Making Your Art Work for You

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Post two, welcome back!
Today I want to talk about something weighing especially heavy on my mind with the holiday season upon us, and that’s how to earn a comfortable living while staying true to your art. It’s possible, I promise.
I know a lot of us read those clickbait articles titled ‘100 ways to save’, or ’50 legal ways to make money from home’…and while some of these articles may contain a few useful tidbits, I would argue that downloading survey apps or depriving yourself Starbucks won’t make much of a difference in the long run, other than making you cranky.
As obvious as it might seem, I’ve found that increasing your sources of income, (AKA: booking more gigs!) while decreasing your extraneous spending (creatively! —> this will be the subject of my next post) will allow you to work towards your financial goals without getting off-track artistically.
(In other words, NO, you don’t have to get that part-time “real job” to survive as an artist.)
Increasing your sources of income by getting booked more…let’s get started:
I get messages from time to time from my peers, asking, in short: “how do you book your gigs?”
I can offer plenty of advice and casting resources and that’s typically what I do…however, what I think ultimately sets you apart is your approach, sometimes it’s just as much about “how” we do what we do, so that’s what I want to talk about here:
Patience + persistence + communication.
PATIENCE:
Understand that finding work in your field may be difficult, but is not impossible.
Set aside at least 30 minutes per day to look for new gigs or employment opportunities. For me this is the first thing I do each morning: I make my coffee, curl up on my couch, and apply for as many castings as I can before getting my day started. Devote daily and weekly time to marketing yourself and your art, and accept that it may take weeks or months to start seeing this effort pay off. Remember that so much of casting is determined by factors completely out of your control, like height, ethnicity, and body type. These factors can cost you jobs but can just as well land you jobs. Don’t try to change the industry, change how you move through it.
PERSISTENCE:
People will forget about you, if you don’t remind them. Show up to auditions in-person as often as you can. Keep showing up after rejection, again and again, even when it makes you feel crazy. Reach out to former employers as well as those you hope to work with, on a quarterly basis, every 3-4 months or so, as you deem appropriate, to share your availability, and update your headshot and resume. Update your social media, portfolios, or website religiously, and with quality content.
COMMUNICATION:
Remember that everyone you work with or hope to work with is human first. Be direct in stating your intentions and asking for what you want, but keep in mind: fostering a relationship is the best way to increase your chances of being re-hired. Even in the most formal communications, pleasantries like, “I hope you are well and enjoying this nice weather.”, or “Thanks very much for your time and consideration.” go a LONG way. Send quick, sincere thank-you emails after every gig. If your agent or a friend lands you a particularly great gig, a hand-written note or gift basket is a nice touch as well. Take care of your people and they will take care of you.
What goes around comes around, right?
So…while you’re waiting for this new approach to start working its magic for you, how do you pay the bills that were due yesterday? Pick up classes or apply for work-study opportunities at your local studios, look for background talent opportunities, babysit, be a dog-walker, sell the things you don’t wear or use anymore on eBay, Poshmark or Offer Up, cash in all your spare change…nothing wrong with a side hustle or two, as long as it doesn’t distract from your big-picture goals!
Thanks so much for tuning back in friends, it means the world to me!
Have a question? Want to chat more about any of the ideas I touched on today? Have feedback for me?
Click ‘CONTACT’ and let me know!
XO, Katie

WELCOME

Hi! Welcome, and THANK YOU for dropping in.
If you’re reading this we most likely have a real-life connection that lead you over to this little corner of the web I now call sowhatdoyoudo.net. Thank you for indulging me in this new endeavor.
I’m so glad you’re here.
If you don’t know me, a little background: My passion and one true love, most days, is dance. I started dancing later in life than most, taking my first class at 12, gaining access to quality training at 14, and as an adult I still sometimes feel like I’m playing catch up. The dance world has opened some amazing doors, and connected me to some of the best people I know. The dance world can also be an unforgiving, frustrating, and at times a really lonely place. (If you can’t tell, I’m going through a dance rut, but that’s another post for another day and I PROMISE it won’t be a total downer.) One of the doors dance has opened for me is modeling, which is funny and fantastic because I’m 5’5″, athletic, curvy, and do not fit into sample sizes, BUT I’m doing the damn thing and I’m excited to see where it goes and what boundaries I can continue to push. Dance has also lead me to fall in love with the aerial arts, fitness, health, and cute athleisure wear, all of which I’m trying to put my own stamp on and shape into my brand.
It’s a work in progress. Aren’t we all?
So why am I blogging?
My intention is to share an honest look into the life of a freelance artist: the ups, downs, victories, struggles, and hopefully, humbly, impart a little wisdom along the way: things I’ve learned and am continuing to learn about the industry, how to create a work-life balance, and how to market yourself effectively.
I want to connect to people like me, and create a community for myself and others to bounce ideas, share, and vent. I also started this blog to create accountability for myself: a place where I can express, reflect, and keep track of my progress.
Why “sowhatdoyoudo.net”?
The idea for the name was born out of awkward introductions and small talk, and my total inability to answer the question “So, what do you do?” because, most of the time, I DON’T HAVE A BLOODY CLUE WHAT I’M DOING.
Now, at least, when people ask me, I can say, “..uhm, I’m still unclear, but I have a blog about it! Please read.”
Thanks so much for tuning in my loves! Next couple posts I have planned will be more substantial, and will each have their own theme. I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment: gimme some feedback, or ask me a question below. 
I hope your weekend is magical! XO, Katie