Welcome to the Starving Artist’s Guide!

Thank you for reading my first post. I am happy to report that I am no longer a starving artist and neither should you be. The life of an artist is supposed to be about freedom but that life doesn’t feel so free when it is saddled with debt. Student loan debt is hard to avoid, of course, but there are many other types of debt that can and should be eliminated and avoided at all costs. I can help you with that. I would also like to share some tips, tricks and hacks I have learned that may help you survive on limited a budget while you pursue your muse.

What is an Artist?

That’s a good question. It’s about as easy to answers as, What is art? It’s a questions that probably cannot be answered — at least not to any universal satisfaction. In my view, if you create art you are an artist. That doesn’t mean you  are either rich or famous, it just means you have to do it. I don’t believe you can call yourself a writer, for example, if you haven’t written a line since you took a creative writing class back in college. You were a writer when you wrote, you’re not a writer if you don’t. The most you can say is you are intending to be a writer. An aspiring writer, artist or musician, in my mind, is someone who doesn’t write, paint, draw, or play music, but they intend to. If you do write, paint, draw, or play music you are no longer aspiring to do those thing, you are actively doing them. You may aspire to reach a higher level of skill, recognition or earnings, but if you create daily, weekly or monthly, you are doing the thing you allegedly aspire to. If that’s the case, then your aspirations should be focused on surviving and prospering as an artist.

An aspiring writer, artist or musician, in my mind, is someone who doesn’t write, paint, draw, or play music, but they intend to. If you do write, paint, draw, or play music you are no longer aspiring to do those thing, you are actively doing them.

The Myth of the Starving Artist

There are many myths surrounding the artistic life. These range in absurdity from dying young (or doing your best work when you are young) to the requirement that you suffer for your art. I would draw a distinction between making sacrifices and suffering. There is also a perception that only miserable sods with horrible childhoods are capable of making great art. I would disagree. At any rate, I hope to dispel some of these myths with this guide especially the misconception that an artist must live a life of deprivation to achieve their goals. I am here to tell you that deprivation, suffering, sacrifice — those are relative terms. You can live happily and well on very little — rich in spirit, as they say. It is possible to create art and NOT starve.

I hope to provide advice, tips and hacks to help you make the most out of what may be meager earnings. Being smart about money will help afford you more time to pursue your art. After all, you need to support yourself until your work can support you.

I hope you learn something by reading the Starving Artist’s Guide and I hope you find it inspirational and entertaining as well. I would also welcome any suggestions for topic ideas to cover as well as ways to improve the site. Let’s keep it positive.

Here are a few of the topics I hope to cover in the blogs to come:

  • Time Management
  • Food/Health
  • Personal Finance
  • Inspiration
  • Work Habits/Productivity
  • Business

Time & Money Management

There are many things that steal time from us when we’d rather be creating a comic or a zine, a painting or writing a poem or play. Long commutes to jobs we hate, standing in line at the grocery store, inconsiderate and bothersome people — and I’m not talking about family and friends here, but they also require our time and attention — these things are distractors and detractors. One of the purposes of the Starving Artist Guide is to provide tips on how to manage time so you can work smarter and better. Learning to manage money is also an incredibly useful skill to have. Becoming a good money manager isn’t about selling out, it’s about being smart.

Learn Valuable Business Skills

Would you like to learn how to treat your art as a business? Whether you are a musician, writer or painter, you may cringe at the mere mention of co-mingling art and commerce. Why? You don’t want to support yourself with your art? You would rather trust a third party with your financial affairs? You think it’s selling out? Fair enough then, but the Starving Artist is probably not the blog for you.

Food & Fitness

Strong mind, strong body. It doesn’t take a lot of money to eat healthy and stay fit. Physical health and mental well-being are highly beneficial to creativity — and everything else in your life. This blog will address ways to maintain health and a positive mental attitude. There will be recipes and food topics too, so I hope you like to cook.

Inspiration & Productivity

What inspires you to create? Do you know? Maybe you haven’t really sat down and meditated on the source of your creativity. Maybe you’d like to learn how to inspire yourself. Motivation is key to creating. Commitment is required. Some people need help in these areas. I’d like to provide some of that assistance.

What is Success Anyway?

What is success? Is it fame? Fame is fleeting. It can also be a very destructive force. Is it money? Wealth isn’t about material things and money is the root of all … well you know. Success is how you define it.

VanGogh_Bedroom_Arles1
Small, sure, but it’s colorful at least.

Bookmark the Starving Artist

Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in topics on time and money management, cooking tips and recipes, life hacks, all geared towards those who are trying to live the artistic dream, check back often. I will also recommend books that I’ve read on the subjects covered, so check back often and please leave comments and suggestions for topics you’d like to learn more about.

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