How to avoid being a “Starving Artist”
I dislike writing somewhat negative titles, but the simple fact is that I often read that so many artists are struggling financially that I felt it was my duty to share some of what I know in order to help alleviate this issue.
As an artist who has broken out of the ‘scarcity mindset’ and stumbled upon new ways of approaching income, it’s my sheer pleasure to share some of these tips with artists everywhere who are looking to make a living doing what it is they love to do.
As a creative, you’ll only find your fullest joy by expressing yourself through your art, and balancing that with a savvy mentality when it comes to acquiring capital.
The creative is often somewhat of a sensitive soul, one that feels the desire to express themselves through their works regardless of whether those works are making money or not.
I find that this is a double-edged sword when it comes to matters of financial abundance.
We can create work all day long, but if we aren’t showing that work to the right people, using it as a means to provide value to others, and saying ‘no’ to working for exposure, we’ll have a hard time turning our passion into profit.
This creative compulsion is inherent– almost inextricable from the creative themselves.
We must make art because we’re compelled to do so by the potent and expressive that force dwells within us.
So when we decide to turn that expression towards providing creative products and services, we can begin to make a healthy living for ourselves.
It’s so much easier to create art when we aren’t worried where the next meal is coming from or if we’re going to make the rent.
Now, I wouldn’t say that those are anything to feel too bad about– in fact, adopting such a defeatist mindset would undoubtedly beget more of the same.
So how do we switch our consciousness on to providing value? making more money?This means taking our creative drive and using it as a means to procure the funds we need to buy our supplies, upgrade our equipment, and provide for ourselves and those we love.
It all starts with the goal to do so. If you set a goal of getting commissions, hustling to sell prints, connecting with galleries, getting your art in a coffee shop, ANYTHING, you’ll have your starting point.
What makes someone want to buy art from you? Your skills, your ideas, your timeliness and your professionalism.
No matter what kind of style you have there’s people out there who will hire you to make their ideas come to life, and there are studios that will open their doors if you’ll work diligently to become an energetic and valuable part of their team.
It all comes from realizing ( taking steps to make real) the potential you have inherent in you.
Yes, you may hear a lot of ‘No.’
Yes, there will be days where the creative faucet seems to be jammed.
Yes, times will come when your eyes feel fuzzy and your questioning whether all of your efforts are worthwhile or not.
The hurdles exist, but they exist for any given endeavor.
So when you shift your consciousness (your attention) on putting your art in the right places, developing a consistent style, building your renown and networking with others who have the means to pay you for the value you can provide– your life changes.
As I stated previously, there are many ways to unlock checks coming in the mail and to let your paypal balance grow, here’s just a short list of the methods through which an artist can make money:
- Patreon/ Crowdfunding
- Galleries/ Fine Art
- Coffee Table Books
- Kids’ Books
- Intellectual Property Creation
- Retail Distribution
Yes, you will need some other skills as well, but the bottom line is that you can turn that creative drive that we all feel and make it work in your favor instead of allowing it to fizzle out like a discount sparkler dropped in a puddle of cheap beer.
You’re better than that. You can work on your craft, generate your own unique ideas, and leverage those ideas into building your life and your bank account.
Take it one step at a time, don’t worry about how it will come about, set your goal and study those who have achieved what you want to achieve or similar. Ask yourself what they did to get to where they are? How can you take that and make it work for your own unique expression?
So remember, take your expression and harness it– turn your creative powers into potent channels that will allow you to live your life more fully. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is not having to commute to a job every day, setting my own rates, and working moment-by-moment to make my creative projects come to life.
For those of you who are interested in getting Everything I know about making money as an artist, I’ve recorded a 4-hour course that includes a PDF with templates leads for getting work.
That’s all for all now. You have your mission! Get out a piece of paper and come up with ways and avenues that you can leverage that creative fulcrum to procure some capital and embark upon the wondrous journey that is the creative lifestyle.
Until next time, Power Painters.
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