Thursday, May 8, 2008

Money and Art

White Iris

Do you make an income from your creative endeavors? If not, do you hope to someday? If so, what challenges does this present in your life?

I have a skewed viewpoint about this since I've always made a dollar or three from my pursuits.In high school, I worked in photo darkrooms during the summer. Photography put me through college and introduced me to The Pilot Guy. As newlyweds, we supplemented our income with our cameras. Eventually, we opened our first studio business together. When The Pilot Guy took to the skies as a commercial pilot, the studio became my baby.

Over the years, I've received checks not only for photography, but writing as well as cross stitch patterns I designed. It feels good to get paid for doing something you love. It also adds pressure for you to perform to someone else's expectations and on their timing. Then there is the pesky business aspect of it all. Taxes, accounting, marketing, and customer service. It is enough to give a girl a headache.

It's all good, but it can be a challenge. We are up for a challenge, aren't we? Off and on over the next few weeks, I'll write about some of the lessons learned in making your creative life an aspect of your income producing life. We creatives don't always get the left-brain, make-the-numbers-line-up, stay-organized parts of running a creative business. What's normal and natural to me scares the daylights out of others, but fears and qualms and obstacles can be dealt with. Buckle your seatbelt!

Do you make an income with your artistic skill? What parts of that do you struggle with the most? Leave your answers in the comments section.

By the way, I just finished an interview with a terrific author. I'll get it written up and posted in a day or two. Don't miss it!

3 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Being Beth said...

I wish I made money on my writing. Though I've published quite a few pieces, in five years of writing, I've made a grand total of $149.50. LOL!!!

I have made money teaching private music lessons -- did that for a couple of decades. There wasn't too much "business" to it though --charge by the month, collect fees in advance, (so if they skip, I"m still paid for the time set aside), and keep a receipt book.

Because I hope to actually make money in writing, I am very interested in this line of posts. Great idea, Deb -- and generous of you to share your wisdom!

Lisa said...

I do give art lessons and hold art classes sometimes. I have sold many paintings in the past, mostly commissioned watercolors of homes and businesses. I have intended to open an Etsy shop, but haven't quite gotten around to it yet! But, I don't do the business end well. I would much rather work within a pre-existing framework than to have to market myself and handle my own business affairs.

That said, I did just accept a teaching position for the fall. Does that count?! I will be making money and being creative every single day! Yippee!!

Rose said...

I tried once to make money with my quilting work. I found it too confining and I burned out on it because it didn't fulfill my creative side. I also didn't enjoy having a deadline. It was no longer a leisure activity and I missed that.