Money Making for Creatives

Money Making for Creatives: 3 Creative Women On How They Navigate Money And Financial Dry Spells

May 30, 2017 , In: Creative Women, Interviews , With: No Comments
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We suppose it’s old gist that Creatives have been touted as people who find it tough to either make money, manage money or keep afloat financially. It has become a lullaby of sorts to hear Artists and Creatives discuss the tedious rigour that comes with financial independence or plain old sustenance.

If you are not a creative person, you probably just keep hearing these things and shrug them off, because they don’t directly affect you. But, if you are an Artist, you cannot shrug them off or wish these issues away. And even if you are not a Creative, you are probably related or connected to one — a friend, a neighbor etc.

Last week, we ran a poll on Twitter asking Creatives to choose between getting a 9-5 job and focusing on their Art full time. 9-5 got 56% of the 100 votes. The people who replied, apart from voting chose 9-5 solely because it was the way they could make money and not fall into the ‘starving artist’ trap.

It is a major concern for us that Creatives are constantly struggling with this part of their lives, especially in this part of the world. It is unnerving and troubling that we should be asked to work for ‘exposure’ and be told to wait till forever to start making money.

So a few weeks ago, in order to kickstart this much-needed conversation about Money Making for Creatives, we decided to ask a couple of creative women that we know, about how they navigate the money making spectrum. Some answers we cannot publish because the responders wanted to remain anonymous. But, we had conversations where some Creatives had not been paid for any work done so far this year, and a few have grown very wary of businesses, because of how much they are being owed or how they’ve been mistreated financially.

However, on the bright side, 3 women shared snippets of their stories, experiences and/or financial tips with us, so we can share with everyone.

These are their answers to the 3 questions we asked:

Ebun Oluwole: Writer | Founder, JunElevenCo | Assistant Editor, WomanNGEbun Oluwole on Money Making for Creatives

What advice would you give to anyone currently going through a dry spell – no new clients/money?
Three words – learn new skills. That way there’s always an option/alternative and you’re not solely dependent on one source of income.

In your experience, how do you get new gigs when you are dry and out?
There was definitely a point in my career when I experienced the ‘dry spell’. But rather than feeling depressed or beating myself over it, I armed myself with a wealth of information and pretty much learnt new skills such that even if I didn’t get new gigs, I had something new to bring to the table which I could easily demand more pay.

Also, I tried to look inwards to find interests that I could monetize with little or no capital. Frankly, there’s nothing better than having multiple streams of income.

Any other advice for female creatives and their finances?
Save. No matter how little for the rainy day. The little amounts add up over time.

Damilola Odufuwa: Editor-In-Chief, Konbini Nigeria | Contributor Global CitizenDami Odufuwa on Money Making for Creatives
In your experience, how do you get new gigs when you are dry and out?
It’s been a while since I worked freelance, to be honest. I’ve luckily had a full-time job for the past year and a half. But prior to this I always had multiple balls in the air. I’m a multi-tasking addict. So that’s how I avoided having dry periods. I would take the initiative and reach out to and suggest ideas to various publications and create a need for them. So when I worked freelance I would have 2-3 long term jobs going at once. But the key is never to have more than you can handle – that way you’re not letting anything suffer.

What advice would you give to anyone currently going through a dry spell – no new clients/money?
Know your worth. Negotiate the amount you deserve. Of course, sometimes you’ll need to take a little less but never to the point where you are compromising everything. Set a standard value for yourself and your work. And again, having numerous freelance gigs means you’re never strapped and broke waiting for one payment to come in.

Women always underestimate themselves and their financial value. We need to stop that.

Fatimah Azzahrah: Freelancer at Unicorns Inc | Illustrator & Character DesignerFatimah Azzahrah on Money Making for Creatives
In your experience, how do you get new gigs when you are dry and out?
I’m a freelancer and not getting commissions are hard, so right now, and I’m still learning to navigate this. I am actually looking for a job, haha. Honestly, I just wait for commissions to roll in, I don’t really do much other than taking commissions.

What advice would you give to anyone currently going through a dry spell – no new clients/money?
I’m always inspired when I look at others artists work, they just give me a whole lot of new ideas and inspirations to make something new and my own and try to sell. And observing your surrounding ( taking a break from the internet, even for a while) give me the motivation to start doing something, a new artwork, cleaning the house, anything!


What do you think? What are your thoughts and experience on making money or getting new clients? Do you have tips that’ll help other creatives? Kindly share with the community.

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