I came across this article and thought it might help…I don`t know about you, but making a living out of my Art seems more important than ever…..
Art and culture remains an integral aspect of human life worldwide and contributes its quota to countries’ economies. As per the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), the UK economy receives £10.8 billion annually from the industry. Many artists struggle with financial independence due to the job’s nature, but with the right knowledge you can flourish. Do you want to know more about how to be financially independent as an artist? Please consider the following points.
- Have Long and Short-Term Financial Goals
Many experts opine that artists could benefit from clearly outlining realistic short and long-term financial goals to achieve financial freedom. Therefore, have a clear savings plan in place for the present and the future. Saving money with no goal in mind is generally not as effective as saving towards a specific purpose. For example, you can set money aside to rent a new studio, buy better supplies, etc. Having these goals in mind makes saving more effortless and helps trim your spending on frivolous items.
Also have a long-term savings plan for the future, like putting money away towards retirement. Little amounts put away towards your retirement will accumulate into something substantial over time and guarantee you financial freedom and peace of mind in future. Also, effectively managing your debt is an essential part of long-term financial planning, so try to consolidate your debt as an easier and more convenient way to reach financial independence.
- Track Your Cash Flow
Financial experts typically recommend that businesses diligently track their cash flow to manage their businesses better. Art businesses are no exception to this rule, so prioritize monitoring your cash flow for the best result. To track your cash flow, first separate your art business from your personal finances. Using a business account for your job is beneficial because you get a clearer understanding of your business costs and expenses. You can also better manage your taxes and other business-related financial obligations.
These days, there are several tools that artists can use to establish an art inventory system. This inventory system helps you record any artwork sales and monitor where your significant expenses and revenue come from. With this information, you can discover which artworks sell more and tailor your strategy towards making more of your high-earning art. Also, you can quickly learn what expenses to trim away. Therefore, consider tracking your cash flow to help you make informed financial decisions about your art business that will bring you financial independence over time.
- Have Multiple Income Streams
Society has stereotypically branded artists as individuals struggling to make ends meet from their craft for centuries now, and this is often the case. An Artfinder survey of 1,533 UK and US artists found that nearly half of them said their art accounted for less than a quarter of their total income. Some art experts think this is because many artists like to put all their eggs in one basket. Artist Valerie Atkinson opines in her book “How do Artists Make Money?” that art is a profession without traditional benefits and job security, so artists must rely on multiple income streams to stay afloat.
As such, feel free to explore teaching jobs, gallery showings, speaking gigs, publishing, grants, web sales, and commission projects as ways of making money as an artist instead of focusing solely on artwork sales. Although these particular areas generate little income on their own, fusing two or three can add up to some significant cash to make you financially independent.
- Follow the 50/30/20 Budget
Being financially free doesn’t necessarily mean being wealthy- so you can achieve financial independence even with a relatively small income. However, experts advise that you would need a helpful budget to make your financial freedom a reality. For this, list all your current expenses, especially the recurring ones. You can then quickly outline a practical spending and savings plan based on your expenses.
The 50/30/20 budget works well to plan for your needs, wants, and savings. Allocate 50% of your earning to basic needs such as your accommodation, electricity, food and maybe health insurance. You can then designate 30% to things that aren’t essential but necessary like shopping, entertainment, and dinner nights out. The remaining 20% can then go towards your savings or defraying your debts. However, given the irregularity of your job’s nature, it is vital to note that the 50/30/20 rule must be tweaked to suit unique situations. For example, if the winter season is your peak period, consider saving more money in this season that you can use to balance your funds in off-seasons.