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Okay, very quick intro if you have no clue who we are. We write weekly reviews and essays on art and games on this site, and because of our… creative acumen ?? we sometimes do freelance bits and bobs on top of that.
We never thought it could be a job that we make actual money from. Honestly, we started the whole thing as a joke and now it's real. But working in the creative industries as 2 self-employed people has been a ride. And it’s funny saying that because no one is making us do this, but we came to love it and care about the work and realised we wanted to figure out how to make it sustainable.
I know a lot of people just keep all this stuff to themselves, keep it a mystery. But we published our accounts pretty early on because we were getting invited into art schools to do lectures and every university offered a different speaker’s fee. It drove us a bit mad. Some would try to dip out on paying travel or say they could only pay us one fee that we would have to split between the two of us. As sooooon as we published our accounts, that ceased to be an issue, and not just with universities but with other people looking to hire us for anything. We could point at our public accounts here on this website and they would have to treat us properly. The other reason for publishing was because it’s just useful to have a reference for these things when so few speak about what they get paid in the visual arts. So yep, hope it’s useful. Or if it isn’t useful, hope you enjoy having a nose.
So there’s two things going on here. We write and we pick up odd freelance work when possible. On the former, all our Patreon support covers the writing and general administration of the white pube; that’s a new text every Sunday here on the site in a written version, an audio one, and more recently we have been filming them for IGTV too. We post on Instagram daily, endless stories and tweets, and do a lot of admin to set jobs up for ourselves and others - mentor and help artists/writers as best we can; do a bit of work for free to help other platforms make content as well. Patreon also covers payments for our web residents (payments we are backdating because the residency began when the white pube did, before income and payments were even a possibility for us - it’s taking a while to pay everyone but it’s happening gradually). As of this summer, we set up The White Pube shop which has been a shock success to us and something we want to build on because - - - with regards to freelance work, it’s been very difficult over the past few years to manage that. Mostly, it’s meant travelling very long ways and days to do £100 worth of speaking or teaching, which doesn’t make sense business wise and also p bad for the environment. This year, we have made an effort to cut down on freelance work and be more selective over what we do. Ideally, we want some long-term or regular stuff and luckily that’s finally falling into place! Check the accounts for the mad narrative we’ve been rolling on since 2015. We are working with Lover Management to figure some of this out and I never thought we would be Professional like that but we are 26. ahhh. We want to finally capitalise on the size of our audience so we can bring more money in. Might be able to save up for a deposit on a house, pay a mortgage, buy a nice coat and a good dog. I have a weird amount of shame in my fingers and my cheeks as I write that, but I would love for this to become real security. We’re excited about getting ourselves into a position where we can give back, and it’s just starting now and it’s going to get better and better :)
We both have part-time day jobs that have lost hours and budgets because of covid boooooooo, would have been fucked without our Patreon income over lockdown. Honestly.
Thank you to all our Patreon gang and if you have any questions let us know, we are an open book > [email protected]
This year, with Gab getting Covid & then having Long Covid, we've had to readjust the way we go about work and getting paid.
This year, around 75-90% of our monthly income comes from Patreon, and we take on the odd freelance job here and there if we can/want to. As we move into the 2nd half of 2021, we are focusing on longer term, big jobs, where Gab can pace herself and we can split labour in a way that accommodates her access requirements. Either those long term jobs, or commissions n writing we can just squirrel away under our belts. Maybe the odd freelance boi if we really want to here n there.
also !!! in April, we officially registered as a partnership and got a joint bank account for official TWP bisniss. We'll now file our taxes as a joint TWP entity, courtesy of our lovely accountants, n the admin is 100% easier. The joint account means we invoice together, leave it in the TWP account, manage our outgoings and can run ourselves a more regular paycheck at the end of the month. We can save up for big projects, set aside chunks for regular expenses and be ambitious about future plans. It feels more grown up, financially responsible, and sustainable. It's wild imo, but we're glad for it!
As a result of this shift, our public accounts are probably less helpful at giving you all an idea of what our income looks like month on month, since the lil odd freelance jobs it keeps track of have become a smaller part of the work we do. Soooo, please find below, the spreadsheet we use to keep track of income and expenses for our accountants. Hopefully it's more useful and representative, gives you an idea of how we practically keep ourselves up n running and what the reality of being ~independent art critics~ looks like for us as we go into our (omg) SEVENTH year of being TWP.