Fall is fast approaching and with that comes the start of classes and it also marks my one year anniversary of living in Chicago. It seems impossible that it’s been a whole year already. The past twelve months have brought so much change. This level of uncertainty and growth feels amazing (and terrifying) like the bedrock of something huge in my life.
Summer break has been critical for me to put all the pieces together. It’s allowed me the time to take a step back and think while I develop habits that strengthen my commitment to building the life that, up until now, I’ve only dreamed of. I’ve been reading more than ever, finishing ten books since May. Everything in my life has been centered on finding balance while getting healthy, pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and becoming a millionaire.
For as long as I can remember money has been a huge source of anxiety in my life. This anxiety has been compounded by school because, well, going to school costs a lot of money. I’m fed up with worrying about how I will pay rent or what will happen if I need surgery. So this summer I’ve been changing all that. I’ve been learning as much as I can about financial literacy, business, and money management. I hired a business strategist help me clarify my goals while I work through all my money baggage. In the process my views about what it means to be a contemporary artist and creative entrepreneur have completely evolved. The relationship I see between art and business has transformed my practice and the actions I take on a daily basis.
STUDENT LOAN FREE BY GRADUATION
If you are considering graduate school you’re probably aware of the cost of tuition, interest rates, and how many years it will take you to pay it all off. Columbia College Chicago does offer some scholarships and I was fortunate to receive one. However the cost of living and going to school adds up and last year alone I took out a hefty student loan. One goal I’ve set for myself is to pay off all the money I’ve borrowed for my education by the time I graduate. No, I’m not crazy. In 20 months, when I walk across the stage to receive my MFA, I will be student loan free.
I believe this is totally doable and that it will be just as valuable to my growth as an artist as any official coursework. I’ll be tracking my progress every 6 months on this blog and each time, I’ll feature one thing helping me to reach this goal. For many years, my views about money really limited what I believed I was capable of accomplishing – like going to graduate school. I hope that if you struggle with limiting beliefs about money that following as I achieve this goal will inspire you.
LESSON # 1: A SIMPLE EMAIL
A few weeks ago, I went on a walk to explore all the shops that I’d only ever walked past. I was looking for places with fun and quirky gifts that might be interested in selling prints, postcards, and greeting cards of my work. There was one shop I fell in love with, so when I got home I went on their website and filled out their “contact us” page. I simply introduced myself, explained what attracted me to their shop and asked if they have opportunities for local artists including a link to my website. I was nervous as I hit send because I’d never sold wholesale and because I was worried I’d never hear anything back from them. An hour later, the owner replied wanting to get coffee to talk about my work. Two days later, we got coffee. One week later they put in their first wholesale order. Last week, the shop showcased my prints, 100 of my original collages, and hosted me at a “meet the artist” First Friday event. All from one simple email. Hit send and see what happens.