We had the good fortune of connecting with Coni Curi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Coni, do you have a budget? How do you make lifestyle and spending decisions?
I live in Argentina, a country where the economy is not stable at all, so the monthly budget and the constant analysis of my income is an important issue. As a freelancer, I am never quite sure how much money I will have each month, but I must say that although I am an artist, I also have a degree in business administration, which helps me a lot with my personal economy.
Of course, it is not necessary to be an expert in this to be able to freelance, but it is important to know certain concepts to be able to sustain a business over time. As for me, as I am a self-taught illustrator, there is a large part of art management that I had to learn through trial and error.
But above all, the most difficult thing was to learn to give value to my time and my art, to be able to generate the necessary money to live the life I want.
I’ve been illustrating for 5 years now and I’ve been living purely from this for 3 years, without any other income. And since I quit my part-time job, I have always kept my finances in order.
I have a firm belief that freedom comes from personal responsibility. And it is that same responsibility, of saving, scoring in excel and projecting, that has given me the freedom to work on what I love, and no longer have a steady paycheck.
Today, not only do I generate money from commissions for clients, but I also sell NFTS, and merchandising, which allows me to diversify my income and not depend on a single activity.
As for my spending decisions, they are very much rooted in my personal beliefs. I don’t lead a spendthrift life, I don’t usually spend money on objects, and I prioritize investing in experiences. On the other hand, even though everyone seems to disagree with me, I don’t use credit cards, and I only spend the money I know exists in my account or that I can generate; I am too anxious to know that I owe money to a bank.
To end, I think the most important thing is to value your work and respect the effort that goes into it, either to earn money or to spend it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is born from the need to go through my own problems using humor. From mental health, sexuality, or daily life problems, my art is first an answer for me and then a message for whoever wants to take it. It wasn’t easy to start, since I didn’t study anything related to art, but I had a lot to say, so my style at the beginning was very basic and did not include the phrases that today are part of my work, so it mutated with practice and a with my self confidence, until it reached what it is today: something that makes me very proud of, and that I call Neo Nostalgia. This means the point between nostalgia and modernity. An aesthetic that takes us back to another era but with a contemporary message.
Another thing that I can’t believe has happened, and makes me feel very proud, is to have illustrated a book translated into 6 languages (The Divination Dictionary), three tarot decks and the book of one of the biggest referents of sexual education in Argentina.
On the other hand, I think there are many things I still have to keep learning, but I believe the most important thing I have learned is to always stay true to myself (yes, it’s a cliché, I know). Whether in the message or in the graphic style, the things that best work are those where I felt the most vulnerable when creating them, since they are born from a very genuine place and go out into the world with a lot of power.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I know there are two things that made it possible for me to make a living from this. When I started illustrating, I lived with my mother, so I could freelance without worrying about paying rent or food, I knew that even if I didn’t have clients, I would have a house to sleep in. So thanks for that mom!
And on the other hand, as much as it weighs on me, I have to thank instagram and the amount of people who have given visibility to my work. It was my followers who have always brought me closer to potential clients.

Website: conicuri.com

Instagram: conicuri

Twitter: conicuri_

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