Making a Living as an Artist

Being an artist full time, whether it be a musician, a sculptor, a painter, and actor/actress, is very very rewarding. We love our jobs. We are inspired on a regular basis. We see the good results of our work, uplifting people and communicating with them. How many people say they love getting up in to morning because of their job (well I’m a musician and I get up late, but you know what I’m talking about)?

The challenge often comes when it’s time to make money, to organize cash flow, and pay taxes. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to living as an artist:

*Collaborate and build relationships: When we work together, the load can be lighter. There are probably organizations and/or individuals that you can work with who have expertise in business just like you do in art.

*Dedicate time specifically to your art every day: If you allot a specific time every day to your craft and then put your work away, you will more easily be able to focus on household duties because you will not be distracted.

*Stay connected and keep learning: When you continue to be innovative and talk to people, you will continue to grow and stay inspired.

*Go where there is a need: Share your art with people who will appreciate it and understand it. Not everyone will because the appreciation of art depends on individual experience and personalities, and it’s a downer when someone just doesn’t “get it”. Share your work with people who have a need for what you have to offer. They will be excited about it and you will have a new source of inspiration.

*Be compensated: It’s good to ask to be compensated. This helps you not only provide for your needs, it also helps you continue creating art and shows that the people you are exchanging your art with really do have a true appreciation for what you are doing.

*There’s nothing wrong with having another source of income besides your art: Many game-changing artists have had other sources of income. The composer Charles Ives is a famous example. He sold insurance for a living but is found in many many music histories about the 20th century.

*Do research: Many other people have thought of ways to successfully live as an artist. I’ve been checking out a blog called “Smart Passive Income”. That name of course peaked my interest because I’ve had an interest in residual income for a while 🙂 This particular article is about making money as an artist online. If you are looking for ways to make money or seeking to get your art out into the world, I recommend you check it out!

*Getting your art out there: A lot of time artists can do this themselves by meeting and talking to people, by making those relationships and helping to nurture others. That’s really a big part of art. For music composers, a very effective way to share you works and have them heard is to be part of an ensemble or even to found one. Starting a chamber group or an orchestra not only allows you to have an outlet for composing, it also engages others and allows you to be part of nurturing the next generation of musicians. I love this video of Frank J. Oteri on another great web resource Artists House Music. He says, “We’re all part of a community and a composer is part of that community”.



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