Finance: From art to start-up: How to turn passion into profit

Nauusong debate kung realistic ba ang advice na “Do what you love” when it comes to work.

Para sa iba, kailangan may passion ka sa trabaho para maging successful. Kontra naman ng ilan, you should learn how to be practical and professional, lalo na kung ilang years ka pa lang naman nagtra-trabaho.

What if your interest lies in the arts? Marami ang nasa field katulad ng photography, design, film, music, or creative writing na on the side lang. Part ng problem nila ang fear kung paano kumita without selling out.

But according to photographer and entrepreneur Heidi Pascual-Aquende, owner ng Black Ink Productions, posible naman ang ganitong practice without compromising your craft.

1. Take the leap

“Matagal ko nang gustong maging professional photographer. I took the leap nung naging confident na ako with my work,” kwento ni Heidi, “at nung sa tingin ko’y kaya ko nang ma-serve yung demands ng possible clients, at matapos ko ring napag-aralan yung industry na napasukan ko.”

She first worked in the publishing industry as an editorial assistant before resigning to freelance as a photographer. Now, fulltime na si Heidi sa kanyang business—taking photographs, doing layouts for shoots for various media, and even operating a photography studio.


For her, the work is still similar, production-wise. “Except lang na hindi ko inisip na malaking factor yung karunungan sa business,” sabi niya. “I’m not just an artist but also an entrepreneur. I had to learn how to do taxes and compute and read financial statements.”

2. Collaborate, not compromise

Advice ni Heidi sa mga artist, let go of the mindset that you lower the standards of your work when you turn art into business. Kapag may nag-hire at nagbayad sa iyo mag-design o mag-drawing, for example, think of it positively.     

“Dapat tingnan ang commissioned work as a collaboration among many individuals. In my case, I work with the client, art director, stylist,” sabi niya. “And if the client understands your work, they will also be open to take suggestions from the artist.”

Ganitong business philosophy rin ang kailangan to sustain your startup. According to Heidi, hindi pwedeng mag-focus lang sa art. “If you want to make a living out of it, you have to accept that you’re also an entrepreneur,” she says. Dagdag niya, pag-aralan ang ibang aspects ng trabaho, gaya ng sales, marketing, administrative work, at iba pa.

3. Be passionate but professional

Once you’ve accepted you’re more than an artist, mas open ka rin matuto at maging team player. “You have to learn to handle your finances and market your work,’ says Heidi.

If you are weak in these areas, pwede rin naman mag-hire ng professionals bilang investment, gaya ng mga accountants at lawyers.

Even if you’re now self-employed, kailangan mo pa rin ang pakikisama to move up. “Network, connect with people, collaborate, show people your work,” says Heidi. “In other words, always market yourself and your work. No one will hire you if they don’t know what you can do.”

And finally, no such thing as ‘moods’ pagdating sa trabaho, kahit sa art. “Be professional,” payo niya.

This applies not only to your product as an artist but also your presentation. “Some artists come to work in tattered clothes and in slippers, not caring about their appearance. Artists should learn how to dress professionally,” sabi ni Heidi.

Hindi uubra ang mga ganitong stereotype. Flexible ang mga artist sa kanilang ideas, pero pagdating sa schedule, kailangan ng discipline.

“Come on time. Submit work on time,” according to Heidi.

When you’re ready to follow these steps, you can live your dream of making money from doing what you love. Hindi lang pala para sa sarili ang iyong art. Pwedeng may market at maging negosyo pa ito.



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