Warning: This post is not possible without a hearty number of asterisk-filled expletives.
You’ll see why in a minute.
Tell me if this moment sounds familiar – the one where your heart drops and all you can think is, “oh-f*ck”. You were cruising along, doing your thing when that devastating email came, the unexpected bill arrived or the thing you’ve been working on forever got lost in cyber-space.
Or my personal favorite: Oh-f*ck I don’t have enough money and my bank account is full of a big fat zeros.
Oh-f*ck moments are all those times when you have no idea how things are going to work out and feel confident that it won’t end well.
Oh-f*ck is a Gift and a Gateway to Making Money as An Artist
Wouldn’t you agree that creativity has everything to do with transforming one thing into another? Isn’t turning simple materials into something that transcends and inspires at the heart of art making?
What if you could use your creativity to turn your oh-f*ck moment into a moneymaking gem?
Experience has shown that when my own oh-f*ck moments hit, it took little more than a well-asked question to turn oh-f*ck into something magical and lucrative.
I’ll never forget the defining moment when oh-f*ck hit. I was sitting on my front porch in California, having just graduated with a master’s degree. My bank account was hovering very close to zero and rent was due.
I did something that I had never done before. Instead of getting stuck in the shit-storm of panic and fear, I did a total detournement. I asked a great question that was followed by a very inspired answer:
“What can I do right now, with the skills that I have and the resources available to me to bring in some cash? My only caveat was that it had to be aligned with who I was as an artist.
The inspiration rushed in; I grabbed my sketchbook, produced my first flyer, and started emailing everyone I knew. That drawing project went on to bring in thousands of dollars over the years.
That oh-f*ck moment was creative, and financial gold.
You Can Make Money with Your Art Today. Not in three weeks. Not in two days, but today.
Instead of collapsing under the oh-f*ck moment, trying getting creative and ask yourself: What can I do right now, with the skills that I have and the resources available to me to make this happen?
What potential collector can I call?
What painting can I sell?
Which gallery contact is out there?
What social media channel could I use to sell more work this week that I have all year?
Sitting around, planning and hoping never leads to the kind of inspired action that gives birth to brilliance.
So if you’re sitting there reading this and wanting to sell your work and make some money, and are ready to convince yourself and others that artists can make money doing what they love, it’s time to act.
Would you please stop doing this?
I know this is a hard one but I promise you that if you shift this nearly everything else in your life will also shift.
There’s a pattern that you need to break and the pattern goes like this:
You want your work out in the world (badly) and you want others to have your art on their walls. You want people to be surrounded by beauty and inspiration so much so that your big, generous heart gives things away.
You walk away from these exchanges having just given your work away, severely discounted it, or did some kind of “trade”.
Before you can even declare its real value you’ve given it away.
By the way, I can only talk about this because I too, have been guilty as charged.
When you give your gifts away without asking for anything in return the universe thinks that you don’t deserve or desire compensation. The universe thinks that you’re fine and moves on to the next person who is willing to receive in return for what they’ve given.
Ouch, right? Feels totally shitty doesn’t it? I bet that this gets your back up a bit and has you wondering – but wait, aren’t our gifts meant to be given freely?
What’s true is that your intentions are beautiful – really, really beautiful.
And your heart is big – really, really big, but this alone doesn’t translate into a thriving art career.
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place to give something away – there is, but only after you’ve learned how to meet your own needs.
When you give your art away because you don’t realize the value of your own worth, it’s a problem.
When you give things away because you are afraid to say the price out loud, it’s a problem.
When you give your work away and feel shitty and shortchanged after, it’s a problem.
The only way around this is to do something that has nothing to do with your art. It’s entirely an inside job.
You have to stop undervaluing what you do.
If you understood that, your life would look radically and profoundly different. So would your bank statement and your artistic production and your creative career.
You my dear, and everything you create is profoundly worth it. Are you ready to break this pattern?