It’s been awhile since I wrote about my “money issue” but I thought it would be good to share some of the changes I have made recently.
The first one is, I have started to do some “bartering” work in exchange for partial credit against my studio rent. Since this is my single greatest expense, it’s been a huge relief to reduce the payment I make every month.
The most recent development is that I have agreed to do some freelance bookkeeping for another artist. It’s a perfect fit since I understand cash flow issues and the fragmented nature of the art business model. Just like most artists, my client’s revenue comes from multiple sources, making record keeping even more important and more challenging.
It seemed natural that I would try to supplement my income with my bookkeeping skills, but it’s also a charged subject for me. Does this mean I am giving up my art? Absolutely not! My hope is that this will free up space in my head so the creativity will flow.
Does this mean I have failed as an artist? Am I now a “bookkeeper” who does art on the side? Are people going to think less of me as an artist once they know I am also a bookkeeper? I know that the answer to all these questions is “no”, but there are moments when I question what I am doing. Why should I worry about a label anyway? It’s not really what we do – it’s how we live that is important – right?
As stressful as it can be, self-employment is what I always wanted. As a matter of fact, my first venture into self-employment was as a bookkeeper. I had business cards made up that said “Foothill Bookkeeping”. (I lived on Foothill Blvd in Sunland, north of Los Angeles.) Making business cards was about as far as I got though. Shortly after the cards were printed I got a great job and stayed there until the birth of my daughter.
It was a hard decision to go public with the details of my debt and I debated whether or not to share this latest development, but it feels right. The steps I am taking to reduce not only my debt, but the stress surrounding it, have become a large part of who I am these days - so it only seems natural to want to write about it here. I have had to let go of “how” things would work out and just take each opportunity as an invitation to experiment.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes –“ Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” Helen Keller