Anyone who thinks you cannot make a living as an artist had better think again because Heather Allen is not only here to prove that old myth wrong, but she is ready to share common sense about being an entrepreneur and how to make a career out of your passion.
As a self-employed author myself, I wish I had been able to read this book when I first set off to support myself through writing and related activities. Let Your Creativity Work for You is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to set up a business, who wants to make a living through his or her artwork, and who isn’t afraid of making money or being a success. It’s time for people to quit thinking that being an artist means having to starve in a garret. Great artists deserve to be appreciated and make a viable living, and the world deserves great art to make it a better place.
Early on, Heather addresses this issue through one of the many artists she interviews, Jason Hoelscher. She states, “They didn’t have professional development classes when Jason Hoelscher was an undergraduate. In fine arts studies courses, the notion of combining artistic skill development with career and income opportunities remains, as it has historically, off limits.” However, Jason reveals that artist solopreneurs can be successful by doing three things:
1. You must be strategic in your approach.
2. You must do your research.
3. You must be in it for the long haul.
From this both inspirational and down to earth beginning, Heather walks readers through everything imaginable that a business person and artist needs to know. Chief among these is setting goals, and then making them achievable through five, two, and one year plans. She includes goal sheets and other activity spaces throughout the book for the reader to fill out and do exercises to motivate and make the advice in the book applicable.
From there, Heather gets into some of the real nitty-gritty of running a business, including tracking mileage for travel, taking credit card payments, and using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program. But she never gets too caught up in details to overlook the bigger picture of being an artist who needs an income. She discusses how to balance producing your art with the details of running a business, how to create multiple sources of income, the importance of branding, how to use social media and websites to promote your art and business, and one of the most difficult of all subjects: how to set boundaries with clients, be direct about expectations with them, and even maintain a waiting list for your services.