Anya Anastasia's Open Letter About The Challenges Of Making A Career As An Independent Artist

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Ahead of a tour of the UK, and after recent shows in Adelaide and Melbourne, Adelaide independent artist Anya Anastasia pens an open letter about the challenges facing fringe artists to carve a niche in a highly-competitive industry.

So come behind the veil and see how an independent performer can rise from Adelaide to the world.

It’s no secret that it's incredibly challenging to make a career out of being an artist. You have to be constantly open to possibilities, and be humble in receiving and asking for assistance whilst also non-stop putting yourself out there.

In my pursuit of viable sustainable practise in the arts, I apply every single ounce of my creativity to my business as well as my creative practice.

Creative thinkers have an entrepreneurial advantage, but in the case of the artist this cherishable attribute is often buried in self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness. As well as this, there is often a desire to separate art and finance so that the art remains completely ungoverned, uncensored.

But if we can learn to experiment in the business side of our art form (the way we experiment creatively), we learn to see unusual possibilities for new ways forward that rather than compromise artistic integrity, it can enhance it; it might even connect us more directly to our audiences and keeps us completely in the driver’s seat.

That’s when doors open; not always pre-existing doors. We may have to invent them: doors of the mind, doors to the next impossibly high-altitude plateaus of creativity, or doors to the next handful of dollars that will keep the wheels from falling off.

The trick is never to say “I don’t believe in fairies” or else the wild and magical beast that is your creativity, in both enterprise and art, will plummet to its death and you have to start all over again.

I am about to undertake my biggest project to date. I’m touring my show Rogue Romantic to London and then on to Edinburgh Fringe Festival to perform every night for a month in one of the greatest cabaret venues on the planet: Assembly Checkpoint.

This is a huge undertaking, both financially and logistically (as you can see explained on my crowdfunding page).

So how can I achieve the impossible this time? It’s a combination of MANY threads, used to weave this intricate and beautiful tapestry.

In this instance, I’ve turned to my fans engaging them in all sorts of madcap fundraising initiatives and inviting people to be involved. I am not asking for donations, instead I’m offering all sorts of weird and wonderful 'services'.

I’m doing house concerts, offering dates with myself as a painted, golden lady, offering postcards sent from London, all sorts of interesting and outrageous stunts and services to creatively generate the capital to get this show on the road.

On top of that my calendar is full of work as a roving performer and gigs on as many nights as I can, ranging from corporate clients to community engagements.

Finally, I was also fortunate enough to be the runner up in the Made In Adelaide award at the Adelaide Fringe to go towards my touring costs. This is an initiative that is sponsored by Arts SA and I am 1 of 35 South Australian artists along with 25 companies, producers and venues being supported by this delegation aimed at pushing Adelaide’s festivals overseas and increasing cultural tourism to Adelaide.

The truth is, despite the combination of ticket sales and top-up grants such as the Made In Adelaide funding, there are still massive gaps to fill in a budget to make such a project as an international tour a reality.

In running a crowdfunding campaign, it feels as though I am crowd-surfing: I jumped! I took the opportunity to keep sharing my work and reach a broader audience, and many hands have come out from the woodwork to push me onward and keep me up. I don’t quite know how it’s working, but so far, so good! I BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!

Join me! Follow my page and watch the experimenting unfold! Watch the wonderfully bizarre video we made for it!

Anya Anastasia UK Tour CrowdFunding Pitch from Anya Anastasia on Vimeo

Let’s do this!
Humbly. Excitedly. Thank you.

Anya

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