Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Madness - Surviving as a Starving Artist

The term starving artist doesn't just apply to those putting paint on canvas. The life of any artisan can get complicated as they hope to make a decent income from the sales of their work. Etsy's blog includes regular articles called "Quit Your Day Job" that tell how artisans were able to make a living from their own work and stop working outside the home.

Like many of you, I'm wondering if this is even a possibility in my life. The recession in the U.S. economy caused sales to drop and I haven't seen any signs that sales will improve soon. Are you thinking of closing up shop? How are you going to keep purchasing supplies and keep the offerings in your shop fresh without some significant sales?

I've found some solutions that have helped me and I'm so grateful to all the others blogging out there. Blogs have become one of the top ways for companies to connect to the general public.  Functioning as a combination of news and word of mouth promotion, blogs are an increasingly popular venue for products to be introduced. Often, a blog post telling about a product will be accompanied by a contest or giveaway and one or more lucky readers will get a free product. My wins include some art, a purse, craft supplies, health and beauty products, and jewelry. I have entered contests for baby stuff even though my kids are now grown up. Several friends and relatives have had babies recently and I've been able to give my winnings as gifts.

Another helpful resource is blogs and sites that let you know about freebies. While some of the freebies are sample sizes, I've also received coupons for full size products. Everything from shampoos to food to fast food to dog food are promoted this way. I've even been able to get small cans of paint for free! These same blogs also link to great coupon deals.

Do you rely on high priced medications that don't have a generic equivalent yet? Several manufacturers offer cards that you can use for big discounts on your copay. This has been a lifesaver for me!

I don't know when...or if...that day will come where I can cut back on having a day job.  I'm not even sure that's what I ultimately want.  In the meantime, finding ways to save some money helps me feel better as I wait for my handmade products to start bringing in more money.

Some helpful blogs to check out:

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