WHO IS THE ARTIST’S ADMIN?
It’s time for introductions! Hi, I’m Aiden, and I’m a costumer, writer, and administrative professional. I have over a decade of experience as an office manager, executive assistant, and admin with knowledge in sales, digital & print marketing, social media, art production, promotion, conventions & events, and beyond. I have my bachelor’s degree in English and my Master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
My clients are artists, makers, crafters, and creatives of all kinds to help them run their creative businesses. As a creative, working for yourself means you have to not only create your product or art, but also be an accountant, editor, marketing expert, and promoter. The result is spending so much time on the business of your art that you have no time or energy to do the thing you love!
Weird mutant abilities
I feel a bit like I have super powers – my knowledge and ability to see both sides of the equation! My right brain and left brain work together allowing me to be highly detail oriented and analytical while ALSO being creative. I’ve decided to take my weirdness, varied experience, and passion and use those powers for good!
Who, what, where?
Currently, I’m based near Los Angeles, CA, where I live with my husband, my teenage daughter, my ex (yes, you read that right), one other dear friend, 4 cats, and 1 rabbit. Such is life in LA, it takes 4 adults to afford a 3 bedroom rental!
I’m a big nerd, an unabashed geek and fan. In addition to comics, movies, and other pop-culture goodness, I have a passion for costuming & cosplay, travel, and animals.
I’m trans, queer, and genderfluid. I nerd out over fantasy and sci fi and superheroes. Sometimes I screech like a pteradactyl. I’m the old man at your party who falls asleep on your couch between other guests at 10pm. I’m a helpful Hufflepuff with some Slytherin tendancies (and a Slytherin child and great friends from that house). I’ve been described as compassionate and creative and also an old soul (so old I fall asleep at parties). I sometimes bite my friends shoulders out of love. I’m a liminal being and time seems to work weirdly around me.
I’m gay married. Yes, I’m specifying. Because my queer identity is tied up into who I am and if you are for some reason someone who doesn’t think we should be married, you probably don’t want to work with me.
My hubby (Fiendish Thingy Art) and I travel to cons, co-create two web comics, and love to enjoy food and movies. And if we could, we’d probably have a whole farm of rescued animals.
We are both still trudging along with day jobs, trying to make ends meet and pay debt down all while still trying to be creative and grow our art and creativity into a full time lifestyle. I’m not here to promise freedom and total success. What I CAN offer is admin help and the technical business info I know. I can promise passion and honesty about our struggles and our successes. I can promise you I care as much about your business success as you do.
A Whole lot of why
I’ve always been the one in the supporting role, happy to avoid the spotlight and happy to watch others succeed while I stay back in the shadows. It’s the reason my focus changed from acting onstage to costuming. Well, that and my ridiculous passion for it long before I understood it was something I could actually do for work as well as fun.
I still love supporting. I love seeing people succeed and knowing I had the tiniest, even uncredited role in that. Heck, I feel pride in creative success whether I’ve ever helped them or not. Everyone who follows their passion is a person I’m proud of.
While I have always been GOOD at business, I was not passionate about the companies or products I was doing the work FOR. I was giving all of my time and energy to projects that gave me no real joy, and it was all on someone else’s agenda. I longed for a way to be in business for myself.
Meanwhile, I was watching my artist hubby struggle with the paperwork and background side of turning his art into a business. I jumped in and started helping him, eventually taking on the majority of the business side so he could focus on creating new art. As his sales improved and he produced more art, he was happier, and I realized I was too! Seeing him make progress toward succeeding in his goals to be a full time artist made me happier than any job I’d ever had.
an idea forms
As I put my skills and experience to work for him, and another artistic business friend approached me for help with their business, I realized I could help other creatives as well, taking the “boring” or overwhelming business things off their hands so they could focus on what they do best, creating! I love this work, especially when it helps artists succeed in living their dreams of creating full time.
Like I said, my favorite people to help are the creatives in geeky, nerdy, and fandom realms – such as those artists and creatives who vend at comic and pop culture conventions!
As for why virtual, in this digital day and age where even within brick-and-mortar companies so much communication, planning and work happens over the internet and email, there seems to be no reason to limit myself to only people in my region. I have experience working remotely and I love it. Especially with those (like my husband) who travel for shows and conventions, there is flexibility to work from anywhere with clients who also could be anywhere at different points in the year. I’m willing & able to work remotely over email, phone, messenger, and/or video chat no matter where you are located.
What’s in it for me?
Some of my “whys” for working like this include:
- The ability to set my own hours
- Being able to take a sick day or mental health day without fear of repercussions. Being honest, there are some days I can’t deal with physical people, the outside world, the noise…but if I can stay safely inside with low lights, I can actually still be productive.
- Traveling without worrying about getting time off approved. I’ve had to miss more things than I can count and rearrange more plans because of not getting time off approved from a “standard” job.
- Spending time enjoying my family, my life, and the world around me now instead of working towards a someday that might never come.
It’s been a strange road to get here
I had a good paying job in hotel sales & marketing, with a great boss. I didn’t leave because I wanted to start a business, I left because I wanted to work on things I was passionate about and help my husband succeed and live through experiences NOW instead of waiting till some possible retirement to maybe enjoy life. We’ve been at this for a few years now, and we’ve been to new cities, new shows, and met new people, some of who are now our closest friends and family.
Let me help you figure out all the details and handle them for you and with you. I want to:
- help people
- see you live your passions and succeed
- promote and support your kickstarters and new projects and throw money and people at you
- see you grow your fan base
- be a Patron to more people on Patreon
I’m doing this because I want to make a difference. I watched my husband struggling and not working on art as much. Less creativity. More stress. I want to reverse that to less stress, more creativity.
Other than conventions and biz, things that you’ll see me talk about and share:
LGBTQIA+ and feminism – from comics and creators to serious issues. While I try not to be overly political on my blog, I don’t believe basic human rights are a political issue and I will not apologize for being a transgender gay male and a feminist, and I will stand up for what I believe in. Hate will not be tolerated here. If you have an issue with any of the above, we probably wouldn’t enjoy working together so it’s okay if you keep on moving.
Finances – my husband and I are right there with you, navigating the perils of freelance work and living off our passions. I’ll share budget and financial tips that I find or that work for us, both in relation to our businesses and to our personal life. This could be anything from helping cut travel costs, how to eat during con weekends on a budget, self-employed taxes, and living on a tight budget between contract work.
Being an Introvert/struggling with mental illness – My husband is definitely the more outgoing of the two of us. I’m friendly and loyal, but I can also get burned out in social situations quickly and sometimes can’t handle them at all. In the hopes some of you can relate to my struggles and successes, I’ll share how I get through conventions, how I face bad days, and more.