You put your heart and soul into creating unique, beautiful pieces of art - but theyre just not selling. If this sounds familiar, youre not alone. The road to making a living as an artist is a long and competitive one, but its not impossible!
With some flexibility and creativity, there are many options available to you that dont require you to neglect your art. Read on to learn how to make a living as an artist, even when your artwork is just not selling.
1. Working Within or Outside the Arts
You need to sit down and think about your budget, goals, and the kind of lifestyle you want to lead. A low-stress job that provides enough income for you to get by and allows you to work on your artwork when you get home could be all you need. Compare this to a high-stress job that, while earns you more money, leaves you exhausted at the end of the day.
There are plenty of resources available to find 9 to 5 jobs that are still within the arts. They include:
Americans for the Arts Job Bank
- Provides an online listing of arts administration jobs
Alliance of Artists Communities
- Provides an online listing of both arts administration and academia
Professionals for Nonprofits
- Employment agency offering part and full-time, temporary and permanent positions in the non-profit sector
There are also plenty of low-stress jobs that typically wont hinder your creative process at the end of your shift. They include:
Teaching is a great way to do what you do best while sharing your passion with others. However, finding a teaching job isnt a guarantee, even if you go back to school for more degrees. If you do begin teaching, it can be just as exhausting as it is rewarding, making little room for your art.
There are also online alternatives to traditional teaching in schools. Many sites have you compose, record and upload a course. Although the initial set-up takes time, if your course provides valuable content and you do some online marketing, you can begin earning a reliable source of income.
If you need some temporary income to keep yourself afloat while youre setting up your course, 30 day payday loans
are an option.
These online teaching sites include:
Ramit Sethi, the owner of GrowthLab, ranks online teaching as the best kind of online business because of its high potential for profit and low overhead cost.
3. Artist-in-Residence Programs
These residency programs provide artists with the opportunity to live in an environment thats conducive to producing quality art. These are typically located in museums, galleries, universities, and national parks. Some last only a couple of weeks, while others can last an entire year.
Some residencies have specific focuses, such as only catering to painting and ceramics, while others focus on theater and digital arts. Its worth it to do your own research - there are numerous residency programs
located in the United States alone.
4. Apprenticing and Assisting
Working under experienced artists is a great way to strengthen your craft and earn money while youre doing it. Not only that, but youll be able to study the little-seen business side of art that can help you eventually branch out on your own.
Through apprenticeships and assistantships, youll have the chance to brush shoulders with other artists and people in the art world that will perhaps be interested in your own art.
Many museums, educational institutions, galleries, and art consultants offer paid internships
5. Dual Careers
Its worth considering if you have interests that can meld together and strengthen the other. For instance, a wedding photographer whos also a florist will have a special eye for details during the wedding. He or she will be able to photograph their own bouquets and market them online.
This is also called a portfolio career. Although juggling multiple careers has the potential of becoming overwhelming, some people find that it provides flexibility, independence, and the ability to express yourself creatively.
Many of these dual careers balance each other out - and portfolio careers are becoming more popular. In fact, some predict that within the next 10 years, half of all employed Americans
will be independent workers.
To have a successful portfolio career, you need to plan. This includes:
Thinking about your lifestyle goals and aspirations - is financial stability more important to you than skill development?
Negotiating a shorter workweek for your full-time job
Creating a solid schedule of your week in advance
Learning to say no - dont bite off more than you can chew
How to Make a Living as an Artist: Use Your Creativity
As you can see, there are a wealth of options available to you. Many of them require you to use your highly-developed creativity.
Whether you work a low-stress, part-time job as you pursue your art, or meld your full-time career with your artistry, neither option is more fulfilling than the other. How to make a living as an artist becomes a question of how flexible you can be in a world with less job certainty than ever before.
Think about your own circumstances, how you got to where you are today and the goals youd like to achieve. With some creativity and flexibility, financial stability cant elude you for long.
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