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How To: Finance Your Artwork

Financing your passion for creating art can be expensive and can be a cause of stress for many artists. Thankfully, artists have access to a couple of different kinds of loan types in order to help them, such as credit cards, micro-loans, lines of credit, installment loans, and registration loans.

The rest of this article will dive into factors artists should think about in terms of financing, what each type of loan offers, and which loans for artists may be the best for them and why. 

Why Might an Artist Need a Loan?

Most artists choose this career path because they are passionate about art and fully recognize that they may struggle financially at the beginning of their careers. Young artists are well prepared to work for low incomes, work second jobs, and end up sacrificing themselves for their art. What if they didn’t have to?

What if artists could work on what they are passionate about without worrying about where the startup costs will come from?

Unfortunately, the art sector has had a crisis with funding for many years, leaving many artists unable to pay for the training and education they need, the materials they have to use, and the space they must have to work on their art. Because of this, many projects have been created to help artists, such as the National Artist Relief Fund, helping certain artists get the help they need.

Without artists, we would miss out on so much creativity. We wouldn’t have beautiful buildings, impressive paintings, and beautiful pieces in our homes. And yet somehow artists are always the people struggling. Over time, the arts have gone through an enormous cultural and social shift, providing challenges to artists as well as other opportunities to fund their art.

Artists have found themselves having to figure out whether they should sacrifice their happiness to work for a grant with awful rules or work with a corporate sponsor, possibly sacrificing their reputation, but it does not have to be that way.

Artists can fund their work and their passion in other ways as more financial service companies offer great loans to keep artists on their feet and doing what they are passionate about.

What Type of Costs do Artists Have to Account for?

Artists may face a plethora of costs. Many artists use loans to pay for the following:

  • To fund education and training. This can be through overdrafts, credit cards, and loans.
  • The purchase of live-work through a mortgage, or even updates and renovations to it. An artist may also need to update their own home to accommodate their new career, like getting a new desk, storage space or a studio. Sometimes, when their home cannot accommodate it, they may have to make some larger renovations.
  • Studio space - If an artist does not want to work in their home, they will have to find a professional environment. Some may want to find a private studio space to buy through a mortgage or rent, which will have advantages and disadvantages completely dependent on the person. Either way, this can cost someone hundreds of dollars a month even on the low end.
  • Large-scale specialist equipment (such as darkroom facilities) can be bought using a loan.
  • Art supplies- These can add up. Canvas, paints, frames… they all cost a lot of money, especially if an artist is buying good, quality products. Although costly, these things are the most important part of an artist’s job and must be purchased.
  • An artist may have to travel to work, especially if they are doing work for someone else, like a mural. This is a cost that adds up fast, and many artists may think about turning a job down simply because they cannot afford all the equipment and travel costs before they get paid for the project itself.
  • Agent fees- many artists have agents, even small ones. If an artist is trying to sell their work, they may have to invest in an agent first, who will help them build their brand, spread the word, and in turn make more money. Taking out a loan to pay for an agent who will in the long run make them more money is a great investment!
  • Promotional expenses- an artist will not make any money if they have no promotion. This can be free, such as word of mouth, but that will only go so far. Many artists have some type of promotional expense, even if it is just fees associated with going to different markets to show their work.
  • Insurance- Many artists are self-employed and need insurance to enable them to keep making art full-time. Although this may not seem like a large expense, it is something that may factor into the growing stress artists feel about their finances. Applying for a loan to help alleviate some of these small issues may be the way to go!
  • Membership fees- if an artist is a member of any kind of professional organization, they may need to keep the fee in their budget. The perks of these organizations can be workspaces, contacts, resources, and discounts, which are so important to new artists but can be expensive.
  • Slow periods- Most artists are not going to be making a vast amount of money all the time and must account for any slow periods where they have no work. Although well-established artists may not have slow periods, it could be crippling to a new artist who has not saved up enough money to make up for it.

