Secrets of the Non-Starving Artist

We started iCreateDaily, exactly a year ago from the date this was written, July 28th, 2017. A number of creatives indicated they were eager to create daily as well as to make their art their living, and a few who indicated they’re already doing that.  We heard from one discouraged “starving artist” who said:

“It’s coming up on 5 years since I published my first book. I always thought I’d make a career out of writing and I have, but it brings in so little that it’s a joke to call it a career. It’s more like a hobby that costs us too much money. I can’t stop writing and creating – it’s who I am, it’s my heart and soul, but it brings me down when I can’t support my family doing what I love.” Kate

Audio Article: Secrets of the Non-Starving Artists


If you’re reading this, chances are you can relate. Most creatives can.

You are not alone. Unless you’re in the small list of top selling artists, it can be extraordinarily difficult to make a living selling your art, books, photographs and other creations. That’s why the most successful creatives… the non-starving artists, have four habits above all others, that contribute to their success, which we’ll get to in a bit.

Five years is a long time to not see the fruits of your planting and tending. But one thing’s for sure:

We never achieve our goals if we quit.
~LeAura Alderson,

The Starving Artist – the Struggle is Real

If you’re the proverbial struggling musician… starving writer… starving artist or struggling entrepreneur, then you’re in the majority. If all came to light, it would reveal that the majority of people who feel that what they’re doing… what they love to do and feel they’re meant to do, is not yet what they’re able to do for a living.

That’s enough to depress anyone. History tells us of artists through the ages who struggled with depression. Depression is a dark spiral that falls in upon itself like a personal black hole. It sucks out light and creativity, replacing it with fear and self-doubt.

So whether for you it’s one year, five years or ten, the best thing you can do when what you’re doing isn’t working is to try something different. That doesn’t mean hopping around from shiny new object or the latest social trends sure to work, or the latest marketers promising that their thing is really “it”.

It does mean to keep learning, implementing, growing; learning, implementing and growing. And… you need to keep creating.

The most successful creators are those who balance art and entrepreneurship… the art of business.
~LeAura Alderson,

Non-Starving Artists are Prolific, Expansive and Entrepreneurial

The most successful artists today, are typically the most prolific. But more than that, today’s successful artists are also business minded, or they employ and partner with those who are. These are the artists that wield their creativity like a tool. Rather than waiting to be used by it… rather than waiting for the creative urge to strike, they make things happen.

Many creatives look upon their work as a hobby or craft. To become truly success at earning a living from your creations and creativity, you need to also study and instill in your daily routine, the artistry of business.

Today’s most successful artists have become artist entrepreneurs, building a business empire around their endeavors and interests.

Successful artists make things happen.
~LeAura Alderson,

Empire Builders – Artist Entrepreneurs

We’re starting a list here of creators who succeed because they blend the art of business with the business of art. These multi-talented empire builders run multifaceted business enterprises, and they’re clearly ‘Creators serious about their art.’ They are artists in their field and beyond that, they are entrepreneurs building their empires over and beyond their craft.

What do these artist entrepreneurs all have in common? They’re all productive, prolific artists building businesses around their art and their interests, and have embraced the art of business. Please share your favorites that we should add to this list, because again, we’re just getting started here!

Successful Actors Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

  • Jessica Alba, Actor, investor, creator, entrepreneur
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actor, entrepreneur
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, Actor, investor, creator, entrepreneur

Successful Authors Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

Successful Comedians Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

  • Jerry Seinfield, comedian, actor, entrepreneur
  • JP Sears, spiritual coach, comedian, author, entrepreneur
  • Jeff Foxworthy – comedian, author, inventor and creator of ‘You might be a red neck‘ fame.

Successful Comic Creators Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

Successful Composers Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

These first two are amongst our favorite composers who have collaborated together are on multiple mega movie projects:

  • Junkie XL, creative, prolific musician composer has partnered with Hans Zimmer
  • Hans Zimmer, master musician and composer of many incredible movie soundtracks, has partnered with Junkie XL on several projects
  • Adrian Von Ziegler, musician, composer, puts tons of his music online for free through his website, YouTube and other social channels. He’s not worried about not getting paid by listeners. Rather, his proliferation of creating has led to opportunities to get paid to create, as well as to sales of his music and over 755k subscribers to his YouTube channel.

Successful Entrepreneurs

  • Ryan Moran – eCommerce, investor, creator, founder, Freedom Fastlane and
  • John Lee Dumas – podcaster, author, product and program creator
  • Terry Crews – former NFL player, artist, actor, author and now celebrated furniture designer
  • Tony Robbins – Tony is a self-made mega millionaire who began as a personal coach and now teaches and inspires  millions each year.

Successful Food Bloggers (Chefs, Cooks & Food artists)

  • Rachel Masters, mom to 4, and the vivacious and beautiful owner of
  • Lindsay Ostrom, from teacher to full time blogger, owner of

Successful Magicians/Illusionist Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

  • David Copperfield, American magician/illusionist; described by Forbes as “The most commercially successful magician in history.”
  • Lior Suchard, mentalist, utilizing multiple platforms, from influencers, social and traditional media

Successful Painters Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

  • Erik Wahl and his wife, Tasha Wahl – we interviewed the inspiring and entrepreneurial Tasha, for the iCreateDaily Podcast
  • Margaret Keane – “Big Eyes Paintings” fame, and who’s been painting for 60 years as of this writing, and after whose life a movie was made.

Successful Singers Who Are Also Entrepreneurs

  • Alicia Keys – Singer, who’s also an actor, created her own production company, entrepreneur
  • Lady Gaga, Pop Singer – branding genius, highly intelligent artist entrepreneur
  • Beyoncé, Singer, singer, actor, entrepreneur, clearly directing her personal brand into so much more

Successful creators blend the artistry of business with the business of artistry.
~LeAura Alderson,

Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

Four things common to all successful creators:

  1. They’re disciplined creators
  2. They’re serious about their art
  3. They stay focused on their goals
  4. They never give up

Successful creatives are those who study and implement business strategies as equally important to creating. The most successful creators are entrepreneurial in their approach to their art. Non-starving artists stay focused on their goals and work toward them each day, and they never, never, never give up. They may adjust their route… they may change the vehicle for reaching their goal, but they never give up.

Entrepreneurs are artists of business.
~LeAura Alderson,

Making isn’t Enough

Prolific creating is an essential to success. However, that doesn’t mean that all prolific artists are successful. The online world has placed your audience directly at your fingertips, no longer distanced and dependent on the middleman gatekeepers—publishers, curators, financiers, etc—deciding who gets in and who doesn’t. However, reaching your prospective audience is more difficult than doing your art.

Authors typically learn that the book was the easy part. Most authors are not into sales and marketing. Many writers are also natural introverts, which makes building your presence in the world a greater challenge.

This difficulty makes the barrier of entry harder for those who aren’t willing to learn, grow, implement and stay the course. But for those who are willing, who don’t give up, who keep learning and applying that learning, improvement is inevitable.

Every effort is another brick in the wall of your foundation for success.

Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.
~Constantin Brancusi, ‘the patriarch of modern sculpture’, a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer, 1876-1957.

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