The Starving Artist: Surviving Financially Until Your Business Kicks Off - FAD Magazine

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The Starving Artist: Surviving Financially Until Your Business Kicks Off

Penny (British), Dirty Money - One Dollar', 2019,

You love creating art. You’ve worked on your craft and invested a lot of time, money, and energy into making a name for yourself. While you get satisfaction from working on something you’re passionate about, generating revenue from sales is easier said than done. One week, you make a sale, but then nothing for the next month. Eventually, your ability to cover everyday expenses (let alone business costs) becomes increasingly challenging. 

While modern-day artists can and do earn a decent living, reaching that level of success takes time. The question is, how do you survive financially as you make your way to the top? Although the journey can be challenging, you can do things to avoid becoming the stereotypical “starving artist.” 

Keep Your Day Job

It might be tempting to quit your 9 to 5, so you can pursue your dream of becoming an artist, but don’t jump out the window just yet. Your job provides stable income that can be used to cover your everyday expenses and business costs. You continue to work your job to handle your bills and then leave once you’re able to supplement your income through art sales. 

Eliminate Unnecessary Spending

Do you spend money unnecessarily? If you’re going to make it as an artist (or any business professional for that matter), you have to break this bad habit. Analyze your budget, banking accounts, credit card statements, and receipts. Then, think of ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses. For instance, you might stop eating out and prepare meals at home. If you like to go out, find free or affordable sources of entertainment instead. 

Pay Down Debt

Do you have a lot of unpaid student loans, medical bills, credit cards, or other debts? The more debt you have, the less you have to cover personal and business expenses. Reducing or eliminating this debt frees up money so you can survive even when you’re not earning from your art. 

You can negotiate with creditors to get a settlement offer, eliminate late fees, lower interest rates, or set up an affordable arrangement. Another option is to use large payouts like income tax refunds to pay off debts faster. Lastly, you can work with companies like Strategic Consulting to acquire a debt consolidation loan to save money and pay your debts off in a more manageable fashion. 

Find Ways to Fund Your Business

The more money you raise to start and manage your art business, the fewer financial obligations you have to worry about. Fortunately, there are several options to fund your business. You can ask friends and family for donations, create a crowdfunding campaign, look for investors, or take out a loan. Just remember that if you borrow money, you’ll have to factor in how you’ll repay the funds. 

Other Income Sources

Many artists survive financially by tapping into other income sources. There’s no shortage of ways to earn extra cash these days. If you have a vehicle, you can join a rideshare service or deliver food. If you prefer to make money from home, you can start a blog, become a tutor, sell things online, create courses, or become an influencer. 

As an artist, you can also put your talents to work for you. While your goal may be to sell paintings, you can use your skills in other areas. You can teach an art class, create online tutorials, paint t-shirts and sell them, offer to paint murals for businesses, and so much more. Similarly, a freelance photographer might start by selling stock images online until they get more clients. 

If art is your passion, you should pursue it with all your might. Although it may take months or even years before you develop the notoriety and client base you need to earn a decent living; it will pay off in the end. As you work your way to success, use suggestions like those listed above to keep your financial obligations under control.



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