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[114] The Starving Artist Myth with Kerstin Pressler

 

Do you ever feel like you will never make any money from your art/craft… or, even worse, that you don’t really deserve to?

That it is somehow noble or the ‘right thing’ to not charge for what you create? That taking money for it will somehow devalue it?

You might be suffering from the myth of the ‘starving artist’. This idea that you can never make money from art, and that, in fact, there is something ‘bad’ about doing so.

In this episode, I chat with Kerstin Pressler, and we discuss this very myth – and why both of us are vehemently against it. Furthermore, we discuss ways that you CAN make money from your art or creative pursuits – right from the get-go. You don’t need to suffer for the sake of your art for years until you start making money from it!

 

 

Quotes & Highlights:

  • Kerstin Pressler is a fine artist living in Europe between Germany and the Netherlands.
  • A savvy businesswoman from the get-go Kerstin also runs ‘The Biz School for Creatives.
  • The Biz School for Creatives gives creative and makers the tools to make their art into a thriving business.
  • “I knew I didn’t want to struggle, so I needed to figure it out- I want to paint and create things, but I also knew that I needed to make money”- Kerstin Pressler
  • Kerstin started to figure out how to run a business while she was in art school, and as she kept learning she started to teach other students what she had learnt.
  • For the first few years, you can expect to spend 80 to 90 percent of your time working on the business side.
  • “It can be a choice- you don’t need to make a living from your art, but you need to accept that you will need to have a job, because you still need to eat!”- Kerstin
  • The starving artist myth: If you want to be a successful artist, you need to endure a long period of struggle in which you make little money because you’re so dedicated to your art and that is all that matters.
  • One way in which Kerstin supported herself was by being open to other revenue streams- teaching, smaller businesses and using social media (to name a few).
  • You don’t just need to finance your business- you need to finance your life, make sure your prices reflect this!”- Kerstin
  • Write down your price and see what the hourly rate is- you might find that for some pieces (especially those that are time consuming) that you are working under the minimum wage.
  • As artists sometimes we don’t charge what our work is worth because we are either being told that we, and our work is not good enough, or more commonly because you don’t have the confidence.
  • Think of two numbers (you’ll need to do the maths!)
    • In one year, how much money do I actually need to pay all my bills, including putting away savings, to survive?- this is your minimum.
    • How much would I need to be able to pay for all of the above, but be able to do things I want to do, for example: go on a holiday, buy new clothes- this number is your goal.
  • “Being a perfectionist is dangerous because it just means you never start, or never make a move because you’re so afraid of making a mistake”- Jess
  • If you wait until everything is perfect-it will never happen!”- Kerstin
  • There will always be a struggle, you just need to be confident that you can get through it.
  • Surround yourself with other creative and entrepreneurs that walk in similar shoes- people you can share the journey with who understand and don’t judge you.
  • “A doctor doesn’t need to explain himself, so (as an artist) why do I need to explain myself”- Kerstin
  • If you just commit to doing a lot of something, you’ll figure it out, simply because you have to.
  • Developing systems allows you to be able to hand that work off to someone giving you time to be creative.
  • You need to be willing to invest in order to grow.
  • You can find Kerstin and The Biz School for Creatives or connect with her on Facebook in the Sparkling Creative group.

 

Download or listen to this episode.

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Jess

Van Den has written 363 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at Epheriell.com. You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

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