Ep 39: Nick Onken

39: How to Create a Career in Art Part 1/15 – Find Your WHY

Tune in:

by Nick Onken

“The most important part of creating a career in the arts is knowing WHY you’re doing it.”

Part 1/15 How to Create a Career in Art: Find Your WHY

Creating a high profile career in fashion and lifestyle photography is gratifying, but what it took from me to get there is the real gift.

During the last ten years of creating this career, I’ve learned a few things that might be useful to the up-and-comers. In this collection of episodes I break down the process that I used to make a living with my art. These tips go beyond my world of photography and transcend into any creative venture.

The lessons can be useful if you’re into illustration, fashion design, fashion blogging, music, performing arts, writing or any other creative hustle. Think of it like the DNA of a creative professional. Think of it like the building blocks of inspiration.

This is the first installment of my 15 part series on how to make a career in art.

“You’ve got the passion and the hustle and the drive? Go for it.” 


Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • The first step in answering the question, “how to make a career in art?” (0:55)
  • Finding the source of your why (1:25)
  • Where powerful validation comes from with the greatest artists (2:55)
  • Loving your art for the actual craft (3:35)
  • About the hard questions and why you want that career in art (4:40):
    • Do I want to be X (a photographer, a musician, a graphic designer) because it resonates with me? Do I love it? (4:55)
    • Can I practice this craft without showing anybody? (5:10)
    • Do I need validation from others to justify my self worth? (5:40)
    • Am I willing to work 8-10 hours a day at a regular job, and then come home and practice my craft even though I’m exhausted? (6:50)
  • On defeating that feeling of exhaustion with your passion for your craft (7:45)

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