As a freelance artist in Berlin: Just under cash

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Art is an uncertain livelihood. It is not without reason that one speaks of the untold art. But art also comes from ability: someone who manages to live by his art must be particularly good, a special master. Perhaps this is why many arts are regarded as a particularly desirable profession: one wants to prove oneself, despite all the unknowns, that one has managed to live from art. But how do you do that?

As a freelance artist in Berlin: Knapp at cashier Carola-Rümperer

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


The study does not prepare for the profession

One thing Carola Rümperer has to clarify right from the start: As an artist, you are only creative up to 50 percent of the time. The other time goes for networking and administrative work. Rümper works as a visual artist in her own studio in Berlin-Marzahn.

But simply, she admits, the way was not. Especially the study of art, which she completed in Osnabrück and Enschede, she had insufficiently prepared for the independent professional activity as an artist: "

Learning content in the study

During my studies, I mainly learned art styles and techniques. But I did not realize that I would later work independently and what that means - about dealing with insurance, legal and tax issues.

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Or that I have to market myself and therefore have to approach people, "complains Carola the omissions of her education.

Law, taxes, marketing

After studying, she therefore initially sought a tax consultant and joined the trade union ver.di. They offer members legal advice and protection, among otherswhen it comes to membership in the favorable artist social insurance or pension insurance issues. Carola found it far more difficult to establish herself as an artist on the market.

"The most important thing as an artist is to stand out and stand out from the crowd, because the competition is big. This works by creating your own profile, repeatedly applying for scholarships, exhibiting, printing catalogs, establishing contacts and creating your own projects. Of course, this is very time-consuming, costs time, money - and it can take many years to succeed. "

The Internet simplifies many things

In the beginning, Carola did not even know how to start. Therefore, she first sought advice from artist magazines such as "Atelier". Today with the Internet, it's easier: The Federal Association of Visual Artists eV and the Association of the Communities of Artists and Art Promoters eV for example, provide information on competitions, invitations to tender and current events as well as numerous contact addresses on their websites.

Another way to inform and exchange social networks like Xing or Facebook, which Carola finds however too unspecific. Much more important for the Berlin artist are the local contacts, for example with potential sponsors, local politicians or foundations that decide on the next project financing.

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Create unique selling points

But also the contact to other artists, with whom Carola can communicate creatively, is important. Carola runs her studio together with a photographer. Her artistic unique selling point are the "Rümperiens", mythical creatures with black skin, which the artist knows since her childhood in the North German plain and now imitates.

An idea that has already led to numerous scholarships, among others in Egypt and Russia. And she has also received the current studio in Berlin-Marzahn as part of a funding program. Who wants to take a look at their art: Carola Rümperer has compiled a small catalog in PDF format: Carola Rümper_Luxus of the biodiversity 2011

Tedious bureaucracy

In order to do so, however, lengthy application processes are necessary, as state and municipal funds are very scarce in Berlin, which is why Carola has to write regular financing plans for some applications.

At the moment, she is preparing a catalog, which is under pressure by the Cultural Office; in order to save costs, Carola will have to layout it himself - that means that she also had to work in software programs like Photoshop.

Clean up with wrong ideas

"The real work as an artist - creative in the studio - takes in the end only a maximum of 50 percent of everyday professional life. The rest of the time is spent on bureaucracy, computer work, finding sponsors, organizing projects and maintaining contacts, "

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confronts Carola Rümper with false ideas. Even though Carola is still sure that she has found her traumber in art, she advises young people with artistic ambitions to re-examine their professional desires.

Subsistence or secure existence?

"As an artist, one often lives close to the subsistence level. Therefore, one should think early on how to secure financially. And you should also think about family planning and retirement planning in good time.

Precisely because your own interests change again and again in the course of life, it can Sense have to look for alternatives in similar jobs that may be better paid. "

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    Hello World, dear Carola Rümperer,

    I am a little disappointed that even free artists, or as you call them, are so caught up in financial and social security.
    Perhaps it is because of the Abitur (which I could also enjoy), or because of the stadion, that you have apparently successfully completed.

    I'm just going another way.
    I have the financial security through the social legislation of Germany and of course the GG or our constitution in Germany.
    I would also call myself "FREE Artist", my stage name is "∞".
    Of course, this is not an easy path, but if this were the focus, I could have continued to work as IT SYSTEMADMINISTRATOR.

    I enjoy true freedom for the first time in my life, because I have nothing to lose, at least nothing material.
    Sure, I also need money to buy me goodies at my dealer, I've got ne apartment (albeit with a funny frustrated termination to the 20 this month - but for what there are courts and lawyers) but Hey, you did not in school learned to read legal texts?

    My (Michael Waerder) official status is:

    unable to work, exhibited by my neurologist, wg. a bipolar disorder, which I now since 1996 rumschleppe with me (-:
    at least the finances are bearable for the next few months, after that I am entitled to ALG 1 for a few more months, and afterwards, like any other German who is handicapped, I am entitled to Hartz IV or benefits from social services.

    I do not know yet, if I'll register a trade on my stage name someday- I do not give a shit, I think you can accept gifts of money up to a certain amount, otherwise I would have to specify these in the tax return, which I usually do myself.

    Do not get me wrong, I do not want to make my way over yours, maybe it's just different paths with the same goal?

    So, now delicious breakfast stuff and then look what the rest day and the night from the 13.08.2015 to the 14.08.2015 so brings.

    see you later

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