Happy New Years! A warm thank you to everyone who has made my first year as a full-time musician fun and successful. With help from my family, friends, fellow artists and venues, I played 137 shows this year. The year before I played about 20.
Some exciting news:
In the past my videos were shot with a single camera, lights and simple audio recording equipment in my bedroom.
Now, I have put together a small team of friends and family working to put out the best quality music videos we can for you all to watch. ‘The Garden’ is the first of this new series.
The Garden Lyrics:
The seeds of love she planted there
My mother with brown sugar hair
I’m eight years old my toes in dirt
And watching my father’s hard work
The crickets sing and run from me
We’re playing hide and go seek
And far above my brother climbs
The sturdy arms of cedar pines
All from the garden the garden
The garden the garden
Now the days pass like hours
And the seasons pass like flowers
Years tumble by and I’ve turned 25
Still the first place I go when I come back home
Is to the garden the garden
The garden the garden
With every seed she planted there
My mother with delicate care
Because of her I feel the joy
Just like I did as a boy
In every garden the garden
The garden the garden
The Album is Finished!
Currently I am finishing up the album art, and contacting countless blogs, newspapers, magazines, Spotify playlist curators and media of all sorts to help spread the word. The release day is March 6th
It’s been more than a 3 year journey writing, recording and producing 6 songs with my best friend Nathan DeBrine in studios all over New York and Connecticut. Thanks Nate! All I will say now, is that I couldn’t be happier with how it has all come together. More on this in the next blog post =)
The past couple months have been fun. Lot’s of skiing, working on the album, and finishing this new website.
This Month’s Topic: Finance for Artists
We all know that money doesn’t buy happiness. With a quick google search it’s easy to find interviews with extremely wealthy, famous individuals that talk about their struggles to find happiness amongst their piles of money.
However, most of us recognize that money can allow us to do things we enjoy in life. It can be saved, protected and spent like time, food, friendships, or energy.
Most artists are told they will be ‘starving artists’. Many of us are. However, it’s always seemed a bit odd to me that so many artists struggle financially. Several billion dollars a year are spent on the arts industry in the U.S alone. I think there is a way for all hard working artists to make a living.
Some financial strategies that have been helpful for me:
1. The Art Comes First
People are LOOKING for art that moves them. Art made with a unique voice is a commodity.
2. Paying Off My Debt (as fast as possible)
When I graduated in 2017, I owed $27,000. At the end of 2019 I paid off the last loan. Being out of debt has given me financial stability and freedom to pursue my goals.
3. Living within my means. Such as:
– Renting space from family at lower cost (thanks fam)
– Eating at home instead of restaurants
– Rarely buying drinks at a bar
– Driving a used car
– Not buying coffee (if you love it, make it at home!)
– Bike or walk instead of driving
– Thrift shop for clothes (Plato’s Closet, Goodwill, Salvation Army)
– Avoiding tech fads like buying the latest Iphone
– Cutting my own hair
– Never getting a car wash (that’s what rain is for)
Although I probably won’t be this frugal forever, it allows me to focus my efforts and time on the music.
These habits are contrarian. While the credit card companies and the majority encourage us to spend what we don’t have, I think it is important to resist this temptation.
Often I found that much of my spending, wasn’t really for ME. The car wash was to impressive a neighbor, the nike shoes were to fit in on my soccer team. But I know that as long as my happiness is predicated on what other people think of me, I will never have the control I want in life. When I die no one will care about my clothing or my status, only the effect I had on them.
The other unneeded expenses come from consumables
The average cup of coffee is $3.00.
5 cups of coffee x 1 week = $15
Daily coffee x 1 month= $60
1 year of coffee = $720
20 years = $14,400
And coffee is relatively cheap in comparison to the small mountain of costs that are incurred each month. But it all adds up.
In conclusion, I’ve eliminated unnecessary spending. Maybe the simple act of cutting out coffee, alcohol, or a couple meals out a week could help you too.
4. Keep track of your monthly finances
– I keep an excel sheet of all my incomes and expenses. (or use an app like Mint. I note anything I spend cash on and transfer the numbers from my debit and credit card statements to a spreadsheet at the end of each month. This way I know exactly the amount and direction my money is moving.
5. At the end of the month I subtract my expenses from my income and calculate my monthly profit or loss.
Very simple and great way to understand where all your time/money is going.
These are by no means all the steps to financial success for artists, but just a few that have been on my mind.
Vagabonding: Rolf Potts
A philosophical book about the wondrous effects of travel on the human soul
Escaping The Lion and the Leopard: Ellie Porte Parker
A story about a woman’s journey to escape Ethiopia and travel to the U.S (and Saratoga Springs NY)
Thank you all so much for reading,
leave a comment below to start a conversation!