Can you make a living as an artist?
I know that was my parents’ question when I said that I wanted to drop out of my business program at my Big 10 university and go to art school. But the writing bug, the muse, was calling me and I knew I had to make the change. I didn’t know if I was going to write the next great American novel or if I was sealing my fate as a bartender / barista that would sometimes hit up poetry open mics.
In the end, it worked out. I used my skills as a writer to grow my freelance business and eventually launch Kaye Publicity. I could use my artistic skills to help other writers launch their own successful creative careers.
When I speak to the writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other artists I went to college with, many of them are working day jobs while working on their art as side hustles or hobbies. Some have left the artistic world completely.
But a few, hardworking and determined few, have managed to earn their livings as working artists.
My guest today is Phil Circle, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in Chicago. Phil has always preferred to pursue his career on his terms, mostly by disregarding the much sought-after “record label” in favor of his own, booking more intimate venues that appreciate the musician and his work, and receiving radio play on stations all over the country and world that look for independent talent.
Back in 2015, after much "you should write these stories down" from friends and music fans, Phil finally took the stories he'd been telling about his life in music and put them to the page. This became a collection of stories, and thoughts on the business and craft of music called The Outback Musician's Survival Guide.
Today, he earns his living through recording, performing, teaching, and writing…and he wouldn’t change a thing.
Visit philcirclemusic.com to learn more about his music, his classes, and his writing.