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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.
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.
aug 2023 update:
We continue to rely massively on support directly from our readers in the form of Patreon subs, and one-off donations on Paypal and Ko-Fi. We have a Discord server now so any £ support however little grants the person entry to a lovely online community. I like this a lot because I benefit from it massively! We also got a book deal in 2022 which keen eyes might have spotted on the accounts spreadsheet above. But it was not enough money to stop freelance work and focus on writing, which is the aim – financially, but also… physically? Since I got sick, the freelance race only makes me sicker. Just got to hope that the book, when it comes out next year, does in fact earn us enough money to be writers without taking on all the odd bits and bobs (bits and bobs that have not risen with inflation at all, yikes). Hopefully we earn out, sell well, earn royalties, and get more advances to write more books. I want to say ‘otherwise, I’m gonna have to get another job’ but my illness means I don’t know what else I can actually do? Deep breaths 8-)