There have been a few things said to me and that I’ve read from other artists that sparked this post. It might be a bit long, but I finally have the pieces I needed to tie this bundle of thoughts together.
This is also a free form type of post, so please excuse any little mis-types. I’m sure I’ll get back to edit it soon!
I’m a creative. I create content mostly in the form of self portraits (photos of my myself) and posing for other photographers. This is my job but it spans a lot more than photoshoots. It means sharing some of those images on social media and interacting with my fan base, it means answering a lot of messages (more about that in a moment), it means maintaining a pretty consistent social media presence, keeping up with my Patreon, networking, and so on in addition to actually taking the photos, styling them, improving my craft, etc.
I’m not just trying to be popular on Instagram or Facebook, though that is important for what I do. This is my job and I treat it as such, even though I enjoy most of it too.
My Job Is A Little Different
But my job is different than yours may be. I don’t work for an hourly wage or a salary. I don’t know how much I’ll make next month and nothing is promised beyond the pledges I’ve already made on Patreon this month. However, even then, most of the things I create are created months before I’m ever “paid” for them or, more accurately, before I earn any income from them.
How I Get Paid
Patreon isn’t the only way I get paid, although it is a wonderful way that allows me to breathe a little easier and to also share special rewards easily and consistently.
I also get “paid” through wishlist purchases, most often things I can use for future shoots to hopefully earn future income from. Sometimes, pretty rarely if I’m being honest, someone will just send me funds with no preference attached. When that happens, I usually pour it back into my creativity or I might pay part of a bill. But again, that’s rare.
The other day someone said to me “Oh, it must be nice to get all this free stuff without having to work for it” and it really threw me back. That is NOT true. Yes, I do have people who sponsor sets of lingerie and similar items, but there is an agreement that they get photos (which is totally fine, of course and I’m happy to do that) or that they want to see them in future content. Beyond that, these are people who are seeing how much I put into my work and they want to support it. I know this because they tell me. But they’re not just showering me with free stuff. If they were, I wouldn’t be accepting it.
I Work A Lot, All Day, Every Day
I spend hours a day, most of the day, working at what I do. I answer most messages pretty quickly even though 90% of them never lead to a penny of income. I do my best to support others too, to help them if they have questions, and so on. I sometimes wish there was a way to get paid for that too given how much time I spend on it, but at this point I just hope they’ll leave a tip when they can and that the information I have to offer helps them.
I also mentioned that maintaining a social media presence is important and here’s why: it’s kind of like advertising. But it’s kind of also a grey area for me because while there is that business aspect, I also love meeting all the people and spreading my thoughts and positivity.
Two Sides to What I Do
Back to the advertising aspect… my hope is that when I post a photo or video that people will want to see more, that maybe they’ll want to support me, and they’ll hopefully pledge to my Patreon.
But then the other side is that I hope my posts provide a smile, a welcome distraction, or something else positive for people. I hope my videos help people to relax or find a little escape from the stress of the day.
And in that way I’ve merged my business side and my personal side. That can be a bit misunderstood sometimes, but I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
I Love It!
So yes, I love what I do, but it’s also my job.
If you’d like to support me there are a few ways you can do that:
Pledge to or share my Patreon:
Bonus Tip: You can use most of these tips to support other creatives too ^_~ I do it all the time!