Artwork for podcast The Thriving Artist
Leverage Your Creative Skills to Improve Your Finances
25th June 2018 • The Thriving Artist • The Clark Hulings Fund
00:00:00 00:45:58

Share Episode


Is it realistic for artists to think "One day, I'll retire"? Christina Empedocles knows about the financial concerns of artists. A working artist represented by several San Francisco-based galleries, Christina also runs Insight Personal Finance, a company that aims to improve the financial health of creative entrepreneurs. In this episode, Christina acknowledges the financial hurdles that artists face--fluctuating income, being responsible for your own raise, lack of benefits---and provides specific strategies that artists have successfully employed to overcome them.

Overcome Mental Hurdles About Money

  • "There’s a lot of baggage around art and money, so a lot of people have a hard time looking at what they make, and think 'I should be making more.'"
  • "What first established your relationship with money? It can be really be powerful to think about, and help eliminate engrained money behavior that isn’t working for us."
  • "When you’re doing this yourself, you have to pull all the levers and it can feel like a burden. But the best time to get started is now; the sooner you start building this structure, it lowers the risk of your creative practice."
  • "I started teaching myself finance. I started to realize we [artists] were doing it wrong: a lot of people in the community wanted to avoid dealing with their money."

Financial Planning for Artists

  • "Artists are great at having the long view. We have big visions, and the vision of what we want to accomplish carries us through the fluctuations of our career."
  • "Your art practice will change; it’s absolutely necessary to plan for it. I don’t want to hustle to find rent money when I’m 80!"
  • "Artists and entrepreneurs tend to invest everything back into the business, not in the future. I see that as taking on more risk."
  • "Don’t just reinvest in the art practice. If you want to have agency over the work, you have to become immaculate with money."
  • "If we don’t think about inflation and just working without increasing our prices, after a few years, the impact of inflation is immediate and painful."

Strategies for Financial Health

  • "Look at ways to increase income every year; look at all of your skills and think 'How am I using them?'"
  • "Align your spending with your values, and reroute the money that you save toward your goals."
  • "There are so many money leaks we may not know are there until we start paying attention. Bad habits can be huge drains on our ability to save; we look at the opportunity costs to see what that money can do."
  • "The worst that can happen from preparing is having a chunk of money for your future self!"