A Starving Artist’s Secret to Survival

When I signed up for a PR/Marketing & Studio Art degree, I knew that I’d either become a master marketer or a starving artist. Which is all the more reason why I should get behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, but I just can’t. You see, when the housing market collapsed my company went down with it, I was left stuck in Pensacola, Fla. with no home, no job, and no hope of starting over. So I did what any self-respecting artist would do… I sold everything and went on tour.

I traveled mostly around the South East. Altanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Washington D.C., Pensacola twice and then finally I ended up in the Destin area of Florida. I was in my late 20’s with a degree and a skill-set and I would sell my talents to whoever would pay for them. If I wasn’t taking pictures of performing artists and rock bands I was working one-on-one with small business owners developing cost effective marketing strategies or orchestrating elaborate art parties as fundraisers for non-profits.

The biggest obstacle was my network. It’s true that it’s not what you know it’s who you know. After leaving seven years of networking in Pensacola, I found myself starting over again in Destin. Things were going great at first. The tourism market was the strongest it had been in years and I was living on the beach managing a seafood market in the morning and working as a food artist at night for a trendy restaurant, all the while shooting anyone I could with a camera in my free time…and then came the oil spill.

Fast forward through three months of “WTF do I do now?” I managed to work out a deal with the COO of a franchise based in the D.C. area. In exchange for watching the house, taking care of the cats, helping her pack, and some admin/office work I could stay rent-free for six months until she relocated to Colorado. I had six months to start over….again.

One year later, after spending the first six months barely surviving on $10/hour (through a staffing agency), I secured a full-time position as the Creative Director and Executive Assistant to a prominent D.C. psychotherapist and lecturer. Come December, my boss will retire to Florida and I’ll be looking for another similar position. My resume is exquisite, my references are mind-blowing, yet I’m confident that it will still take months to find a perfect match. In the meantime, instead of collecting unemployment, you’ll find me hustlin’ somewhere; selling art, doing photoshoots, writing for various D.C. papers and mags and organizing more art parties.

Whatever happened to that entrepreneurial character that America used to be so proud of? In the panhandle of Florida—where the rednecks and the private money meet on the shores of paradise—there are hundreds of independently owned businesses. I should also add that the commercial rent on the seafood market I used to manage is less than the rent for my studio in Mt. Pleasant.

Taking into account that prices in D.C. are much higher than Florida and that the majority of people who seem to own any of the shops that we visit on a daily basis (coffee shops, dry cleaning, grocery, gas, food/restaurant) are all immigrants, I’m left confused on a level I can’t really even put into words. Explain to me how an immigrant couple can immigrate to the United States, open and operate a business (often unable to communicate efficiently in English), have enough money to feed themselves and their families, and yet there are thousands of home-grown Americans losing their homes, their savings, and their minds?

I understand that not everyone can just create a business out of scratch and make it be successful, but many of us could. And in doing so, we could hire those who can’t do it all on their own. I understand the OWS argument. But if you want them to stop trashing your money, then stop giving it to them! Vote better. Raise your voices in opposition to fraud. But if you’re upset that you can’t “find” a job, then maybe you should take a page from the book of Starving Artists and find better way to create your own income rather than waiting for someone else to give it to you.

Deklan is a writer and photographer living in D.C. by way of the BP oil spill.

Gravatar
Feb 7, 2014 at 3:10 PM minimize

Thank you, I have recently been searching for info approximately
this topic for a while and yours is the best I have discovered till now.
But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the source?

Gravatar
Feb 7, 2014 at 3:10 PM minimize

Thank you, I have recently been searching for info approximately this
topic for a while and yours is the best I have discovered till now.

But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the source?

Gravatar
Feb 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM steroid abuse icd 9 code

Please let me know if you're looking for a article
author for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset.

If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write
some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to
mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.
Thank you!

Gravatar
Feb 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM steroid abuse icd 9 code

Please let me know if you're looking for a article author for
your weblog. You have some really good posts and I
believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some
of the load off, I'd love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

Gravatar
Feb 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM Introduction to Steroid Cycles

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just
posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something
enlightening to read?

Gravatar
Feb 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM Introduction to Steroid Cycles

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied
on the video to make your point. You obviously know
what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just
posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

Gravatar
Mar 3, 2014 at 11:17 AM problem

What's Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've discovered It absolutely useful and it
has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help different
customers like its helped me. Great job.

Gravatar
Mar 8, 2014 at 2:35 AM D bol

Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote
the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few percent
to force the message home a bit, however other than that, that is great blog.

A great read. I will definitely be back.

Gravatar
Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13 PM british dragon

That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing
this one. A must read article!

Gravatar
Apr 4, 2014 at 11:32 AM steroid abuse youth

What's up to every body, it's my first visit of this weblog;
this blog carries awesome and in fact excellent material in favor of visitors.

Post New Comment

Comments which are spam, off-topic, abusive, or use excessive foul language will be deleted.
No HTML markup is allowed. URLs will be turned into links automatically. 3000 character limit.

If you want a small picture next to your comments, get a gravatar.

 
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:52:19 -0400

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest Georgetowner updates.