Faith–And Works - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Q: I am an art teacher, and I don’t want to teach any longer. I’ve decided to move to a new city and follow my dream of creating and selling my own work. My dilemma is this: I’m having difficulty understanding where to start—I don’t know how to go about it. In our shaky economy, I [know that I] can’t afford to make any mistakes. This is my step out on faith, and I want it to be a step in the right direction.
–D. Richardson, New York City

A: Congratulations on your decision to pursue your dream. However, speaking as a fellow artist (I hold a bachelor’s degree in studio art), I must caution you against ending your career prematurely to pursue a profession that you admit you know little about.

It is extremely difficult to make a living as a visual artist, especially at the beginning stages of a career. Most successful artists keep a regular job, at least until they are firmly established in the marketplace and can sell enough art to earn a steady income.

Stepping out on faith does not mean blindly leaping into the unknown; it means taking the steps necessary to prepare yourself for the blessing of your calling. Remember what the Bible says about “faith without works” in James 2:14? Works, in your case, means research and preparation. I strongly recommend that you maintain a teaching career while preparing to become a commercially viable visual artist.

Mail your motivational questions to: Help Yourself, BLACK ENTERPRISE 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011 or send an e-mail

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Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is SVP/Editor-at-large of BLACK ENTERPRISE. He is a content leader, brand representative and expert resource for all media platforms under the BLACK ENTERPRISE brand, including the web site, social media and live networking events. From 2008 through 2010, Edmond was SVP/Editor-in-chief of, helping to lead the transition of BLACK ENTERPRISE from single-magazine publisher to digital-first multimedia company. From 1995 through 2008, Edmond was chief editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He has also hosted The Urban Business Roundtable on WVON-AM in Chicago and Money Matters, a syndicated radio feature of American Urban Radio Networks. Edmond is also an entrepreneur, speaker, author and amateur natural bodybuilding competitor.