Ah, the eternal struggle of the creative soul: to make art or to make rent. It's like being stuck in a Shakespearean drama where the lead character constantly monologues about paying bills with paintings or songs. But here's a radical thought: maybe, just maybe, creatives should ease up on the money worries. Before you scoff and return to your 17th coffee of the day, let this collaborative/contributed post explain.
Starving Artist: More Cliché Than Cool
First off, the 'starving artist' trope is as overdone as a well-done steak. Let's be honest, creating on an empty stomach or while fretting about unpaid bills isn't romantic – it's just stressful. And stress, while a great muse for angsty poetry, isn't exactly conducive to groundbreaking creativity. Financial planner for musicians, Spenser Liszt, writes:
The starving artist stigma is fake.
In 1847 a struggling poet romanticized poverty.
He published Scènes de la vie de Bohème.
Inspiring modern day productions La Bohème, Rent and Moulin Rouge.
Enabling millions of creatives to neglect their financial wellness.
Think for yourself.
Believe in yourself.
Become an example for future artists.
Change the narrative.
Your Brain on Creativity vs. Your Brain on Bills
When you're constantly worrying about money, your brain is too preoccupied to wander down the creative lanes. It's like trying to write the next great American novel while someone yells out your bank balance every five minutes. Spoiler: it's not a bestseller environment. And we cannot create when we're in survival mode. So, if you're not actually in survival mode (i.e. living on the streets to survive), worrying about it will put you into that mode.
Money Comes, Money Goes, Art Stays
Remember, what you create often outlasts any financial woes. Shakespeare didn't write "Hamlet" while checking his stocks. Van Gogh didn't paint "Starry Night" while updating his budgeting app. Focus on creating something timeless, not on your time-bound bank balance.
Creativity Isn't a 9-to-5 Gig
Creative work doesn't punch a clock. You can't schedule an 'aha' moment between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Worrying about money can make you treat your creative endeavors like a regular desk job, and let's face it, creativity is the worst desk jockey.
The Best Things in Life Are (Almost) Free
Some of the best creative tools are inexpensive or even free. A pencil, paper, a guitar, your voice, or even the most powerful tool – your imagination. You don't need the latest software or a golden paintbrush. As they say, it's the wizard, not the wand.
Embrace the Side Hustle, but Don't Let It Hustle You
Side hustles are fine; they keep the lights on. But if your side hustle is hogging the spotlight, it's time to reassess. Your passion shouldn't be relegated to the 'maybe later' pile. Keep the balance. Remember, 'side' in side hustle is the operative word.
Money Can't Buy Happiness (But It Can Rent It For a While)
Sure, money is great for buying things – like fancy art supplies, or, you know, food. But it's not the be-all and end-all. Happiness isn't found in a bank statement. It's in the process of creating, in the joy of expressing, and in the thrill of sharing your work.
Frugal Can Be Fun (Says Every Creative Ever)
Getting creative with your budget can be an art form in itself. It's like a game: how many amazing meals can you make on a shoestring budget? Can you turn thrift store finds into high fashion? It's resourcefulness at its finest, and let's face it, a little resourcefulness never hurt any artist.
The world needs your art, so stop sweating the money stuff, create more and make your mark!
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