Re: Starving artist...go to school

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Posted by Erika on October 28, 2002 at 13:42:26:

In reply to: Big question, a bit off topic, though not completely... posted by Joan on October 28, 2002 at 02:07:27:

Okay, I've got a lot of "been there done that advice." Hopefully
some of it will be useful to you.

Whether or not you can make a living from henna probably depends on
what type of living you'll be happy with and the area that you live
in. If henna is popular enough to keep you busy, or you are willing
to travel to resort areas at least during the winter months, then
I'm guessing you can make a decent living. When I was your age, I
thought that I'd consider myself rich if I could make $500 a week.
You may be able to do that if you really work your henna gigs. Now
I know that $500 a week would not cover the lifestyle that I choose
to live with my husband and 3 children. He brings home more than
that each week, plus I bring in around $200-$500 each month from
henna. We still feel like we are struggling.

I am going to school at night now for a Bachelor's degree in
business, and I'll probably follow up with a Master's degree in
something. It would have been so much easier and cheaper to have
done this right after high school. My husband doesn't even have a
high school diploma and had just been lucky enough to get his job
back in the day when experience would get your foot in the door. I
go to school with SOOOO many people that are in their 40's or 50's
and that say they were laid off and now employers don't want to even
talk to them unless they have a Lauren said, it
doesn't even matter if the degree is specifically related to the job
you want to do.

If you're stuck on making a business as an artist, then you need to
have back-up gigs for when you don't have henna weather. I make
little crafty things for craft shows, sell bits of artwork on ebay,
give henna classes, give business workshops, do people's taxes (took
an H&R Block tax class), and write business reports. A friend of
mine is a muralist. She wasn't getting any work and went into face
painting as a means to pay the rent. It was fairly lucrative and
led to a lot more mural work for her. Her and her husband are both
artists in their 30's and 40's. She just now realized that she's
tired of struggling to pay the rent every month and wants to own a
home. It has created a lot of animosity between husband and wife
and now they are separated. It seems like if one of them had
thought a little further into the future, they would have had a more
comfortable lifestyle when they were ready for it. You can live on
love and fresh water as a young person, but you will eventually
reach an age where you want more comfort. Though it sounds
mercenary, cash is the quickest way to get that comfort and a
college degree paves the way. Follow your heart and do what you
love, but keep a back-up plan.


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