5 Side Hustles You Can do to Keep your Artistic Fire Burning

The rain was ceaseless and the days were dreary, yet I missed it when it had goneWe were raised and bred to work. Even if you despise working, you have to get your butt off the couch and do it anyway or you’ll starve to death. You either get a job and work for someone else, or be an entrepreneur and work for yourself. Either way, you have to do something to earn the right to keep a dollar. It is what it is.

What If…

…you hated your job or didn’t like the business you got yourself into? What if deep down, you really want to do something else? There are many stories of old timers who regret not having the courage to take a leap of faith and follow their dreams, for fear of not providing enough for their families.

If just dropping everything and moving to Tibet to become a Monk is out of the question, you can still pursue your passions and dreams as a side hustle. You don’t need to leave your crummy job and the boss you hate just yet. All you need to do is carve out some time to do the things that really engage your spirit.

If you’ve got the passion and the skills, here are a few side hustles you can do to stay in touch with your artistic side.

Share Your Thoughts as a Writer

If you know the secret to brushing your teeth with a carrot, share it with the world! Seriously, the world needs quality content and valuable advice from experts. If you’ve become an expert in your field, start a blog and share your thoughts. Don’t worry about money when starting out because it may derail you from writing articles that readers will appreciate. Focus on your writing, and opportunities to monetize your blog will follow. You can also write for a number of other blogs and online publications.

Become a Copywriter

If you don’t like writing articles, but have a knack for writing short one liners that make great copy, you can become a part-time copywriter. There are many copywriting jobs available online and most of them are home based, so you can do it after work or on the weekends. Sites like UpWork and Freelancer are good jump off points to land projects.

Form a Band

If you’re passionate about music, can sing like Jagger or play an instrument at a professional level, you should consider either forming your own band or joining one. But this is way different from the band you formed in high school, because at the end of the day, you need to get paid for your efforts. Musicians get paid well, plus they get free booze, food and loads of attention. As a side hustle, you can have gigs every other night or strictly on weekends. As long as band duties don’t interfere with your work and family life, go live your dream as a rock star.

Become a Sound Engineer

If you can’t carry a tune to save your life and have no business behind any musical instrument, you can still have a side hustle that’s music related. You can try your luck as a Sound Engineer. What does a sound engineer do, exactly? According to retired Canadian Broadcasting Corp. sound engineer Joe Dudych, “SE’s are responsible for achieving artistic content in a recording or via a sound system in a live concert.” In short, music will be crap without a sound engineer behind the mixer. This side gig can actually turn out to be a more stable money maker that can replace your current job, so weigh your options.

Capture Moments as a Photographer

If photography is your hobby and you already have the hardware for it, try turning your hobby into a lucrative side hustle. Offer friends and family members to cover events for free to build up your portfolio. Once you have enough, you can market your services. The only issue here is events are fluid and don’t always happen after work or on the weekends. You can try to focus more on events that happen at night such as concerts or parties and if you become big enough, quit your job and do photography full time.

There are many artistic avenues you can explore if you know what you’re passionate about and are willing to do something about it. You need to have the courage to dive in when no one else is doing it and have the drive to keep your current job until your side hustle proves to be more lucrative. How about you? What would you rather be doing?

photo by:

Simple Celebrations for Christmas Savings

Like the fictional Cratchit family in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”, most of us realize that Christmas isn’t about the things that money can buy, yet even that family was excited to be able to have a big fat goose for Christmas dinner, courtesy of a reformed Scrooge.

Many children in North America experience a vastly different Christmas than the Cratchit family had, with brightly wrapped boxes filled with presents extending many yards out from under the tree into the living room; special Christmas outfits; and large store bought stockings filled with candy and toys. It seems that parents feel pressure to make Christmas present unwrapping last, even though the children rip and tear the paper off one present after another, not stopping to play with or thank the giver for the gift.

However, those probably won’t be the memories that come to mind when they are grown and parents themselves. Instead, they are more likely to think back fondly on the simple family celebrations and traditions your family has. Celebrations and traditions that don’t require massive outlays of money or stacks of presents under the tree.

What are some of these simple celebrations?

Decorate the house as a family.

Why decorate? Decorating sets the season apart for you and your family, letting you know with every glance that it is a special time of year.

Most of us put up at least some changes in decor (in addition to our Christmas tree), but you don’t need boxes of shiny ornaments or lighted moving yard scenes to make your home memorable at Christmas.

Whatever you do to decorate, whether it is to clip evergreen boughs and arrange them or have the kids draw Christmas trees on paper then cut them out and hang them around, whatever you do, make it a special event, a family event. Put on some Christmas music. Carry forward an old family tradition, telling the family story as your new family replicates it, or create a new tradition together as a family.

Celebrate your gratitude through giving.

It has been scientifically proven that folks who give get an endorphin spike, making them fell happy. Help your kids pick out toys they no longer want, to give to a local charity. Do a special giving project together and let the kids play a big part – whether it be trying to get on a list to serve together at the local soup kitchen or making and delivering cookies for an elder in a nursing home.

Establish a tradition to get the tree.

What you do each year to get and decorate that tree will be remembered! My family used to wait until late Christmas Eve, then hop in the car and find a tree lot still open. We would select the best tree, drag it home in the trunk and begin decorating together right away.

Perhaps you have an artificial tree, you can still make a tradition and a memory by getting it out together and decorating it. Or maybe, you have a family outing to go to a Christmas tree farm to cut your own.

Sing!

When the family gathers, sing Christmas songs together. When I was young, neighbors still went around in groups caroling in the neighborhood. Afterwards we would gather at one of the homes for cookies and hot chocolate. At family gatherings, we were each expected to prepare a performance of some sort to share with the family – whether it be to tell a story, read a bible verse, play an instrument or sing a song.

Attend a seasonal event together.

Almost all areas on the continent have special recurring Christmas events. Pick one and make it parr of your family holiday celebration.

For example, when I was little, our city still had huge downtown department stores – like Macy’s and Famous-Barr. These department stores decorated their windows to draw in the shoppers. The decorations included movable figures, model trains which passer bys could start and stop by pressing a special section of the glass and of course, music. Each year my aunts gave Mom and Dad a break and took us downtown to view the window magic. This was over 50 years ago and I still have those warm memories.

Tell readers what you remember most fondly from your Christmas past.