Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Creative with Money

One of the difficulties that many artists seem to face, is the ebb and flow of money. 

In 2003, when I got divorced and had big, scary, hairy, losing-sleep-over-money-what-happens-to-my daughter-if-I-get-sick-I-can't-afford-disability-insurance fears,  I felt that my future and my daughter's future was depending on me continuing to work and keeping my job. 

I'd been dreaming for a long time of starting my own business.  Had established a business structure, had taken steps to start running online classes (back in 2000 mind you), including lining up instructors to teach and getting support from my profession.

Now none of that seemed possible and I shoved my dreams to the back burner in the name of necessity.  Instead, I decided to take control over my financial situation.

I did not have family in the area to help me with child care.  

I needed to both decrease my spending and increase my earnings.

I learned some really good lessons, like I could cut many things out without missing them at all.  Cable, newspapers, magazines, anything that I considered "non-essential" went.  This freed up time and space in my life.

My friend and I sat down and brainstormed all of the assets we had that we could use to make money:
Extra Rooms in our House
Garage Space to rent
Writing Skills
Teaching skills
Recreation Therapy Degree

We went on identifying what strengths and resources we had that we could use to generate money and beyond that, what would we like to do?

She ended up getting a tenant which she still has to this day.  I chose to work with a woman with autism, doing fun, recreation stuff in the community which I did for several years.

We both found something that helped us get through a really icky financial time and that fit with our lives.

These days, when I start to get antsy about money, I remember that I know how to cut back and ramp up the earnings again if I need to but instead of putting myself back in that situation, I'm choosing to build as many sources of income as I can, from things I enjoy doing.

Some of the creative things I see artists doing to get the money flowing: 

Gofundme or Kickstarter projects 
(I've sponsored people in both)

Auctioning off their work and donating a percentage of the proceeds to charity 
(bought a ticket for that too)

Partnering with other artists to offer classes 
(working on this right now myself)

Forming women's circles to raise the ideas and energies to the next level 
(I'm in two with a third in the works)

Working in unconventional setting like painting live during rock concerts
 (hmmm...not really my bag but I'm considering doing a demo at the NY State Fair? They're looking for people to demonstrate their art making live.If you're interested
contact Sandra Fioramonti for more information.)

I'd love to hear your creative ideas!


Unknown said...

Really good ideas....some of these have helped me as well:)

Kelly D said...

Shannon you are the queen of multiple income streams!