20 more things I learned from “MAKING YOUR LIFE AS AN ARTIST “ by Andrew Simonet
1. Bono: “you can never get enough of what you don’t really need “
Referring to praise, drugs, etc. You can always get enough of what you truly need like food or sleep.
2. ”planning is the opposite of hoping “
The most important tool of an artist is planning.
3. “A list is the opposite of a plan”
Your plan involves eliminating 95% of the things you won’t do.
Prioritizing massively focuses your energy on what needs to be done
4. Prompt: “what do you want to do personally, professionally and artistically in the next 2 years “
Choose the top 3 goals to go after
5. Break Goals into Steps
“If the step is small enough you will have the urge to get it done. If a step is too big you will procrastinate ”
6. Goals should be a mix of internal and external.
An internal goal is something you can do yourself. “I want to spend 10 hours a week walking/writing/etc.” An external goal requires other people: "I want to show my work at a festival."
7. “Make the dreams bigger and the steps to get there smaller “
8. An Artists's statement: Three question to answer: What? Why? So what?
The mission of your work (exploration of the body’s relation to time) instead of what your work is (experimental dance)
9. Life tip: Make pie charts of your income statement and aim to change the ratios of the pies
For example if you only get 20% of your income from your art and 40% from TaskRabbit and 40% from being a Barista and you want to make more as an artist analyze the time you are spending and what you can change. Of course, you can quit all your non-art jobs and have 100% of your income from art, but it might be smaller than you want! Done correctly over a long time horizon the entire pie gets bigger and you may eventually be able to support yourself through art over a long time.
10. The authors dance company did not start making significant money (a full time income) for over 10 years.
11. The three Ss of finance: Solvency, Security and Stability
Solvency: I can pay my bills
Security: I am not worried about problems as they come up
Stability: I can plan for the future
12. Exercise: Write the amount of money you would need to avoid living in a financial panic. Just knowing what this number is can relieve a lot of stress.
If you track your expenses you can see where the biggest gains are: for example if you can save $500 a month by changing your insurance you don’t have to worry about buying coffee every one in a while.
13. Figure out how to earn your living with 1500 hours of paid work a year (instead of the typical 40-hour weeks: 2000): artists need to spend more time unpaid than other jobs
Charge more for fewer hours of your time.
14. “ nothing makes you a real artist except your devotion to making art “
A day job (or two) is perfectly OK and even sane. You can still be an artist and maybe even a happier one. The world does not owe you a living for your art. Having a "day job," if necessary, means that you can live as an artist.
15. Use a wall calendar that has 12 months on one sheet. This lets you see patterns.
16. Flip your to do list and time: I am going to write for one hour. What should I write about in this time ?
Instead of saying "I need to write a short story/blog post"