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 Post subject: Passion Pays the Bills
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:33 am 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
Hi guys,

No this isn't a thread about my new job as a gigolo. Not quite.

After the success of my last challenge (60 day reboot) I've set my sights on a new challenge.

It might not get me laid- at least not in the short term- but it's a HUGE step on the path to living the life I want to live. My hope is that this challenge will be the guiding direction to the next year (or more) of my life.

It's a pretty big challenge, but I'm pretty pumped about it.

The challenge is this:
I am going to spend at least one financial year making my passion pay the bills.

Why?
All 28 or so of my years I've been drawing pictures. All 28 of those years people have been telling me "you should be an artist, you're so talented".
7 years ago I quit a great job in TV to go study art full-time.
3.5 years ago I completed my studies and got a degree.
Since then I've been working desk jobs in customer service & administration.

Put that another way- I have spent 3 and half years trading my potential for certainty. I have been too scared & anxious to take any 'risks' with my ambitions because I wanted it to get me external validation and rewards.

About 4 months ago, I quit my desk job. Right now, I'm broke. I have two options:
Find another desk job OR make my passion pay the bills.

This isn't a spur of the moment thing, it's a decision to flow with the direction my life has taken over many years, rather than fearing it.

How?
The main goals of this challenge are:
- Develop a daily practice of making & selling art.
- Wipe out my credit card debt.

What I would love to be able to do is to wipe out my credit card debt with income generated mostly from my art. I'm going to stay flexible on that, but it would be awesome.

Over the next year I will:
- Make art making & selling my number 1 priority over all others.
- Treat art making & selling as my new business; my full-time job.
- Make whatever I want to make, with no concern for what I 'should' make.
- Launch a website, blog & webshop as the main platform for my business.
- Develop a rough 'brand' to identify me online.
- I will also launch/optimise Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RedBubble and other accounts.
- Post new content on blog regularly.
- I will take on a casual/part-time job to support my income.
- I will learn how to manage, and take responsibility for my finances.
- I will create a budget for weekly/monthly spending.
- I will concentrate on conscious spending.
- I will minimise unnecessary spending.
- I will leave spaces in my schedule for socialising.
- Develop a portfolio & body of work to take freelance art/design jobs.
- Learn to use Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign & update skills in Photoshop.

Main priorities this week:
- Learn about Web Hosting. Compare services.
- Get casual job to stay on top of bills.
- Learn how interest is calculated on my debt, calculate monthly minimum payments.
- Draw Daily.

I'll update this thread at times to track my progress and elaborate on the steps I'll take to achieve other aspects as I go.

It's ambitious, but fuck it, the only reasons I can think of not to do this are just excuses and distractions.

Advice is welcome!

_________________
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:39 am 
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Be Powerful Powerhouse
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 3:42 am
Posts: 1223
Awesome! You're awesome!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
Haha- thanks man, let's see how I go with it over the next year or so!

Over the last week I have started tackling a lot of this stuff.

- I've learned a lot about interest on my credit card (thanks to Kino) and can use that information to work out my budget.
- Have learned quite a bit about web hosting, domains, DNS and have (pretty much) decided on how I will go about building my site.
- I have picked a launch date for the site (July 18, if not before) and a rough idea of how I want to launch it.
- Done a fair bit of reading about connecting with people online, SEO, etc.
- Met with my brother to discuss a creative collaboration as the first of a series of collaborative projects I hope to work on.
- I've started talking to people about this project, what I hope to achieve and how I hope to achieve it. Lots of encouragement so far.

What I need to do this week:
- Switch my phone to prepaid
- Plan a weekly work schedule
- Draw/paint
- Make a decision: move out of my apartment to save money?
- Settle on a domain name, look for prices.
- Write up a budget for the start-up, plus living expenses.
- Expand my facebook network & others.

Questions to answer:
- Apart from the art, what can you offer your visitors? What do you want to say?
- How open should I be about the initial goal of paying off my credit card with my art? Would it be too much like a 'stunt'?
- How can this project be used not only to serve as an income for me, but to impact the world for the better?

_________________
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
This is one guy who inspires me to what could be possible with this challenge.



If I forget about the established way that this sort of thing is 'supposed' to be done, what becomes possible?

If I can do what I love and scrape out a meagre existence by doing so, it will be a massive achievement for me. But if I can take what I love and give to other people and inspire them.... fuck...

