Friday, 23 September 2016

Keeping The Day Job

So often, young people who hope to carve out creative careers for themselves are told, "you can't make money from that". Well, that's plain wrong. There are people out there, plenty of people, who are making a living from art, design, music, performance, writing... well, every and any kind of artform you can think of.

What we should be telling young people is that yes, it is possible... but it is difficult. Difficult doesn't mean impossible. To make a living from a creative career you may need to be willing to do two things:

widen your outlook, and take on a support job.

When I say widen your outlook, I mean think about all of the varied aspects of your chosen artform. What goes into the creation of that industry as a whole? Art isn't only about selling paintings, and music isn't only about being on stage. Those are only the 'typical' end of the wedge, the tropes that get wheeled out time and again for movie and book characters because most of us recognise and understand them.

Going into every kind of job available for every kind of creative medium would take forever, so right now I'm going to focus on the support job. As I'm an artist by trade I'll focus on art, but the same principles apply to any unpaid or as-yet-unestablished vocation - for example, I have friends who've become full-time religious missionaries using the same principles.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Anti-Social Media: Sharp Practice Online

Although I'd rather refrain from self-reflexive writing, I thought I'd address something that's become apparent to me in the last few weeks of navigating the internet.

Recently I've been helping a few people, including my husband, to get accustomed to using Instagram and Twitter as a way of promoting their businesses. (See, this is actually about personal finance!) Lord Balders in particular has been enjoying lots of success and engagement on Instagram, so I'm pleased about that; however, we've both been faced with a bit of bad behaviour on that platform.


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Extra Income Report - August 2016

We meant to do two things in August: start earning even more extra pocket money and get back into the DIY swing of things on the house, which would mean spending more as well.

Both have been hard, as there have just been so many distractions and so many new projects popping up. Last month I decided to leave my job after one year; then I decided to leave as soon as I could! Starting the process of job hunting (and just getting my head around the mindset) has been time-consuming and a bit wearisome at times, and working on my blog and artwork at the same time has added to the pressure.

Still, the usual things have been ticking over, so here goes: my extra income for August...

Monday, 5 September 2016

The Faff Scale

Most of the time, it's not that personal finance, budgeting and/or doing a little sideline online is actually too difficult for us - it's just that we can't be bothered.

It's this inertia that financial and insurance companies thrive on, and it's this inertia that can cost us. So with this in mind, I thought I'd break down my recommendations into an easy to read scale.

Friday, 2 September 2016

This Rug Has Ruined My Life

Why is it that we buy things, hoping that they'll dramatically improve our lives, even though we know that they won't?
Ok, my living room rug hasn't really ruined my life, but it has given me a lot more work than I had before I bought it. I wanted a rug for the living room. I felt we needed one. I spent ages poring over all corners of the internet, it seemed, before I found the one rug to rule them all.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Making A Difference - My Feature on CBB

It's been my privilege to appear on Mr Canadian Budget Binder's blog, in the Making A Difference feature. Can you tell that I'm excited? :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Sad Case of Doig and Doige

Hoping to strike gold by stumbling across a masterpiece in the attic or at next Sunday's car boot fair? You wouldn't be alone.

It's a natural consequence of the stratospheric prices attached to works of art that buyers, collectors and viewers might as well be looking at a framed wad of cash instead of a painting. Found a lost Manet? Cash in and retire tomorrow. Found a lost painting by your uncle Manny? Well, that's nice. Maybe you'll find a frame for it if it's not too expensive.

Doig, Doige and millions of dollars at stake.

Disputes over the authenticity of artworks aren't new, but they've been usually confined to posthumous sales or discoveries. This year, I was explaining one such case of a painting attributed to Lucian Freud to Lord Balders.

Stranger still, though, was the recently concluded case regarding a painting made by Pete Doige in Canada in 1976. Robert Fletcher bought the painting for $100, and later was told that the painting was by a famous artist. Peter Bartlow, an art dealer, agreed to help Mr. Fletcher sell the painting... however, their plan was scuppered when the famous artist in question, Peter Doig, denied that the painting was his.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Minding the Business - Amy's Organics & Naturals

What does it take to set up and run a successful business? Maybe you want to develop your ideas into a product or service to be able to add to your income or work from home, but don't know where to start. Do you ever wonder what goes into the process, and what helped an entrepreneur get to where they are now? Well, I've got the opportunity to ask just those questions to some real-life small business starters and share their answers with you!

Amy's Organics & Naturals soapnuts
I'm very pleased to be able to kick off this new series of interviews with my friend Amy Deveney, founder of Amy's Organics & Naturals. Amy's story is even more interesting than this little interview can convey - she's overcome many challenges even before setting up her company, and has thoroughly impressed both myself and Lord Balders with her preparation and professionalism.

So, over to the Q&A!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Earning Cashback with Pockit

I've been wondering why I don't hear more personal finance bloggers talking about prepaid cards, and in particular, the Pockit prepaid MasterCard.

Recently, I got an email from Pockit telling me I'd received cashback in my account - £1.88, to be precise, but hey, every penny counts to me. Great, I thought; all of that spending we did on the bathroom has given us something back at last! In fact, you'll probably see Pockit pop up regularly in my income reports.

A pretty handy cashback tool.

Prepaid cards are a perfect solution to credit issues for some people, but that's not why I use one. I use Pockit purely for the excellent rates of cashback on purchases.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Signs of... Slugs

I'll be honest: my garden plans have resulted in failure. Not quite all-out, unmitigated failure, but still, not success.

I think every blogger wants to paint a perfect picture of life behind the screen, but hey -  that's not me. I mean, I would love for it all to work out perfectly and be able to blog about how brilliantly everything I've planned has worked out, but I don't have the heart to fake it.

One of my successes - growing carnation cuttings from a marked-down supermarket bouquet.

When I wrote my post about the first signs of life in my garden in spring, I was hoping to be able to follow it up with a beautiful set of pictures of summer bulbs in flower. Well, it didn't all turn out badly - my apple trees are growing, my cuttings are doing well and I've got even more cuttings and baby plants on the go now. However, the bulbs haven't turned out so well...

The slugs got them all!