Forums > Social Discussion > How do you make a living with your art?

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Hey guys. So I've been a professional artist of a variety of stripes and wildly fluctuating income since my mid teens, and now that I'm almost 30 with a young child and wife, I keep coming back to this question, of how do you make a substantial income while still doing what you love? So I made a little video about it, and I'd like to get a conversation amongst us, my favorite art and my favorite artists: object manipulators.

Thanks for watching!

EDITED_BY: arrwiley (1342559180)

ChronosHow is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
20 posts
Location: Spain (for now)

grin Hey dude, nice vid, especially liked the part where it almost looked like you dropped the cam and ended up on the artwork hehe. I'd like to share with you my experience, cause I asked myself this question too and then made a big plan.

I make a living out of being a musician, dj, photographer, and recently started fire knife dancing.

I used to live in London England, doing those things (besides the juggling) but found it very difficult because of the competition in all my fields of profession, also 3 years ago when the recession came it turned into a nightmare to find work at all.
My first step to making a living was to move to a place with a whole lot more positive tourism towards the things that I do.
3 years ago I chose to move to a town in Spain called Beniorm because it's full of tourists that come over to be entertained. People want to see what you have to offer.
First I got work in a few clubs DJ-ing, doing the days off of the resident DJ. Then I joined a band, made a duo, and then fixed together a couple of demo vids of us ( here are the vids just in case you wanted to see Chris And Rob White Coast Rebels ) , sent it around to all the bars and hotels, and started getting work everywhere with it (currently resident for 2 hotels and 1 bar with the duo, the band changes place every week). I get work with photography because the rest of the performing acts in the town require posters, and there are a lot of model wannabes as well who love making pics Guitar Girl Pic
I started spinning fire 6 months ago when I met a Maori, he's been teaching me how to use a fire knife (it's actually just a 90cm fire staff, a lot safer for me than a huge machete on fire with a large handle!). I started off busking at some bars that allowed me to do it, took a vid of it and showed it to some places that I thought might be interested in employing me.

So now every week I do 1 night dj-ing, 5 to 8 concerts with my band and duo, a photoshoot every second week, and 1 night fire knife dancing at a bar and busking around the other bars.
Moving to a much more touristic place was the best decision I ever made. If I didn't do that I'm pretty sure I'd be working in a supermarket right now. Some of the things I do are cash in hand, for example its pretty difficult to pay a band through the system since they tend to never stay in the same place more than a night, but the duo I have is contracted to a few hotels.

Anyway this is how I make a living. It worked for me, not sure if it would for others, and of course the option of moving isn't available to everyone, but I live 1 minute away from 3 beaches and its sunny all year round so I'm not complaining cool Come Spain! We need more jugglers!

PS: It is a lot of work, and sometimes I feel like I am burning the candle and both ends, but I am doing what I love and that is what counts to me
EDITED_BY: Chronos (1342588933)

nupoCarpal \'Tunnel
9,576 posts

Regular, non-spinning related work. As simple as that. Works
like a charm for last 4 years. I have money for living and I
have plenty of free time to do whatever I like..

Profesional spinning career didn't worked. I was very sad
to realize that, but I told to myself I can work and spin
together. Everything changed since then to better.

I think, spinning is a great tool for meeting people, enjoy
movement, life and be happy. But definitely very hard
to make a living out of it. Especially when you love it.

Or maybe I failed, maybe I could be like Ronan, Mcp, Cyrille,
Loooop, Antti, Meenik. To travel, spin.. don't know, maybe
if you ask them, how is it being like spinning lifestyle...

But they are not here, you know talking about how it is,
cause they are living it now ! They are not asking how ?
So what do you want actually ? But no worry, it takes time
to find out what you really want to do in your life.

ChronosHow is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
20 posts
Location: Spain (for now)

I think it is very possible to make a career out of spinning fire.

For example my fireknife dancing teacher makes his living out of spinning fire for out door bars and hotels. It's easier for him I guess because its a cultural thing, he does a full Maori show which includes the Haka war dance that the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, do as well, but some places he just does the fire and of course he busks as well. Before he moved to my town in Spain, he used to have a full fire dancing team that did shows in Abu Dabi and Bahrain for quite a lot of money.

It's all about how you advertise yourself. A good poster, and a few high quality videos make all the difference when finding work.
The Fire Warrior
Mana Hula The Fire Warior

In London there are some spectacular fire shows by many different performers. A place called Brickhouse in Brick lane has performers every week spinning for a wage. performer at Brickhouse
Those guys have been doing it for over a decade and are far surpass my level

2 posts

Wow, these are awesome. Thanks for being so open, guys. I'm o a phone right now, so it's reel hard to type gud, but will try to do these replies justice later on. Keep 'em comin.

ChronosHow is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
20 posts
Location: Spain (for now)

Well I've said my bit tongue2 not sure what to add...

I've only been spinning for 7 months now so I'm still pretty novice, but I'm competent enough to do a nice little show. To make money I just go busking. I tried on the street but that got me no where and into trouble with police. So I started going around outdoor venues, bars, clubs, hotels etc, asking if I can busk for a few minutes on their property. Some said no, others were very happy with the idea as it's a free show for their customers. So on my day off sometimes I go around all the places that allow me, let the people at the place know what I'm about to do, do a quick 5 to 10 minute show, then go around with a hat, have a little chat with the people about it while I collect their money, and move on to the next place. On a busy night I can get triple figures, other times I get enough for a meal and a few beers