How I Became an Artist With an Online Business.

This is the story about how I became an artist and why I decided to build an online business dedicated to help other creatives to do the same. A story full of struggle, ups and downs, uncertainty and dispair. A story that is still unfolding and will continue as long as I live.

I hope that my story will inspire you to take action towards a creative future and I really hope that my experiences will help you smooth out some of the bumps along the way so that your journey becomes as harmonious as possible.

First of all, what is an artist?

The term artist has a different meaning depending on where you live. In many European countries, an artist is someone who sells art in galleries and holds expositions. It’s often associated with abstract art and refers mostly to painters, sculptors and maybe those who practice performance art. 
In this sense, I would not consider myself an artist.

In the United States the word artist is used more broadly. Basically anyone with a creative occupation is called an artist. Make-up artist, visual effects artist, concept artist, performing artist, recording artist, visual artist… it’s in their job title.

Even when it’s not literally in the job title, there are many creatives that identify as artists like photographers, illustrators, and all kinds of designers.
Within this context, I certainly do identify as an artist and I built this website for all of you.

Why I became an artist.

To be an artist is not merely a choice; it’s an insatiable calling, an undeniable urge that courses through the veins of those who breathe life into the world through their creations. Like most creatives, I am not driven by obligation but by an innate need to transmute my thoughts, emotions, and visions into tangible beauty.

In the heart of every true artist lies an irrepressible desire to make beautiful things, there is no escape from the magnetic pull of our own creative essence. It’s not a choice but a surrender to the calling, a recognition that, without the act of creation, life itself loses a vital hue.

Personally, I am just not fit to run in the rat race. I tried but I felt trapped, anxious and very unhappy in the constrains of working a 9 to 5 job doing meaningless work for a heartless corporation. 

Becoming a professional artist.

Like many creatives, I also grew up being the weird kid in class. Sitting in the back drawing robots and monsters I was not really interested in what I had to learn.

When I finally got go to art school, for the first time in my life I really felt a sense of belonging. At the same time I did not understand many of my peers that aimed to become an autonomous, independent artist.

Remember, this was the time before having a creative online business was a thing. Back then, if you were independent, you had to be able to make money with your art or have a mundane day job on the side to pay the bills.

After graduating I started working as a freelancer, the only way I knew to work as a full-time creative. And that went well for a while.

The disasters that ruined everything.

While being perfectly happy working as a freelancing creative, the first disaster struck with the economic crisis in 2008. Besides my own creative projects, at that time I made most of my money teaching creative teambuilding workshops for company events. My income literally disappeared overnight and I almost became homeless. Aged 34 I was forced to close up shop, go live with my mother and borrow money from her to pay the bills. 

To get out of this situation I decided to take advantage of my other skills and forget about my creativity for a while. My verbal communication skills and my pleasant voice got me a job with a lot of demand: Outbound sales cold calling in a callcenter. 

After a year or so, I got back on my feet and gradually returned to my creative endeavours and I was able to proudly quit my day job. This time, next to my own projects, I earned my money teaching creative workshops for kids, which I happily did for about 10 years. 

The second disaster struck in 2020 when the Covid 19 Pandemic made my workshops impossible and my income disappeared overnight, again.
I did the same thing. Using my previous experience, I got a job as a customer support agent in the callcenter of a large corporation. 

In the beginning I was comfortable. I made decent money and I felt safe working from home. But when the pandemic was almost over, I was forced to commute to an office and work in a cubicle. That changed everything.

My inspiration for Freedom For Artists.

After a year or so, I found myself in my mid-forties, stuck in a dead end, entry level job with no prospect of getting out. The work became very monotonous and I simply had no time and no energy left to work on any creative project. I became immensely depressed and ended up with a burn out.

This is when I realised how awfully frustrating and depressing it is for a creative mind to be trapped in a meaningless job without having the opportunity to work on your calling. I am grateful for all those years I was able to freely work on my art and I felt bad for all those millions of people around the world who did not get the chance to realise their creative dreams.

This is what inspired my to realise my next project: ‘Freedom For Artists’. An online initiative to help creatives, myself included, to escape the rat race and enable them to enhance the world we live in by realising their ideas and inspire the rest of us with their visions.

The only way to do this is to create a disaster proof income. Not necessarily by selling your art but by creating an online business closely related to it. Something that can generate passive income, something that is fun to do and doesn’t take all of your time and energy so you have the room to be creative however you want.

Helping others escape the system.

After recuperating from my burn out I started another ‘normal’ job for third time in my life. Again as a call agent but this time it’s a remote job, eliminating the need for commuting.
It’s only a part time position which also frees time and energy to work on this dream.
But at the same time I’m taking a huge financial risk. My part time wage is just not enough to pay all the bills. I have some savings to help me get by for now but I definitely feel the pressure to make some additional income very soon.

Freedom for artists

Join me on my quest for absolute creative freedom. If you already made it, I hope you will reach out and share your knowledge and experiences with us.

And if you already made it big, please help me free as many creatives as I can by donating to my Freedom for Artists crowdfunding campaign. I promise to use your donation wisely to make the world a better place.

Thank you very much.

Sigma Muse, 

Founder of Freedom For Artists.