As we start a new year, it is a tradition to create goals for the coming year. So what’s the goal of Creative Insubordination?
Well, of course, each individual artist will have their own set of goals that matches their current situation. However, the overall goal of the Creative Insubordination process is to free you to devote as much time as possible to developing your art. “As possible” is the operative phrase in that sentence. At first, that might just be a couple more hours a week, but with time and focus that time will expand because you will have found ways to replace the income currently being provided by other sources.
The reality is that, at the start, most artists need some sort of “day job.” This is true of most entrepreneurs as well — they create their business as a sideline until it grows healthy enough to meet their needs. Most books on startups recommend that you hold onto your current source of income while you grow your business. For some of you, devoting full time to your art may not be the ideal goal — your art may be supplemental, even a hobby. For others of you, the first goal might be to reduce the number of hours you are devoting to your day job, or replace your day job with one that is more in line with your talents and interests. Then at some point your artistic work will begin to develop legs of its own, and you will want to make first steps toward making it your sole source of income.
But I believe that the only way this can happen is for you to be developing an artistic plan that is sustainable — that doesn’t rely on a constant influx of foundation money, arts council grants, and contributions from patrons. A sustainable business model will be built so that the expenses are scaled to match the expected income. Your work needs to do more than break even — each production should be planned in such a way that you will have at least a minimal profit that can be used to create your next project or fund a reduction in the number of hours spent doing your day job. This requires a different approach to artistic creation.
UPCOMING COURSE: STRATEGIES FOR BECOMING AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST
Call to Action: I have 2 more spaces available in my free on-line course, “Strategies for Becoming an Independent Artist.” This course will meet weekly to discuss readings, ideas, and participate in interviews with independent artists such as Mike Wiley, Zack Mannheimer, Brian Doerries and several others. It will be an opportunity to discuss your own dreams, and get ideas for moving forward with them. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The plan is to begin the week of January 17th at a time that works for the participants. The next time the course is offered, it will require a fee, so don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the development team! — Scott Walters