September 6, 2015 • Newsletter
Have you heard? The world is full of artists. “We’re All Artists Now” declared the Times and the creative class continues to thrive, it underscored a few days earlier featuring profiles of six artists making it work with portfolio careers.
This probably feels familiar. Online marketplaces are crowded with hobbyists; reviews and commentary are provided by amateur voices via blogs; and enthusiasm for casual artistic expression make paint-your-own-pottery parties and wine-based painting events sell out quickly.
Distinguishing yourself as a professional is more important than ever. So with that in mind, we’ve listed three things you can do this month to distinguish yourself as a professional.
Update Your Budget.
Transitions can be challenging, both personally and financially. When we’re out of our routine, we often make decisions based on survival rather than based on empowerment. (Confession: The first week of school, we ordered out every single night because I didn’t even have bread in the kitchen.)
Because the end of 2015 is merely a few months away, September is a great time to check in with the budget… And stay on track to finish the year strong. Professionals keep budgets and use the information to make empowered decisions. Thus, your September Budgeting To-Do: Update it, particularly for wonky transition decisions, and use it to get back on track.
Make an Estimated Tax Payment.
It feels like it’s been a while since you paid taxes, doesn’t it? The longer days of summer have a way of tricking us that way. But it’s time to make another quarterly payment. Congratulations! Earning enough to warrant tax payments is certainly a mark of success (if a borderline annoying one). It’s a hallmark of a professional too.
The good news about this quarterly payment has to do with its timing. Early in 2015 you may have been guessing about how much you planned to earn for the year. By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your final income will be (more or less). Adjust your tax payment accordingly, and start the end-of-year celebration on your success. Your September Tax To-Do: Make an estimated tax payment for 2015.
Support Others Virtually.
The start of fall (or the unofficial one anyway) is busy. Kids go back to school, transitions are part of the plan, and we all search for a routine… Often one that eludes us. So getting together with peers, colleagues, and friends to catch up and share war stories can be tough.
But it’s actually more important than ever this month.
So instead of building pressure to connect in person, this month, use the magic of technology to help you connect virtually. Reach out to peers, colleagues, mentors, mentees, and friends to just say hello. This might mean an email, a snail mail note, a message on Facebook, or any other way of connecting that suits you. But find a way that suits you, and reach out in support of someone else. (Bonus points for doing this on a weekly basis through September.) Your September Assistance To-Do: Send a personal message of support to a friend, peer, or colleague.
To recap, there are a few things you can do this month to distinguish yourself as a professional.
- Budgeting: Forgive yourself for any wonky transition decisions and finish the year on track with your budget.
- Taxes: Make a quarterly estimated tax payment by September 15th.
- Assistance: Reach out (virtually) to a peer, colleague, or friend to offer support.
You’re a professional. You treat your art with the level of respect we expect of those who take themselves – or their work anyway – seriously. Not just anyone can do what you do. So keep the business side of your art in check… So it can better support your creative process.