What's Your Side-gig?

October 1, 2018

You are an artist, and you have decided to make a living doing what you love to do. The thing is, it takes TIME to build an art business to the level where it can fully support you. This is true for any entrepreneurial pursuit. Most folks who are just starting out chasing the dream of being their own boss will have to have a part-time job or "side-gig" to keep them afloat until the income stream kicks in.

 

There is no shame in taking a job

to get you through the lean financial times!

 

Lots of folks in the arts get jobs teaching. Teaching, especially at the college level, can offer a flexible schedule and summers off. One artist I know chose to be a substitute teacher because she was off by the afternoon and had none of the responsibilities regular teachers have to create lesson plans and grade papers. Another teaching option that is a part of many artist's revenue-tool-kit is to teach art workshops right out of your own studio.

 

It is helpful to choose a job

that doesn't cut into your creative head-space.

 

Most artists don't do just one thing to make their living. An artist's career is often a mix of online sales, art exhibitions, art fairs, teaching, and grant funded projects. To build a strong financial base for yourself to get you through the lean times, start now. If you want grants for example, it takes time to write the grant, and even more time to wait to find out if you were awarded the grant. If you don't get it the first time, you will have to apply again (read my article in the side column about getting grants). It can take several years before you are able to successfully receive a grant. Once you do though, it will open more doors for you to more easily get other grants, or to be re-funded by the same grantor. Definitely worth the time and patience it takes.

 

Not everyone is cut out for chasing grant money.

 

You have to be realistic about who you are and what you are willing or able to do. It may be that until the money kicks in you take a job waiting tables to keep things afloat. Whatever you choose, remind yourself that it is not a sign of weakness to take a job. When you are your own boss, sometimes you may find yourself working for others to make ends meet.

 

 

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© 2016 by Shelley Rugg, Creative & Abundant Artist.