In my time as an artist and web developer, I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with multiple art venues and marketing companies, some weren’t so pleasurable. I’ve also had numerous working relationships – again some were great while others weren’t. This is natural and progressive. Still, change, desired or undesired, is unsettling.


I recently moved out of a studio space that I loved for several years. Although I no longer needed the space, my experience in that space was excellent! Even though I knew moving was a logical step, I still had some separation anxiety. I hadn’t used my studio in months but when I moved out I missed it immediately.


As creatives, we spend much of our lives planning for change. This year my creative career has transitioned in ways I didn’t expect. I love the idea of change and engaging with new possibility. But if this has ever happened to you, you know it leaves you feeling disjointed and fragmented. Don’t worry. That feeling won’t last.


When I was thinking of tips to help other creatives react to change a few tired metaphors entered my mind. I suppose I could tell you how change is like death and then discuss the five stages of grief. Or I could write a little parable about a caterpillar shedding its skin to become a butterfly. Search the internet for anything related to transition, change, or growth and you’ll find an overload of those comparisons.


I think the Brady Bunch summed it up best:



In my own experience, handling massive change, unexpected transition, or entering a period of extensive career makeover is as simple as remembering these 3 things.


  • A successful career requires some developmental risks. They say that greatness is never achieved in your comfort zone: this is true. Take responsibility for your career by opening yourself to change. Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves. Don’t sit idle as the world passes you by. Own your creative skills, trust your your instincts, and believe in yourself. There’s nothing heroic about stagnation. Be willing to move forward.


  • Building a career is a mission. Pursue your goals with vigor. Changes in your career allows you to find your best role. Maybe you already understand your passion and purpose. But even the happiest creative professionals understand that sometimes change is needed for advancement. ON a pragmatic level, view your career changes as a driving force to propel you forward. Standing still means you’re no longer growing.


  • Cut yourself some slack. Adapting to any change takes time. Recognize that transition is hard and make allowances for it. By cutting yourself some slack and being gentle with yourself, adapting will be less cumbersome. Before long you’ll love the inevitable changes.



Unfortunately, people who refuse change condemn themselves to a life of mediocrity, and not just in their careers. Refusal to change and grow in your career affects all aspects of life. If your work is meaningless, you’ll forget how to enjoy yourself and your talents will be wasted. This, I promise.




Take Robin William’s advice in The Dead Poets Society: Carpe Diem!  Seize the day and your life and career will unstoppable.


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