Survival guide for The Starving Artist

Here's how you can still be a functional human being and chase after your dreams without suffering for your art.

By Kimberly Kiong


You know how it goes – a heap of passion and a leap of faith is typically followed by an incessant drilling of doubts and lectures from your family. A liberal arts degree! A nomadic poet! A multidisciplinary fine artist! Type in these keywords into the search engine of societal norms and you’ll get an endless list of soup kitchens nearest to you or self-help pages. If you click “I’m feeling lucky”, it’ll probably lead you to The Economist, reminding you of the biting reality of adulthood and our current bleak economic landscape.

Well, all hope’s not lost. No path to success is the same. With Singapore’s arts scene thriving and more supporters on our #supportlocal team, don’t miss out on the chance to effect change and build a stronger foundation for our future generations of artistes.

Here’s how you can still be a functional human being and chase after your dreams without suffering for your art.

 

via SHINE Festival

 

1. Old is Gold

New2u Thrift Store via racheeng.wordpress.com

Second-hand shopping not only saves you a neat sum, it is also a sustainable way of living. Another bonus about thrift shopping is that these stores are like mystery boxes. You never know when and where those one-piece-only tea dresses or vintage designer shirts are stashed. On other days you feel like giving your wardrobe a breather, donate clothes you’ve forgotten about to the Salvation Army or sell them for a decent amount at Refash. Recycling clothes reduces wastage and keeps your wallet happy and healthy. Other treasure troves include New2U and MINDS Shop. Oh yes, keep your eyes out for Zouk’s Flea and Easy and Cherry Discotheque’s Marketplace too! If you don’t want to spend a single cent, pry through your parents’ and grandparents’ wardrobes. That 90s FILA jacket on your wishlist might just be in there.

 

2. H&M Conscious

via H&M Conscious

You can get a 15% discount voucher for your next purchase with every bag of clothes you donate to H&M. Regardless of quality, fabric or brand, H&M accepts any unwanted garments. These garments are then sorted out for rewearing, reusing and recycling. Those that do not fit into those categories will be donated to the H&M Foundation, recycling and social projects.

 

3. NYC’s Youth Network Mailing List

via SHINE Festival

The bulk of your 13857209 unread emails is probably made out of urgent mails claiming to grant you all the riches in the world and mailing list notifications. “Do I really, really need more of that?” Well, you won’t regret subscribing to the National Youth Council’s Mailing List. Stay up to date with the latest happenings in our local arts scene and look out for opportunities to show off your talent. Furthermore, you are entitled to discounts for over 40 F&B outlets and retail stores during Youth Month once you click subscribe (and it’s completely free to do so).

 

4. The Jam-Jar Approach

via Pinterest

After getting your allowance/salary for the month, set aside a reasonable sum for your monthly expenditure. The rest should go straight into your savings and stay buried in there. R.I.P zero-dollar-bank-account-balance days! This way, you will be more aware of how much you’ve spent and think twice before indulging in that $20 uber ride when you can wake up earlier and take the bus instead.

 

5. Work, work, work

Hard Rock Cafe via sg.asia-city.com

Check out freelancing sites like Freelancezone for opportunities to pay the bills whilst you are still busy with your craft or seeking to strengthen your portfolio. Unknown to most, freelance jobs pay fairly well. If you’re just starting out as a freelance professional photographer, $50/hour makes a decent paycheque. If you’re a budding musician, join Hard Rock Cafe’s Open Mic Sessions every Sunday between 7pm-10pm. After your 15-minutes of fame, you get a $50 voucher. Be sure to book a slot beforehand!

 

6. Bookdepository

via apartmenttherapy.com

Get your literary fix at much lower prices with Bookdepository. There are substantial discounts off many of your to-read-list books everyday. With such a wide array of books ranging from contemporary poetry to Penguin classics to mangas to audio books, you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can also realise your Ernest Hemingway dreams with Moleskine notebooks at 50% off the usual prices.

 

7. Limit yourself to one cup of BBT every 2 weeks

Bubbs’ Bubble Tea via Daniel Food Diary

Need I say more. Life is hard but it’s going to be harder without that extra cash from sacrificing your bubble tea cravings. It’s okay, it won’t hurt. Been there, done that.

 

8. Just because.

via Q and R Lighting

Here’s the auspicious ‘8’ for the best of luck. Have courage and go forth!