COVID-19, The struggles of small businesses

Lots of people’s lives right now are being affected by the coronavirus, and I wanted to address this on behalf of small businesses and artists as it’s an important matter. I just lost all of my clients in the blink of an eye. Conventions? All deleted for the upcoming two months, no sales anymore. Schools and shops? All of them got shut down by the government, no workshops neither. Commissions? Current clients have to deal with their own problems right now, so everything is on hold.

When I started out as a freelancer, I knew it would be tough, and was happy when I finally managed to stabilize a decent income. Then, COVID-19 happened and bam, jobless. The government promised to help out businesses, but until now, nothing is done about freelancers. I’m quite cynical about the current situation, telling myself that it’s my fault for putting all my eggs in the same nest – I’m making a living mostly through workshops. I could’ve planned before, looking for other clients, more commissions, but seriously, who normally thinks about anticipating the closing of every single school in a country? When will I be able to resume teaching? How can I plan ahead if all events will most likely be canceled again? Should I just change careers for a while? Noone knows how long the situation will remain like this.

Lots of small businesses are struggling with this uncertainty – but you can help! 🙂

Some artists rely on conventions. Drawing, preparing the prints, packaging, constantly trying to offer new items, takes months of work behind the scenes. We are not paid for all this time, yet pay for our merchandise. No events means no income, so no money to reinvest in new products, and no money to live. If you planned on buying something at a convention, you can still do so now. Support your favourite creators on Patreon, buy their art online if they have a shop, commission them, don’t wait for Christmas to plan ahead!

Same thing for authors and small publishers. As my author friend Manon d’Ombremont pointed out in a blog article, independent authors and small publishers rely on cons to get the word out. No events, no sales, no money for future books. For those who are quarantined and don’t know what to do, how about you order some books? Don’t go to the big retailers / shopping centers, buy directly from the authors / publishers websites as this allows them to keep all of their share, and continue their activity!

And don’t forget small business owners, too. I recently read about a Luxembourgish farmer who had too much yogurts as they were supposed to be sent to schools. Don’t raid the supermarkets, support the locals, they’ve got plenty fresh food which would otherwise go to waste. Non-vital services are shut down but still offer alternatives. Restaurants and cafés cook and deliver at your door step. If there are places you like, why not buy a gift card to use later on?

Those are all small things, but they can have a tremendous impact on small businesses and freelancers’ lives. I don’t know how the governments plan to help out small businesses in Luxembourg and other countries, but I’m sure it will never make up for all the clients we’re losing in the meantime. Let’s help each other out in this situation, even if it doesn’t seem like much – it is! <3

What next?

So basically, I’m pretty much jobless right now. My only income is through Patreon and covers less than half of my legal expenses as a freelancer. I wanted to get back more to drawing anyways but didn’t expect it to be that abrupt – but now I’m in this situation, and try to make the best out of it. I’m focusing on creating useful art tutorials for the upcoming months, and am also advancing on IllusFairy so that volume 2 can see the light next year.

If you’d like to allow me to keep on working as an artist in the first place, you can support my work on Patreon (start and stop whenever you want), or buy some goodies in my online shop (how about colouring books or mangas to pass time?). It’ll help me tremendously in this current situation 🙂

Become a Patron on Patreon!

Go to the online shop!

Thanks so much for reading – hoping that the situation gets better for everyone!
Until next time, wash your hands, stay safe, and take care 😉

Love you!

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