_________________
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:33 am 
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Get Real Graduate
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:18 pm
Posts: 691
Location: Sydney/Bathurst
On the web front, use gmail with a custom domain, you can do that now, so that gmail handles your emails, BUT you can use lysander@lysander.com (depending on what URL you've reserved).

It's a great professional touch, I've been setting up google to do that for me. Best part is, if you're using an individual account it's freeeeeee (you just need to own the domain, and understand how to use the backend).

There's two options for your blog you can make it about your work, or you can make it about your work and what inspires you, and why, often people want to see what makes you tick as well. ~ It really depends on who you want your audience to be. The point is start early, and fill it with content.

Also I've done this it works and it's just good practice ~ start with small clients, bring a plan to them, show them why they should hire you, explain to them, you just want to get your work out there right now, so that you can have something in your portfolio.

If you're really keen on illustrator/dreamweaver/indesign, I'd suggest finding a private college that teaches those courses, they can be pretty pricey, but they'll help you accelerate the learning process, and you'll have work to show in your portfolio by the end of it.

When you've got those skills really tight, when you're really read to rip on the market.

I have no idea where Darlo is man so I don't know if I can be of much help in terms of pointing local, but all I can say is find galleries.

Find how they curate the works they have, and get in.

Also look for financial backers, have a business plan.

And have that kick ass portfolio ready. Because you only really get one shot with this unfortunately.

I've learnt most of these things first hand, and I know there are other ways of doing it, but I got this from being the president of the camera club, and dealing with galleries in Sydney (well more succinctly competing with them).


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:15 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
Excellent man, I'll look into gmail a bit more. I've set up an account there so I'll add it to my list of things to learn!

Darlo is Darlinghurst, Sydney- Oxford Street.

Pretty soon I'll post my 'plan of attack' which will incorporate the art aspect, the online aspect, the physical aspect, the learning curve and the financial aspect of what I want to do.

By all means if you see any gaping holes in the plan, let me know!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Get Real Graduate
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:18 pm
Posts: 691
Location: Sydney/Bathurst
Then it's probably a good idea to look at the independent small/galleries in Sydney to get your work shown.

Such as: Kaleidoscope, & Lo-Fi Collective


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:41 am 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
Realised I need a Time Management system to keep track of everything I'm juggling.

Read 1/2 of Getting Things Done and signed up to Evernote, downloaded to mac & iPhone. Redirected all my mail accounts into gmail.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 795
Location: Sydney
Time for a quick update.

Things are going well. I am working basically every day of the week on this, 12-15 hour days sometimes. At the end of the day I often have to force myself to go to bed so that I can be productive the next day. There are times when I can't help but smile as I lay my head on the pillow.

At the same time, the learning curve I've set myself is pretty steep. Everything I learn reveals two more things I should know.

I set up my domain & hosting yesterday. That was a big step for me, a lot of research went into it, a lot of thinking about branding as well.

With the domain/hosting in place I can start building the site, which has been my first major goal.

I'm ahead of my deadline but a few things have slowed me down a little:
- The learning curve.
- A Getting attitude: Thinking about how I should present myself in terms of how I will be perceived. It's tough not to think about how people will respond when you're making something that will hopefully attract interest & attention.
- Project Management: It took me a full week to get all the details of my project into a workable & easy to manage plan. I'm using a cloud-based system called Evernote to keep track of all the things that need to be tracked, but I had to learn how that worked first. Now I just need the discipline to stick to the system rather than tracking it all in my head...

There's heaps more to do. New ideas continue to pop into my head and excite me, work piles up into the future but I look forward to doing it, when it comes time for that.

Speaking of which, better get back to it...

_________________
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Jung
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:08 pm
Posts: 512
Location: Sydney
Hey Lysander, good luck with the project, I'm also on this path (passion pays the bills).

In my mind, it would be simply awesome if I could get a business going from home that would ultimately replace my full time income!

I'm a software/web developer by trade and I'm creating my own software product to sell online. I've actually been working this on and off for the past 9 months, but I just recently quit my job so now I've got time to finish it off and launch it.

I won't go into details here for risk of diverting your thread :) but if you want any advice on implementing your web site, marketing, taking payments etc I have plenty of experience in those areas. I have had a moderately successful website in the past so I do have some insight on what is required to make money online. However, I don't know much about art ;)

PM me if you have any questions. Later.

_________________
"What you are looking for is what is looking" - St Francis.


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