So am I just talking about self-producing? To some extent, yes, but that is a small part of a larger process. But if you want to be independent, to control the means of production, to not have to ask for permission in order to create, then eventually you will need to self-produce.
However, as I see it now, there are three broad aspects of achieving creative independence, and each is connected. You can’t just choose one and hope that’ll do it. They are intertwined.
The three broad areas for consideration are:
- Cost of Living: this involves the collection of choices you make that essentially is the equivalent of “overhead.” It involves how much you pay for a roof over your head, how much you spend to eat, what consumer choices you make, and so forth. This is something you are in complete control of.
- Cost of Production: this involves all expenditures related to the creativity you practice. Studios, rehearsal space, how much you spend on costumes/sets/lights, publicity, how many people are involved, performance space, and so forth. How many resources does it take for you to create?
- Business Model: how you support the expenses of the first two areas. You’ll notice that I didn’t write, “How you make money from your art.” There are many different ways to support your creative activities without thinking solely in terms of dollars coming in.
The goal of all of this is for you to have the time and the resources to create the work you want to create.