found my new ally — the Thesaurus. It offers vibrant alternatives to my bland-sounding words, capturing what I was trying to convey in the first place. My favorite is WordHippo. We’re practically soulmates at this point.

I asked my new ally, the Thesaurus, for synonyms of “juggler.” It suggested several interesting options, such as enchanter, shaman, sorcerer, warlock, witch, and wizard. 

This has made me reconsider my comparison of an artist’s life to that of a juggler. Enchanter sounds much more mysterious and intriguing. Oooo, I could totally go with Enchanter!

Artist’s Life = Enchanter

Okay, perhaps that approach doesn’t work well for website SEO. But let’s get back to the main point here. Professional artists cannot spend all their time painting. However, we are fortunate enough to be able to spend some of our time doing what we love.

I love being an artist because I love to paint, but it also allows me to learn a variety of skills besides painting. I learn about marketing, website design, social media strategies, technology, accounting, administrative duties, and time management. This is one of the things I enjoy most about being an artist — the opportunity to constantly expand my knowledge, whether I have a paintbrush in my hand or not.


If you’d like to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend Meg Casebolt of Love at First Search. Meg makes it easy to understand and apply.

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