One thing I've struggled with as an artist over the years is how to divide my time and energy between my personal life, my job and my art. More often than I'd like, making art has fallen to the bottom of my to-do list.
A couple of years ago I took a look at how I was spending my time and money, and decided to make some big life changes. For me it was all about lowering expenses and I started thinking about every purchase in terms of work hours required. For example, before buying a new pair of shoes I would ask myself "how many hours will I have to work to pay for these?". This new way of seeing things allowed me to considerably lower my spending.
Spend Less = Work Less = More Time for Art
Recently, my wife and I moved into a cheap 300 sq. foot bachelor apartment in downtown Ottawa to save money and to eliminate time wasted on commuting to work. To give myself even more free time, I decided not to have a phone or a TV in the apartment. So far it's been going really well - I've been able to start this blog, completely revamp my website, make new art and participate in more art shows.
I don't necessarily recommend that you follow the path I've taken, but if being an artist is your dream and you're finding it hard to find the time to make it happen, I think you should look at how you're spending your time, why you're working to earn all that money and then make the decision to prioritize art over all of it. Unfortunately no one is going to come along and give you extra free time - you need to make it happen for yourself!
If you're an artist, I'd love to hear how you make time for your art - leave a comment!