Available Balance
How to Make Money as an Artist Online
March 19, 2017
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Pink lady- mug

As I explored in an earlier post (See: The Life of a Starving Artist) Making money as an artist is no easy task and it sure as hell won’t pay your rent any time soon. (As all of you are aware, making money with writing isn’t easy either.) However, if you’re dedicated and ready to put in some work, making some spare change for coffee isn’t completely off the table.

SOCIETY 6 (OR REDBUBBLE & ZAZZLE)

Society6 (or S6) is a site where you can place your art on articles of clothing, phone cases and various home objects. 

I’ve currently used Society 6 for about 8 months and I’ve made 4$ on it. No, it’s not big. Yes it’s barely anything, but it is progress. It’s being able to make money with art, which is something that has never made me money before.

You can check out my store here.

Alternatives to Society 6: Redbubble (It lets you make stickers too), Zazzle (Not too educated on this one)

DISCLAIMER: None of these links are paying me to promote them. None of them are affiliated in any way, shape or form. I’m just being honest and letting you know what I’m currently doing.

(Below are some pictures of the people that have bought my art for reference, they’ve always turned out very nicely.)

COMMISSIONS

The other “how I’ve made a few bucks with art” is by making commissions.

And making commissions is a two step process. First, you need to be “good enough” for commissions, or have a style/something you can offer to people. I’ve currently made a lot more money (but still not “day job worthy’) with commissions.

And the second step is to “put yourself out there.” You need to post that you’re open for commissions on all your social media sites (IMPORTANT: with examples of what you offer.) In general, the rule is to not price yourself too low, but not too high either. You’re trying to break out, but you’re not trying to sell yourself short. 

I’ve some examples of commission portraits that I’ve done, these were all done after someone sent me a picture of themselves to do the drawing with.

Also, here is an example of my “commissions are open!” post.

TO CONCLUDE

The worst thing you can do as an artist is getting your hopes up. It’s important to realise that breaking out and making a career out of art is easier now more than ever, but it’s still one of the most difficult roads to take.

Not expecting much leads you to being pleasantly surprised.

Sue

 

 

I Have Anxiety (and a LOT of it)
March 19, 2017
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creepy lady
WHAT IS ANXIETY?

To be brief, anxiety is fear. It’s the butterflies one feels in the pit of their stomach right before they approach their crush. It’s the nervousness that you feel when you’re in front of the class and your palms are so sweaty you’re certain they’ll slide off of your arms.

Honestly, anxiety is a necessary fight of flight self defence mechanism.

However, people with anxiety disorders have a self defence and fear driven instinct… on over drive.

THE BASIC ANXIETY DISORDER: GENERALISED ANXIETY

In general, the most common anxiety disorder is the generalised anxiety disorder. GAD for short. It’s characterised by constant and obsessive like worrying.

People with GAD are so far in their head that they can’t hear you telling them they’re being irrational.

It’s a worrying that can result in paranoid like feelings, delusions, being constantly on edge and higher stress levels than average. (Among many other side effects.) To paraphrase, GAD is constant anxiety for no particular reason.

It’s the “bad feeling” in the back of your head making you think about all the worst case scenarios.

OTHER ANXIETY DISORDERS

There are a vast number of anxiety disorders. They all have different names with different symptoms and if you’d like me to elaborate on them in a different post I’d be glad to do so, but we’ll go over the basics.

To name a few other anxiety disorders: social phobia, agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. These are all mental disorders that at their core are spawned from anxiety.

And they’re all very valid and important to take note of. Anxiety isn’t something that goes away. If you break your knee you need to heal it, this is the same principle.

MY ANXIETY DISORDER (WHY WE NEED TO KILL THE STIGMA)

Recently I’ve been diagnosed with generalised anxiety, social phobia, agoraphobia with a panic disorder. It’s quite a mouthful.

Sadly, even though the diagnosis and treatment is recent, I’ve been living with this problem my whole life. To say the truth, I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t constantly worrying about everything.

Throughout my high school, I’ve never once eaten in the cafeteria. I’ve even had anxiety attacks in classrooms. Raising my hand in class to ask a question would give me heart palpitations. There were many people who I just couldn’t talk with because my anxiety would get so bad I’d feel like I was dying.

And I thought it was normal because nobody in my family ever told me other wise.

You guessed it, it wasn’t normal.

To kill the stigma of having a mental disorder would allow other people to realise that they need help and it would get them help. I don’t agree with the trendy “haha I’m mentally ill” joke that’s going around but normalising and accepting medication and help would simplify so many things.

A mental illness needs to be healed, not concealed.

If you could do me a favour, don’t ever tell anyone that “just going outside” will solve everything. Especially if you don’t know what they’re dealing with inside in the first place.

Sue

The Reality of the Starving Artist
March 19, 2017
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Hello! This is my first Literacybase post! Leave advice in the comments!
This is about my struggles as a "starving artist."
I USED TO BELIEVE THAT BECOMING AN ARTIST WAS EASY.

Your job would be an artist. Just like your best friend who wants to be a nurse. You’d put the effort into your career and you’d make it. You’d wake up, do your work and create art (like other people do their work) and then you’d collect a pay check.

But that’s not the case.

When I wake up, the only thing I feel is the crippling realisation that I am completely and utterly financially unstable. The only thing I’m good at, the only thing I’m passionate about is the one thing that makes absolutely no money. (Well that and a philosophy degree. But that’s a whole OTHER can of worms.)

A career in the arts is no easy task. If it’s your second choice, then it’s never going to evolve the way you want it to, at the pace you want it to because you will never be able to put 100% of your effort into something that doesn’t allow you to pay rent.

And that’s not even counting all the doubt and scepticism that everybody in your life will have about your career choice. Conversations at Easter will go like this:

Oh hello Sue! So nice to see you! What’s going on in your life :)” Will say my aunt, meaning well.

“Hi! Nothing new really…” I’ll awkwardly try to evade the conversation all together.

The conversation will steer into the “do you have a boyfriend territory” and eventually she’ll get tired of my unsatisfactory love life. She’ll then ask what I want to be working as in a few years.

AND IT’LL GET SILENT.

Because I want to say that I’ll be working as an artist. But I can’t say that without looking like I know nothing of real life. That I know nothing of taxes, rent and bills. Because art isn’t a job. “It’s a hobby.”

BASICALLY

It’s frustrating.

I am doing my best to grow as an artist but no progress is being made monetary wise. It makes me feel hopeless. Afraid that I’m gonna stay in the 90% of artists that work minimum wage unhappily their whole lives.

And I’d love to be a concept artist or a tattoo artist, but  it takes time and sacrifice to pursue art. The people around me don’t understand the risk and reward. So for all you artsy folk out there. Hold on, the starving artist trope is the most difficult one, but it is not unbeatable.

For now though, I think it’s safe to say that I’m currently avoiding conversations with extended family about it.

Mary

A recent drawing of mine.