The idea of pursuing art for a living can evoke a very specific image. The starving artist may be a cliché, but it’s also a reality for many talented and hopeful individuals. That doesn’t mean every creative person has to settle for poverty to do what they love. Many painters, writers and musicians are making a living wage. Here’s how.
Apply for Residencies and Grants
Numerous foundations and organizations all over the world are looking for new artists to encourage and grow. One way they do this is by creating grants and residencies that pay creative individuals to do what they do best.
Residencies often offer a provided living space, cover living expenses and grant a small stipend. During the residency, the artist may be expected to produce a certain amount of work or even complete a specific project. A grant is often a stipend that funds a specific project an artist has in mind, like the National Endowment for the Arts Work Grant.
Residencies and grants can be found online or through networking. The applications are no joke, so take the time to be thoughtful and intentional when you complete them and only apply for programs you’re certain you’re qualified to attend.
Pass on Your Knowledge and Skill
Another strategy many artists employ is using their unique experience and knowledge to create a second source of income. This can be done by following a route as a traditional as becoming a professor at a university, but there are also more unconventional ways to teach and make money as an artist.
You may need to consider leveraging the online community to host your own art courses and market them online. There’s a lot of opportunity in social media if you know where to look. Teach grade schoolers how to draw or adults specific techniques by hosting workshops online or in your home. This may not be a full-time job, but it can supplement other sources of income.
Start a Side Hustle
For many artists, there’s the work they do for passion and the work they do for money. This doesn’t make them a sellout; this makes them smart. There are side hustles, like illustrating marketing materials or writing content online, and these can provide the income that ultimately allows you to write that novel or paint that mural you’ve been dreaming about.
Many experienced artists have managed to support themselves and their families without giving up their dreams. If they can do it, why not you? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from people who are a few steps ahead. They may be able to offer specific advice that can help you do the same.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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