ART MINUTE

'I spend 5% of my time designing and I hate that': The challenges of turning art into business

Edward Juan was proud to became his own boss, but had to learn how to balance his work and health.

Edward Juan was proud to became his own boss, but had to learn how to balance his work and health

(CBC Arts)

Vancouver's Edward Juan felt the pressure to turn his design into a job. "My parents are entrepreneurs themselves," he says. "They're like, 'If you're never your own boss, you're not really successful.'"

As early as he can remember, Juan has always been drawing, and after moving to Vancouver and working as a freelance illustrator, he launched his business Forest and Waves.

Watch the video:

I don't want to be super busy anymore. I'm done being super busy. I just want to be moderately busy, you know? 1:04

Juan is honest with himself about the challenges. "Am I happy with the situation? Not really because it's becoming more of a business rather than designing. Even though I'm designing what I want, I spend 5% of my time designing and I hate that."

Beyond just his disappointment about not creating as much, the intensity of keeping up the business and meeting his goals has impacted his health. "I had a goal of like — if I make this much money at the end of the year then I'm successful. But I realized that with that, it comes with a price of pain and sleepless nights, my boyfriend getting mad at me, not talking to my parents. Personally, you lose your health. I had to go through surgery — I had thyroid cancer."

Thankfully, through it all, Juan has learned how he has to create the right balance. "I don't want to be super busy anymore. I'm done being super busy. I just want to be moderately busy, you know? Are you happy with what you do? That's what's important."

"Maybe it's time to take a chill pill. I wish I learned that faster."

Check out more of his work below!

(Edward Juan )
(Edward Juan)
(Edward Juan)

Art Minute is a CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.

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