We asked some of the sharpest creatives we know to share their insights with us about how folks can best go about generating a full-time living from their artistic or creative careers.

Oladipo Oyediran | Igimeji Artist

Alec Garner

I am fast approaching this status! Igimeji, Group nameless and Ladi as a solo musician are 3 pieces of the puzzle to that. I am available to be hired to perform for other artists, and My projects have found different niches and contacts that ensure we’re able to find at least 10-15 shows a month that pay. The trick is diversify where and how you can be used musically, and continually build with contacts there and anywhere else your sound can be appreciated.

About me: I perform in local bands all around DFW

Mandy Guilfoyle | Musician, Educator, Writer, and Entrepreneur

Making a living with music isn’t easy, and it isn’t straightforward, either. It has taken two decades of practicing, networking, performing, working, and creating to figure out what works. It really takes ambition and dedication to exclusively make a living with the arts, especially in this strange covid world we live in. Realistically, I’ve combined teaching music lessons with performing as a freelancer and running my business and non-profit to make a living. The career of a musician is always changing- while people in stagnant careers may stay at the same job for many, many years, musicians end up doing lots of different jobs, working for many different people. It’s good to be ready for change at any moment! Orchestras shut down, schools shut down- you never know what might happen to a musician’s career. The most important thing that has helped propel my career has been networking. It’s so important to make good connections with all kinds of people! You never know who might help give you an opportunity in the future.

About me: I am a cellist, music teacher, the Founder and Director of Texas Music Institute, and the Executive Director of Cypress Chamber Orchestra.

Kayla Watters | Independent Hairstylist

Photographer: Brittany Deville, Client pictured: Nhu Nguyen

When I finished cosmetology I took a leap of faith jumping straight into being an independent hair stylist. I didn’t have any clientele immediately after school so I had to build from the ground up. I won’t give away all my secrets, but Instagram is an INCREDIBLE tool for finding clients. I spent all summer 2019 reaching out to people and had my first month (September 2019) at Panther City Salon was completely booked! I kept the grind going to keep building. After only working there for about a year and a half my fiancé and I moved to Wichita Falls. I did the same thing and began building through Instagram. Now, I work full time in Wichita Falls and Re:vive Salon and travel to Fort Worth once a month to take my clients! Starting over definitely was a scary thing, but this whole experience really showed me I can do hair anywhere. Not only that, but it opened up an opportunity to travel. The biggest obstacle through this was getting in my head that maybe I couldn’t do it. I just tried taking it day by day and it got easier and easier. Now I have a good rhythm going. I also believe honesty and communication can go a long way. My clients in Fort Worth were incredibly supportive of my transition and were patient while I was trying to figure out a solution for them. Panther City Salon gave me so much grace and support during this time as well. Fear is a crazy thing, but some of my best successes in life so far have come from facing them head on.

About me: I am a traveling independent hair stylist working in Fort Worth and Wichita Falls Texas – Providing various color services with your hair health as my #1 priority!