The words "starving" and "artist" are like peanut butter and jelly: they were meant to be together. Or were they?
To have a career as an artist requires an intense amount of discipline and commitment. A lot of people may think that channelling an artistic passion into a job will help make that job more pleasurable. But it doesn't come without its challenges. Having an artistic career can be a fulfilling and profitable endeavor if you stick to these tips.
1. Be creative in how you get your revenue.
You're already a creative person, right? So put that creativity to good business use. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, Artist and ArtBistro blogger Valerie Atkisson advises her readers that "in a profession that often lacks traditional benefits and job security, it's useful to rely on multiple sources of income, such as gallery showings, teaching positions, Web sales, commission projects and grants." Because you are taking a risk, you have to support yourself with these safety nets, to make sure you will continue to have the flexibility to keep doing your art. Being an "artist" will likely not be a livable income on its own, until you make it big.
2. Take advantage of the off hours.
As an artist, you many not be working 9 to 5. You may do a lot of your art early in the morning to catch the sunrise, or late at night during an insomniac creative binge. Part-time jobs are great to supplement your schedule, because you can work around them. Here is a great resource to find part-time jobs for artists.
3. Be unique in your branding.
Social media is huge resource for branding yourself. And it costs virtually nothing! Having a unique style and big social following will help get your work out there. Post photos of your work and engage with your community. Promote your blog or website and offer incentives to your followers. Learn the market you're trying to break into, and then come up with a totally different angle. Take your time and get it right. It also helps to befriend a graphic designer if you're not one yourself! Here are some tips about how to build your brand as an artist.
4. Take responsibility.
We know you're a free spirit and you just want to do your thing. But you still live in the real world. You'll still have to find a way to handle your accounting, budgeting, and saving. Ask friends for help and tips. You must be okay not having a paycheck every month, and being creative when money is short. Because being an artist is a job with little structure, you'll have to make some for yourself. Keep to a schedule and give yourself expectations for completing work. Planning now will help you out later.
5. Consider that art school may not be worth the expense.
Art school may seem idyllic, but think about it. What can you learn in art school that you can't learn on your own? You should weigh the amount of debt you will have versus the profit-building activities you'd be missing out on. You don't want to be using your art gains to pay off your debt, but instead, by putting it into your business. Check out these awesome DIY art sites for inspiration.
5. Network with those you aspire to be.
Make a business card and go out to gallery openings or shows of people you admire. Don't waste your time with no-name artists, because they likely will not have a lot to offer you. Reach for the stars, even if it sounds corny. Tell everyone you can about your art, and have a mini-portfolio on hand just in case anyone wants to see. Come prepared, and you will be rewarded.
6. Don't work for free.
It may be tempting to take an unpaid internship for the great learning experience, but consider the fact that the time you spend working for free is less time spent building your business. It may be more valuable to you to spend time in another industry that requires less brain space so that you can save all of your brain juices for your passion.
Being an artist is a brave endeavor, but you are not doomed to starve on the streets. With a little street smarts, you'll be able to indulge in your passion and build up a little nest egg too!
- 3 Keys To Making It As An Artist (Without Starving) ›
- 8 Ways An Artist Can Make Money - Business Insider ›
- How to make money with your art and illustrations | BradfordHines.com ›
- How Do Artists Make Money? - ArtBistro.com ›
- The Myth of the Starving Artist ›
- Artist Tips to be Famous and Make Lots of Money ›
Between buying a new home and transporting yourself and your belongings to it, moving can be an expensive process. One often underrecognized cost of moving occurs before one's original house has even been sold, and that's staging the house. Homeowners often spend hundreds of dollars making a home appealing to potential buyers. To ease the financial burden of moving, here are several tips for staging your home on a budget.
Downsize Instead of Storing
The goal of staging a home is to create a blank canvas that potential buyers can imagine their own lives painted upon. To accomplish this, homeowners should depersonalize the home as much as possible, removing items that are specific to their family and eliminating clutter. This is where homeowners often incur their first costs as they rush to put as many older things in storage as possible.
To cut costs, focus on downsizing rather than storing items. Look for items that you can sell, donate, or give away. For remaining items, look for alternative places to store them, such as a friend or relative's house. This will also reduce the cost of moving your belongings when it is time to go to the new house.
DIY What You Can
There are times when homeowners should bring in a professional to manage home renovations and decorating, such as when a task requires specialized skills. These types of jobs, when done incorrectly, will incur even greater costs if attempted on your own. However, many of the home improvement tasks that go into staging a home are simple enough that the homeowner can DIY them, such as painting, installing a backsplash, or refinishing the deck. Doing these tasks yourself will save you a significant amount of money.
Don't Redo, Update
Homeowners are often eager to make their houses look as appealing to buyers as possible. However, recall that the point of staging is depersonalization, making a home presentable so buyers can mentally impose their own style onto it. When staging a home on a budget, focus less on completely transforming the space and more on making what is there look presentable. For instance, if you wanted to give your bedroom a facelift, trying to replace the furniture and flooring would be pointless unless it was damaged or unkempt. Simply organizing the space and replacing the bed's comforter would be sufficient.
Another way to update the space without entirely redoing it is to rearrange it to maximize the space that is already there. For instance, pulling the furniture away from the walls will make a room appear bigger and allows more space for those touring the house. Using window trimmings that maximize natural light and incorporating wall mirrors can also make a room seem more spacious.
Raising a larger family than most means that your lifestyle is going to change. Costs will continue to multiply as your family grows larger. However, just because your family is large doesn't mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just means you need to make a few adjustments to help things work smoother and more efficiently. We've compiled a couple of money-saving tips for larger families to help you get the most out of your dollars.
Always Buy in Bulk
The benefit of having a larger family is that things you buy in bulk rarely ever go to waste. Smaller families can benefit from buying in bulk, of course, but your large family will see the most use out of shopping in large quantities. You'll want to avoid going to smaller stores for necessities such as groceries and clothes, as these places generally have higher markups on their items.
Buy Wholesale Items Online
If you want to take buying in bulk to the next level, one of the best money-saving tips for large families is to buy online from wholesalers. Buying online comes with a number of benefits that you won't get when you go to a physical store:
- You don't have to drag your kids to the store with you
- You have a lower probability of making impulse purchases
- You can search for exactly what you need
- Wholesalers sell in very large quantities for a lower price per item
Never Throw Away Something Useful
When you have to buy things for multiple children, your costs to replace items will be much higher. That's why it's so important to keep everything you can. Clothing is a big part of this. Hand-me-downs can prevent you from needing to replace entire closets every year. Try to repair or upcycle any clothes that may have damage, as this is usually much cheaper than buying brand-new items.
Stick to a Budget
When you support a large family, expenses can sometimes get away from you. Proper budgeting helps to keep the extra purchases that add up to a minimum. Budgeting correctly can save you a lot of heartache in the long run. It's up to you how much control you want to take; you can make your budget weekly or monthly, depending on how tight a ship you need to run. What's important to remember is that making the budget is only the first step—sticking to it is where you'll really need to enact some willpower.
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Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.