February is always an ugly, cold, grey month. It’s a good time to ignore the wintry weather outside and get some work done inside. This month in studio a lot of time was devoted to writing, budgets, and future opportunities.
I’m wrapping up my extended writings detailing my trip to Europe. It’s grown into a large project. I’m trying to keep the mantra, “Get in, Have a Point, Get Out” close to everything I’m writing. Finding and keeping my focus on writing has been the hardest part. Over the next week or two, all of the stories should be online, so keep your eyes peeled!
Of course, writing isn’t the only thing I’ve been working on, as I’m starting to figure out a schedule for the entire year. This planning includes a solo show, group show, grant writing, and a possible overseas conference.
The Business of Art
The business of art isn’t often talked about, but it’s a big part of being an artist. Art schools barely touch it, forcing artists to learn it on the fly. There are only a handful of resources for artists out there.
Just before I went to Europe last year, I was talking about how busy and productive the entire year was. I also fleshed out all the tools for my woodshop, stocked up on paints, canvas, and other assorted supplies too. My friend chuckled when he said, ‘so you’ve spent on capital investment’. It was as if I lived in some magical world without bills or budgets.
I’ve also decided now is the time to turn around my fortunes forever. I took stock of all the debts I have. Then I calculated the monthly costs of bearing that debt. I then had a pretty good idea of what I am missing out on by not having those debts paid off.
My debt, in the large scale of things, is absolutely minuscule when compared to what most Americans are carrying. Knowing that I could reduce my cost of living by 3-400 dollars a month would radically change my life, anxiety and ability to make future plans.
So I put together a list of some potential commissions that I’ve discussed over the past few months, and put together a plan. With a couple commissions getting their details finalized, I’m budgeting my own income from classes to pay off a sizable bit of things sooner than later.
As you can see, as the big red bars start shrinking, so does the amount of money I am spending. When the debt starts to vanish, the world’s possibilities open back up as the green bars representing extra money I’ll make on a monthly basis.
This is the most exciting personal project I’ve launched in quite some time, and could forever change the way I live my life in the future.
My painting and drawing classes have been crazy, as I’ve been teaching about fifteen to seventeen classes a week. That’s definitely on the high side of things, and being able to cut back an extra day of teaching would be another benefit to sticking to my budget for a few months!
For the last few months, The Make Up has been all over my playlists. I still remember seeing them live in Cambridge around 1997. Ian sang half the show hanging upside down from an air conditioning duct. Their music is still as fresh as ever.