4 Myths about Artists' Finances

Headlong Dance Theater: rehearsal for 'Desire' - with Andrew Simonet, Amy Smith and David Brick et al at The Performance Garage. For more info: www.Headlong.org photos ???? Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net

Andrew Simonet during a rehearsal for Headlong Dance Theater’s “Desire” at The Performance Garage. Photo: Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net

There are a great deal of misconceptions about artists and money in our society. Regrettably, too many artists have internalized the stereotype of the starving artist or the idea that their competence with numbers is lacking. Choreographer Andrew Simonet dispels several myths about the finances of artists in the webinar, Real Life Budgeting.
MYTH: Artists are bad with money.
Ask an artist about the jobs they’ve done, unimaginable amount of hours they’ve worked and the paychecks they’ve stretched to make sure their art could be made. Most artists are incredibly adept at managing their revenue, they just don’t have enough of it.

MYTH: I am lucky to be an artist and thus don’t need to be paid well for my work.
FACT: Art doesn’t make itself and artists have to eat and sleep just like the rest of skilled workers. Artists imagine a thing that doesn’t yet exist, develop a plan to bring it into existence, implement that plan and deliver it to the world, on time. As Andrew puts it, this is the executive level work of the art world.
MYTH: One day I will “make it” and I won’t have to worry about money anymore.
FACT: No one is going to ride in on a white horse and elevate you to your ideal level of success. You are enough. Even artists that are seemingly “at the top” encounter the same daily challenges of funding, publicity and business management.
MYTH: If I keep my financial life vague, things will be better or I might worry less.
FACT: The “out of sight, out of mind” rule does not apply to your finances. A small amount of attention to your finances makes a huge difference. Scheduling a short amount of time weekly or monthly to manage your budget allows you to focus on what’s important and stress less about where your next paycheck is coming from.
Artists, have you caught yourself buying into these myths? Please share your creative budgeting strategies or experiences you’ve had stretching a dollar in the comments below!
For an accessible, artist-friendly look at budgeting strategies, join Andrew for Real Life Budgeting on November 19, 7:00-8:30pm ET.
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