Every week I am asked how it is possible to make a living as an artist. The myth out there is that artists are all starving and there is no hope this side of the grave. Anyone who knows me and my work are already well acquainted with the fact that I am living proof that the myth is just a myth. It is possible to generate not only a living but a very healthy living from your art.
To do so there are a number of basic rules which need to be followed. Each of these I have thoroughly broken and learned the hard way how important they are. Save yourself the pain, save yourself the long hard road I have travelled. Do it right! I am beginning a series here on my blog where I discuss my experiences in my career as an artist. Here is rule number ONE:
Stay out of debt!
Before I entered the world of full time painting I failed to ensure that I was free of credit obligations. I had credit card debt like most. According to the Globe and Mail, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/average-debt-for-canadians-25597/article2042922/
Canadians average about $26,000.00 in credit card debt. Happy to say that my obligation was well below that, however, having that debt really restricted my ability to purchase art materials as I needed them. It is crucial as an artist to have liquidity for supplies and travel. If you sell out of most of your inventory and have a huge credit card debt you will not have the ability to replenish your canvas supply or paints, etc. You are then effectively Stranded.
Another statistic about credit cards is that the credit card companies typically make about 200% profit on unpaid credit card balances (those balances you keep postponing paying off).
You need to keep painting. You need to have canvas, paper, paint, supplies, etc, etc, and nothing should get in your way from producing great paintings.
Make a serious but realistic plan to reduce and even eliminate your credit card debt, if possible keep painting while you still have a job so you can apply more money to paying off those debts. Then when they are paid you can make a wise decision to venture out into the world as a full time artist.
What a year this has been. I am putting together my letter of appreciation which will be in your in boxes before New Years. In the mean time I wish each and everyone of you, faithful supporters of my art, a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Well it is now time for the 3rd annual show of my work at the Whitby Central Library. How time flies by! I set up the first show in Dec of 2009 and was very nervous and insecure about how my work would be received. On an overwhelming reception and meeting many new patrons over the following months I knew I had to do it again.
It has now become a total success in it's third year. And a certified tradition in Whitby.
I hope you will come for a browse and allow your self to become acquainted with my latest works on canvas. Love to hear from you of your experience. Here's the link: http://www.robertmcaffee.com/home.html
And here's the ads:
I never thought I'd speak of a cat in this way, till we met Paris. She came to us a real ready for the big sleep, or so they thought. Hiding under and behind everything she could. She fought day and night with our other cat and she seemed for the longest time like she would never come around. It's been four months now and we have begun to notice this little fur ball following us, purring, leaping up beside us for some cozy attention. She has quietly but certainly emerged from her shell and begun to feel like she belongs. Thankfully the big sleep will not come for a very long time. we have come to really enjoy her. when she looks up at us with those (recessed but) warm inviting eyes she just melts our hearts. Even Boncuk is warming up to her. The two are often together sharing a view out the window. It's true she needs baths frequently cause she can't clean her face well enough, her eyes regularly need gentle warm water cleaning, for which she lays back and enjoys so much. We all laugh at how sort of homely she looks but when I ask who's ready to give her up, not one of these McAffee's say a word. Little recess faced sweetie.
For this artist she has become my little friend. Always staying close to my feet and always offering her companionship.
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.