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!

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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