Four different ways to fund your creative dreams

Camera LenseMany people have ideas for creative projects, but then they realise there is one big problem – the need for upfront capital. For professional innovative enterprises, and it has never been simple to achieve this dream, this is merely a part of the job.

However, if you are pursuing your project as a hobby, it can be more challenging to raise the required cash. Of course, harder does not mean it is impossible! This article provides some information on the different ways to fund a creative dream.

#1:  Renting Out Equipment
Throughout your project, you may have gathered an extensive collection of equipment (mainly if you are a videographer or photographer). When you are not using film, photography or TV equipment, it will sit in the corner collecting dust.

One method you can use to make the gear work for you is by renting it to others. For instance, another photographer may require a particular lens or second camera.  If you have the specific gear they need, why not make some money by renting it out?

According to wedding celebrant Jermaine Clark, the internet has made renting gear to others simpler than ever. Having seen creative ways for couples to source photography gear for weddings, he recommends “try becoming a member of different photography groups on Facebook. Every few weeks another member posts about wanting to rent equipment. Try searching for these different groups on Facebook and see if there are local groups for your project. Tell people what you have available and the rates for renting it; however, you must ensure the equipment first.”

Facebook is a great marketing tool, and you can use Facebook groups to make your life easier.

#2:  Become A Teacher
“If you can’t do, teach; and if you can’t teach, teach gym.” This quote from School of Rock The Musical can ring true in specific industries, but this is not true when dealing with creative work. If your creative project has a particular style or look, people will remain interested in learning how you do what you are doing. People have been known to make money by helping others learn about their project. One of the simplest methods is to begin a blog and write some tutorials on your work. You can then monetise your blog to earn some income.

Several high-quality and free ‘sign up’ blogging services can now be found across the internet.  Using large blogging sites such as WordPress, Tumbler, Blogger and Posterous, you can increase the popularity of your blog as the number of subscribers increase.  It wasn’t always this easy.

More teaching options are available by running hands-on workshops, a photo-walk, one-on-one sessions and anything else you can think of. If you are good at what you choose to do, you will always find people willing to pay to learn about your skills and knowledge.

#3:  Grants, Prizes And Scholarships
There are various organisations offering scholarships, prizes for creative work and different types of grants. For instance, the local council in my area run photo competitions each year and my alma mater provide the option of a creative scholarship. The awards are not significant, but they are substantial to fund smaller creative projects.

Unfortunately, one problem with this option includes strict requirements. Your artwork may need to meet specific criteria to be considered eligible. For example, a local photography competition sets a particular theme each year, and you must be a student to enter.

Despite these challenges, it is recommended that you keep an eye on organisations in your area or online competitions. The smaller competitions can be better because they are easier to win; however, small events only have small prizes.

#4:  Use Credit
In some cases, you may have a fantastic idea and need to move quickly to complete it. For instance, you may need to shoot at a specific time of year but do not have the cash on hand. In this situation, it is recommended that you use credit cards or take out a loan to fund the plan.

The majority of artists, particularly filmmakers, started their careers by using credit to fund their project. If you have time, a peer-to-peer or personal time can offer more beneficial terms than credit cards. Of course, the credit card option is considered more convenient.

According to credit loan provider Max Funding, Using personal loans online and peer-to-peer lending can alter the course of your project.  They explain “various services now available on the market to allow lenders to provide people with credit.  This helps borrowers gain access to required funding without contacting their bank. This type of credit option is shaking up the finance game.”

It is crucial to consider all options for funding before entering debt for a creative project. If the project is not time-sensitive, it may be best to be patient and save money as funding. If this is not an option, you need to identify how much you will need to repay, so you do not lose your house in the process!

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