"You're an artist all the time, you're not an artist from nine to five."
~Nikki Lewis, ceramic artist
PBS Craft in America, Episode V: "Process" [video]
I love Craft in America and every time I re-watch this episode and hear this quote, it always sticks with me. Because it feels so true. For me, it's important to remember that I am a creative person by nature. Every day, I'm an artist. And I should treat myself accordingly. Instead of trying to "switch it on" and be creative on a moment's notice (when it's time to work), I need to be feeding my creativity and inspiration all the time. In order to make art and churn out creative work, my artist mind and spirit needs to be filled.
So it's crucial to take the time to be my weirdo self. Draw random stuff just because I feel like it. Pull out the magazines and make a mess (and maybe a collage in the process). Go see new places, different things. Tickle your brain a little bit by mixing things up.
And how reassuring!: if you can truly accept that you're an artist all the time and not just for your job/career/paycheck... that's your identity. You've found yourself! You're not just your job; you are an artist. Your job is just one outlet where you express your artistic side. First and foremost and forever more, you're an artist.