Living As an Artist – Day 23

Yesterday I made $3.25 performing on the street. Old Town Art Fair is happening this weekend, so I grabbed a empty store front on North Ave. and started practicing. I mentally had to force myself to continue playing as I wanted to get past $1.00 in earnings. The first dollar I earned I believed was dropped by someone walking in the crowd and it fell on the street in front of me. Someone walking towards it just pushed the dollar with his foot to my playing area and I picked it up and put it in my guitar case.

Today’s Jog Log:

Sport: Running
Distance: 1.62 mi
Duration: 19 minutes 17 seconds
At: 6/9/13, 10:25 AM

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Thoughts on the Artist Life:

One of the things that I’m realizing is to live as an artist, it is essential to know about what resources are available and what resources you have.

Also, I must have earned an average of a dollar an hour playing on the street. I have to improve my skills or sell different products.

And lastly, I’m getting more creative as it is an important factor in survival.

Street Performing Income: $3.25



Living as an Artist – Day 17

Yesterday I finally played on the streets. Well, practiced. I knew no songs. I went to North Ave & Wells. Played on the south side. I wanted to play in front of Starbucks but I just wanted to practice. I made $1.21 in donations/tips. Now normally, that would have me rethinking my path choice. But, then again, another 30 years would pass or I would be on my death bed saying,  “I wish I, could of, would of, should of”.

I plan on going out today again. This time I’m bringing my song book (yesterday I left it at home).

I did a second sitting of my ballet dancer painting yesterday.

Living as an Artist – Day 16

I’ve given much thought to my new life and how to adapt. The one thing I realized I have to do is come up with products and services around my new lifestyle in order to survive. So today, I’m going to paint and figure out how to sell my painting online.

11:33 p.m. I started a new painting project. I just basically painted the background blue. I plan on creating a painting of a ballet dancer.

1st step in new painting

I made a decision to start a class called Making a Creative Quantum Leap in 30 days. The class will be based on 4 weeks of progress and based on the book Quantum Leap Thinking.

Now I will start to document my steps in the process of one week to put on this class.

1) Reserved a room for Monday, June 10th, 2013.

Living as an Artist – Day 14

Yesterday I accepted an eight hour job with Task Rabbit. The way my morning has started is the exact reason I don’t want to go back into the workforce.

Here’s how my day has started so far.
1) work up at 5:00 a.m. I was really too tired to read but I managed to read 2 or 3 pages of my current book.

2) 6:00 a.m. I spent 45 minutes getting ready for work. I had instant coffee. Sat down at the computer from 6:20 a.m. until 6:35 a.m. trying to find a MeetUp, or networking event
to go to after work (found nothing).

3) 6:45 a.m. Left the house, walked to Dunkin Donuts and bought a cheese twist bagel for $1.43. ( I could save money here if I had bought breakfast food)

4) 7:00 a.m. Bus arrived. Crowded, having to stand up until Orange line stop.

5) 7:28 a.m. Arrived at Van Buren & Halsted.

6) 8:00 a.m. Arrived at my location. No one there. Called Task master, emailed Task Master, re-read start time. Realized I was an hour early.

7) 8:30 a.m. Sitting in a small Starbucks blogging, watching a morning crowd stand in line to pay for overpriced coffee because they’re too busy to make at home or their office doesn’t supply free coffee (or Starbucks coffee).

8) I spent the morning putting 100 gift cards in promo boxes and testing 200+ resistors and packing them in bubble wrap.
What a boring job. I was given 30 minutes for lunch (includes walking to and back to work and ordering in line). Thank you very much Corporate America.

9) 5:00 p.m. Today’s experience is why I never want to go back into the job market. I worked 7 1/2 hours without a break at 15 minute break. I had multiple task and they told me when to take lunch.

10) 5:51 p.m. Finished shopping for food. 5 lbs bag of rice, oatmeal, 3 cans of tuna. $10.00

Living as an Artist – Day 12

Make no mistake about it, being an artist is work. I picked up my guitar and started getting prepared to play on the streets. I just started practicing the blues. I learned a Elmore James tune called, “It hurts me too”. This is the only song I know completely. I know I don’t have the lyrics memorized. I had to put my own style to  it to be able to play it through.

I practiced two hours and my wrist and fingertips are sore. I’m not quite sure how much money I’m going to make but I think I will play two songs and and then go to the park and learn another song and go back again. That will be the routine.

Living as an Artist – Day 7

It’s been exactly one week that I decided that I would become an artist. So far, it has been a difficult task.  Mainly because earning a living and commuting (paying the bills) takes up so much of my time.

Tuesday, I got my street performers license from the City of Chicago.

Chicago Street Performer License

What take up time to is learning a new skill set. Now that I can perform on streets, I need to learn at least 3 songs. That is going to take time. I’ve been learning html and css, that takes time. With me patching up income with odd jobs, its very difficult when I’m fighting being fatigue.

On my ToDo List I listed sending out 5 resumes a day. That takes an enormous amount of time. I also committed to reading one book a week. The challenge is how to make a living doing what you do and all the other things while learning new survival skills in a new economy.


4:43 p.m.
I went down to city hall today again to collect on my settlement from Carriage Cab. I learned an important lesson because I was able to get the process moving to collect my money.

I’ve been in the dumps about how I was going to survive now that I’m not driving a taxi due to the demand for cabs during the summer time.

Well getting this settlement money will hold me over until my tuition money comes in from school in August / September.

So here are the lessons learned.

  • I can’t get upset because my friends can give me the answers to solve my financial problems, They don’t know all my resources I have available.
  • Know what resources I have.
  • Know the amount of money you need to tide you over when making a career transition.


Living as an Artist – Day 5

It seems as if trying to live as an artist is a very difficult road to be on. Take for example yesterday, I started my day by working on my resume, job searching, preparing for an interview, commuting back and forth to and from the interview, being interviewed, house cleaning and talking to a few friends that I haven’t heard from in awhile.

Where exactly am I suppose to fit in being a film maker, networking, learning a new skill, blogging, and trying to adjust to this new economy that is emerging is beyond me.

I woke up this morning with only a few packets of sweetener for my oatmeal. I had to run down to the gas station and get a box of Equal (packet of 50) for $2.99 + tax.  Normally, I could get a generic box 0f a 100 packets for under $3.00. I could have stopped at the store after I got off the bus from the interview yesterday. I guess I should create a todo list to save money.

Cash on hand = $20.00


There are things that I must do. I’m going to create a to-do list

To Do List 5-22-2013