How to Keep From Starving as an Artist in Portland

On Your Level

Hard to believe I am still here feeding you cool cats the “real deal” on such a regular basis–that means I do it a lot. Times are hard out on the streets of Portland, especially as an artist. I mean, I get it, gang. We can’t all master the bio-rhythms of eight dimensions while shaving with our minds. I had to rough it once, I did half an hour in a Clackamas jail and was forced to mow the lawn. Let’s just say that my practical jokester buddy Tan Peluski thought it would be super funny to spike my inhaler with ether. I had a cold at the time, so I didn’t detect the… I couldn’t smell the shit and it fucked me up for a little while, dudes. I feel your pain.

It would be easy to despair (oops!) feel like shit about thing the way that they are, but fear no more, because your distant evolutionary cousin, Art Jeanyus, has his hands on the key that unlocks the door to one of the most magic, mysterious, fantastic, well guarded, whispered about in important bathrooms, conglomerate, hypothetical… lol, sorry guys, sometimes I can’t help myself and I just start using big words that mean different things just to see the reactions on your faces. Telepathic, remember? Yeah, I saw what you were doing a minute ago.


I have compiled a list of the top 5 business ideas for the Portland artist to have on the side. Special consideration (oops!) favoritism (shit!) I mean thought extra hard to find ones that were a) under the table; b) legal; c) very easy to get going; don’t worry, I got it. 🙂

  1. Toilet
    That’s right, you can be a toilet. A port-a-potty. Many people would pay good money to shower you in shit and piss onto you. Requires absolutely no thought, talent, or capitol (oops!) I mean starting money. The only drawback to this one is the smell, but they make nose-plugs, or you could just keep some Jolly Ranchers in your pocket for emergencies.
  2. Fast Food, Slow Delivery
    You like to get drunk and wander around aimlessly as it is, so you might as well make some money while you’re doing it. If you walk around the Lloyd Center area, for example, you have proximity (damn!) you’re close to a whole bunch of places. Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, no, wait.. KFC isn’t there any more. My point is, all you need is a cell phone and a sharpie marker. Write down your number on the wall of the restaurants and have it say “call for delivery”. Just wander as usual, but write down orders with that sharpie (you’ll need paper too), pick up money from people when you happen to be nearby and drop off their food when you get a chance. Add in a $5 delivery fee too, because this is important, anyone desperate enough to have fast food delivered is in no way shape or form going to argue over the details. Don’t limit yourself to just fast food, either, once you get the hang of it, you can pick up and deliver all kinds of things for people! You wander around aimlessly anyways, so you might as well carry things for people while you’re at it.
  3. Handjobs
    Everywhere you look, there is a man desperate enough to pay you $20 for a handjob. Since you’re an artist, you’re good with your hands, so it will be a natural enough feeling. Even if you’re bad at it, this should add up to at least $40 an hour. Just pretend it’s a paintbrush and your mouth is an eager blank canvas. Remember, when the cops ask, he paid you back for a bar tab, and you were just thanking him properly.

I know I said it would be 5 jobs, but you know what? Those three are plenty for now. I don’t want to give you too much to take in all at once. If these don’t work out for you, never fear, for I will soon be sharing with you the secret of turning air into money. No kidding, man.

Art Jeanyus

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