Factors Artists Need to Consider Before Taking Out a Loan 

An important part of considering whether to get a loan is figuring out if you can pay it back. When considering ways to finance your art, you should think about the following:

  • If you can afford to repay- Loans are a wonderful way to pay for a course, opportunity, and materials, but you need to make sure that you are confident in your ability to pay it back. Take a look at your finances and make sure that you are earning a sufficient income that will cover repayments for the whole life of the loan. 
  • The total amount the loan will cost you- When taking out a loan, you should consider the possible arrangement fees. If you miss a repayment will this cost you? You should look over the entire set of terms for taking out the loan before agreeing, making sure that you are able to meet them. 
  • If you can convince the lender that you can repay- Dependent on the lender you choose, you may be expected to show how you will be repaying the loan. This means that you may have to show how you are using the loan to generate income, such as a business plan, cash-flow projection, or budget. 

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Can Artists Apply for Government Loans?

They can! Government loans for artists are always changing, so individuals should check out their current information, but many government loans are not limited. For example, a Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage is not limited to a first-time homeowner. These loans have income caps and limits on the amount they can receive, and sometimes include way more criteria that individuals must meet to receive the loan.

Is Financing your Art an Option?

Financing art can be a valid option an artist can investigate, but it may take a long time for someone's art to be worth anything, which will still require much of the initial startup costs. Some banks offer the ability to finance artwork by borrowing as much as half the value of the appraised artwork.

What is a Registration Loan?

A registration loan is a type of personal loan that uses your vehicle registration as collateral. This is used to obtain up to $1,250 in cash and does not require you to own a car outright. This is not a widely used type of loan, but for Arizona-based artists, it’s a loan offered.

All you need to get a registration loan in the state of Arizona is a valid Arizona driver’s license, an active checking account, and your Arizona Motor Vehicle Registration in your name. Your loan decision can be viewed instantly online unless we require you to verify additional information. 

What is a Line of Credit?

A line of credit is similar to a credit card or flex loan and is custom-made by you. You can borrow what you need up to the limit that is set. This is great if you may not know how much money you will need, and you don’t want to collect interest on funds you did not need.

Simple Fast Loans offers lines of credit up to $2,000 in Alabama, and lines of credit from $200-$1,500 in Tennessee. 

These are ideal for artists because once they start to pay back the funds, they are available again. Your credit limit will be determined by your credit score, income, and state laws. 

Through Simple Fast Loans, you can set up automated payments for the minimum amount so you can manage your loan easily. You are also able to make additional payments or pay in full without penalties or extra cost.

What are Installment Loans?

Installment loans are a type of loan where an individual borrows a set amount of money, all at once. They can repay the loan over a fixed number of payments. Most of these types of loans have fixed payment amounts, so you can be sure that you will be paying the same amount throughout the life of the loan. 

If you need cash and need it fast, sometimes dealing with the complicated process of a personal loan can be too much. Installment loans are made online, they’re simple, fast, and hassle-free. 

The amount of your installment loan will be dependent on your income, your ability to repay, and the laws of your state. When applying, you will be able to view the terms and fees before you sign your online installment loan documents. 

Which States Could I Get an Installment Loan in?

Simple Fast Loans offer installment loans in Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

How Quickly Would I be Able to Get my Loan?

If you signed for your loan before 2:00 PM Eastern Time on a bank day, you could typically see the loan hit your bank account the same day. If it is after that time, you can expect to see it the following day.

What Is The Best Kind of Loan for Artists?

The best kind of loan for an artist will differ depending on the individual, but most of the time, installment loans will be the most cost-effective, helpful loan an artist can receive. They will ensure that the artist is able to work on art that makes them happy, giving them the freedom to express themselves without limitations, while allowing flexible repayment periods, and a stress-free application process.

Artists have a lot to consider when thinking about getting a loan, and the amount they need has many factors. Many artists may not need as much money as some! Each loan should be customized to the individual. They are not one size fits all.

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