Clare Bowditch and team have come up with a first-aid kit for financially ailing creative people
Are you the sort of person who presents your accountant with a sculpture of scrumpled receipts once a year? Wait… are you the sort of person who doesn’t file their tax returns at all?
It’s time to stop sticking your head in the sand (hmm…. sand… could you make something out of that?) and seek some help. As singer-songwriter Bowditch knows, us “right-brainers” need help when it comes to the practical shit. To that end, for the second year running she’s assembled some crack left-brain accountants, grant experts and lawyers who “speak artist”, to help.
This ‘(un-)conference’ (so prefixed because it’s a lovely affair in the Regal Ballroom with flowers a-blooming all over the place) can teach you to build a long career without feeling like you’ve sold out; how to negotiate your worth to record companies and galleries; and who to get on board to help you with the business side of things. Guest speakers will include Missy Higgins, Frankie editor Jo Walker, blogger Pip Lincolne, artist Beci Orpin and Canadian entrepreneur Danielle La Porte.
“For me, there came a point where I thought, I’m dying inside this corporate environment, this call centre,” Bowditch recalls. “If you can get it in your head that it’s not selfish to do what you love and that it’s something that contributes to the world, then you’ve got half a chance.”
The breakthrough for Bowditch came while thinking about Laurie Anderson and Patti Smith, and the positive impact that these artists had on her life. That they would have packed it all in early through self-doubt or lack of finances was unthinkable. And so, Bowditch has delayed the release of her next album to focus on Big-Hearted Business for a spell.
The ticket price covers the costs of the two-day event (including some top-class meals from Joost) and also funds the free ‘Inspiration Bomb’ videos that go online every two weeks throughout the year. These are accessible to anyone, and might have advice from accountants, solicitors, or established creatives such as Claudia Karvan.