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If you are an illustrator, painter, sculptor, or musician, you may feel pressured to give up the work you love to bring in a steadier income. Selling your art, after all, can be tricky, especially when you are just starting out. What if there were a way you could split your time between personal artistic pursuits and an hourly position? Consider these tips to help you achieve this ideal balance with a side gig.
1. Pinpoint Your Ideal Working Environment
There are numerous side gigs in which artists may excel. To narrow down your options, determine whether you want to complete your work in person or over the computer. If you are willing to travel for your side job, you could get involved in the event-planning industry. Photographers, decorators, and cake designers can bring in a lot of cash at special events.
If you prefer to manage your side hustle from home, try selling your work in an online gallery, making video lessons for other artists, designing websites, or offering art therapy sessions. When communicating virtually, investing in high-speed internet, a quality video camera, and proper lighting is a must. To become an art therapist or website developer, you may need to complete related coursework.
If you’re working from home, create an office space with productivity in mind. Find a location away from distractions and boost productivity with ergonomic furniture like a desk and chair. If you need to build out a new office space, make sure to track all the completed work as certain home upgrades could increase its value if you decide to sell at some point.
2. Create a Tentative Schedule
According to experts, organization is key to successfully balancing multiple responsibilities. To avoid losing yourself in one project while forgetting the others, you must develop a schedule. Determine how many hours each week you want to spend on your personal projects versus your hourly job. Next, block out specific hours or days to focus on each task.
Avoid overcommitting to either work area. If you notice yourself making more mistakes than normal or failing to meet deadlines, it may be time to shorten your to-do list. This helps you maintain your energy levels while ensuring your clients are satisfied.
Photo by Unsplash
3. Market Your Work
Many of the most common artistic side gigs involve freelance projects. To thrive as a freelancer, you must advertise your services. Some websites help artists connect with clients either by posting portfolios or responding to job listings. You could also take advantage of social media to promote your services to friends and family members who may be able to boost your business by word of mouth. As your side hustle grows, always have a creative and memorable business card on hand to market your work when opportunities arise.
4. Take Your Side Hustle to the Next Level
If your side job shows promise as a full-time career, you may wish to start your own small business. At this point, it is time to consider which business structure you will choose and whether you require insurance to minimize liabilities. If you hire employees, you must also find a reliable way to track their hours. Something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet is a great way to start, though you may wish to upgrade to an automated system in the future. There are even payroll platforms with a GPS time clock. This type of software is especially helpful for artists whose employees travel to clients to provide their services — like painting lessons or graphic design consultations — by allowing them to clock in remotely, track their mileage, and more.
If art is your passion, don’t set your talents aside for the sake of a more traditional job. With the proper amount of planning, organization, and dedication, you can use your creative abilities to earn a good living with a side hustle that still leaves you time for pursuing the craft you love.
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