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.
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.