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VJ for a Living?

Discussion in 'The Business Side' started by djtachyon, Jul 8, 2008.


What is your source of income?

  1. My 9 to 5.

    69 vote(s)
  2. VJ'ing

    41 vote(s)
  3. 50% Normal Job / 50% VJ

    42 vote(s)
  4. I'm rich and I VJ for fun.

    12 vote(s)
  1. Creon

    Creon Creative Mongrel

    Not sure about elsewhere, but here in the UK there's pretty good welfare support for people making an attempt at self-employment. I've just come off a 6 month period of "Test Trading" where my weekly entitlements went up £15, and I was allowed to earn as much as I could. It's a little tricky to get onto, but if you can get onto the New Deal, there's a self-employment route which offers support in terms of business education, and of course, the financial support which is a good foundation. The only problems I found with this route is that you have to know the benefits system better than the employees at the JCP, as it's a lesser known route to take. If you're reasonably serious about it and have your shit together, for the most part, there's no reason people can't find the freedom to persue creative endeavours full time, at least for a while. Also, when the 6 month period is up, you'll be entitled to housing and working tax credits (worth around £50 a week). If you've got cheap rent, it should cover the whole deal, more or less. Just depends if you've got any qualms about claiming...
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  2. madsmeskalin

    madsmeskalin Torkonfoslak

    Right now I have VJ for about 50%, and when I find a job (currently unemployed) I will be able to cover those other 50%. When I got together with my girlfriend a year ago, I taught her how to VJ, and now we do most of the shows together. She is a contemporary dancer, and has a very different view on esthetics, while I am more in charge of technique, making sure everything works. It is so great to be able to share your biggest passion with the one you love!

    I usually get the bigger share of the $$$ cake, since I pay for all the equipment. When I started VJíng, I decided to buy 3 projectors and a Triplehead to start with, as I knew it would land me more gigs. Promoters, at least here in Norway, respects gear rental expenses more than an artists salary. Since there is no VJ´s around town (Oslo) with the dedication to go that little extra mile, there is plenty of job offers, and good money to be made. I charge 200 euro´s minimum, but playing at gay pride next week I earn 600 in a single night. If I can pay for rent with my 50% job as a social educator, I can pay for the rest through my VJíng.

    However, there is a lot of work. We setup screens (made of paper) and setup 6 projectors every night. Trying to make everything right and going past the 4:3 barrier, I often spend more time setting up than playing. Worst night I had was setting up from 11am to 11pm, playing from 11pm to 8am, rigging down from 8am to 11am. A 24 hour shift!

    I also have income from VJ workshop, sponsored by Modul8, at www.studiotwo.no, which sometimes can get very well paid. Calling myself and external lecturer last time, it was no problem charging 55euros and hour.

    This works well in Norway, which is a rich country. But primarily its because we never compromised on quality. We are a part of underground dubstep/breakbeat/drum n bass crew, which also is a great support in getting gigs, recommending me, and backing me up!
  3. 032981

    032981 New Member

    For me, VJing is just one part of my skill set. I am self employed. I provide Live sound, stage lighting, staging, live video, projection and other A/V services. VJ gives me an edge over other similar company's in my market. I do some VJ gigs for fun but to make a living out of being a VJ only would not work in my market.
  4. jonbonk

    jonbonk New Member

    I have done both, and I can say that although VJing is fun and I really enjoy it, the work can be very inconsistent...

    These days I have a 9-5 so I can pay off the bills/have a savings, but also so I can buy new gear! It is nice to be back to upgrade my equipment and hope to hell my old video mixer won't shit out on me THIS time...

    I know of a few Vjs that only VJ for living they bust_their_ass to get the bills paid. Even then they have huge loans and credit card debt. They are some of the hardest working people I have ever met because they have to be...

    At this point I realized that I might have to just keep it as a hobby that pays me somewhat, but my dream is to have it help me travel for free.
  5. vjacademy

    vjacademy New Member


    Hello to all creative VJ's.

    On the 7th of April a new VjAcademy workshop will take place in the Sugarfactory in Amsterdam.

    Learn how to create breathtaking visuals, how to mix them live with the most recent equipment.

    For more information chek out the website or contact us
    www.vjacademy.nl - info@vjacademy.nl
  6. mowgli

    mowgli collapsing wave functions

    And this relates to the thread?.....
  7. madsmeskalin

    madsmeskalin Torkonfoslak

    Most artists have to work really hard to be able to earn a living from doing their crafts. I work as a fulltime VJ, dont get the biggest gigs, but I mix my income with computer repairs, and other services. I have a friend living in my flat with her daughter, and since they get wellfare support, I dont have to pay rent. I teach VJíng at a DJ academy (www.studiotwo.no) and rent out equipment to the students when they have gigs. My point is that you dont need to just stick to one gun. Many VJ´s have a lot of different skills, and can use them in a variety of work. I know for sure that I will never go back to a 9-5 job, as it just feels inspiring. I love working. I love creating. I love to get things done, and in a 9-5 job I´m dictated by the clock, not by passion.
  8. jamesbanks

    jamesbanks Melbourne VJ

    Most people I know who VJ and DJ have other jobs.... sad but true. I realised a while ago that it would be highly unlikely that i would get rich from Vj'ing or playing music (which i do too) So i put my mind to web development. I know make an average salary from my web design work so hopefully i can now go back to making some tunes and VJ'ing.... ! ;-)

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