Give money its place

Yes, you must make money to make art. But don’t give income too much importance. Just give it its proper place. We need money to keep the lights on and buy supplies, but it’s not everything. As novelist Steven Pressfield wrote, “Money exists, in my world, to buy me another season.” Every season you create […]

Make money for the art

Creative work is a costly endeavor, both in time and resources, calling us to dedicate large amounts of our lives to it without any immediate reward. When we find ways to make money, it buys us time and gives us the opportunity to create more. This was why Michelangelo never stopped working long after he’d […]

Don’t trust success to the system

No one has a more vested interest in your success than you do. Don’t trust the system to take care of you; that’s not what it was designed to do. Do whatever it takes to own your work; fight to keep the control. Failure to do this will most likely hurt you far more than […]

Don’t work for free

Don’t make a habit of working for free. Without money, you don’t get to make more art. Try to always work for something, even if that something is the chance to do work that pays. But be very careful here, because it can be easy to set a bad precedent that you don’t value your […]

You set your value

Money is part of the process of becoming an artist, if for no other reason than it affirms you are a professional, but the decision to be taken seriously is yours alone. You set the tone for how people will treat you, which means you must believe your work is worth charging for.

Ask for money for your work

Few of us, especially when we’re starting out, are comfortable asking for money to do something we enjoy. Creatives, in particular, get in the habit of doing free gigs in hopes of building a portfolio, and the world does little to dissuade us from such madness. We are told to offer our services at no […]

Practice in public

We all need our work to resonate with someone; our art needs an audience. The way the Starving Artist attempts this is by working in private, secretly hoping to be discovered some day. She spurns the need for an audience and chooses to suffer for her work instead, holding out for that lucky moment when […]

Collaboration not competition

Most of us prefer the image of the solitary genius alone in his studio, painting a masterpiece. This is what we have been conditioned to picture when we hear the term artist. An artist works alone. Right? But this picture of a man against the world is most often a myth; in fact, it wasn’t […]

Access influential people

The greater access you have to influential people in your field, the further your work will spread. Of course, you have to be good, but being good is not enough. Skill gets you in front of the right people, but network magnifies your reach. Creative success, then, is contingent on your ability to connect well […]

Cultivate patrons

Behind many creative geniuses, there is often an invisible influencer—a patron—making it all happen. These people lend their resources and influence to help creative talents succeed, introducing them to opportunities they would not encounter otherwise. This is the Rule of the Patron, which states that before you reach an audience of many, you must first […]

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