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Financially Savvy Freelance Artists 01

The Philippine government’s revenue collection is really getting its act together. Plugging all holes in its coffers. Aside from businesses, they’ve been going after celebrities, dentists, doctors, and lawyers – hellbent in collecting taxes.

We who are freelance artists – will the BIR come after us too? We who barely earn enough to make a living?

I think we who are freelance artists don’t usually talk about these things. Animators, comic book artists, painters… we’d rather not talk about tax. At large we’d rather not talk about our financial futures or long term goals. Instead of educating young artists on pricing and fair compensation — we hide how much they can earn.

I used to think business was for people who didn’t have any other clear interests in high school. But quite frankly – business acumen is knowing how to use the language of money.

So if an artist wishes to make a living… to avoid starving… he/she needs to at LEAST get comfortable listening to the language of money. One of the worst things we can do is just to tune ourselves out when someone talks the talk of money. Especially if that person is talking to educate us on the matter.

I’m from a Chinese family. We don’t own any businesses. I was not taught business by my family or by my schools. But from reading books I realized how important it was to get financially savvy. I believe it takes just as much time to become financially savvy as it takes to become a skilled artist.
As artists however, it is only natural to focus on your craft.
I’ve heard more stories of people of business getting into the arts than stories of people of the arts getting into business.

The difficulty for artists like me in the Philippines to get into business is that there isn’t much of an industry here to support local game development, comics, and feature film animation – stuff I’d like to get into. The best paying work has to come from abroad. So what now becomes the best way to do business as an artist in the Philippines? Receive work for clients abroad.

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