At Autonomous Creative, our passion is helping creative people take full control of their lives, and make their own decisions about what’s best for them and where to devote their energy.

Listen to our Autonomous Creative Incubator alumni tell their stories:

Celebrating 6 new creative businesses!🎉🙌

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I’m so incredibly proud to introduce you second cohort of the Autonomous Creative Incubator! We’ve all been working so hard for this day, and it...

From riding the rollercoaster to piloting the plane—how one artist brought joy and financial stability back to her business

ACI Case Studies Blog Featured Image - Rauni Higson
Listen to Rauni’s story in her own words: Rauni Higson is a silversmith based in Snowdonia: a picturesque, mountainous region in North Wales. She began...

Sewist overcomes burnout to stitch together a stronger business model

Listen to Martha's story in her own words: Production sewing coach, Marty Remsen felt like no matter how much effort she put into her business,...

Frustrated filmmaker overcomes a crisis of confidence to find rapid success

Listen to Avantika’s story in her own words: As an accomplished filmmaker, Avantika Hari Agrawal has always been full of ideas. She enjoyed the creativity,...

Finding the Venn diagram of the work that pays well and the work you want to do

Listen to Stephanie's story in her own words: After studying illustration in school, Stephanie Shafer stumbled into working as an art director. Although the job...

From Burnt Out Artist to Joyful Creative Coach: The Power of the “Perfect Fit” Business Model

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Listen to Eleanor's story in her own words: Eleanor Chaney is an artist and educator who has worked as an illustrator, exhibited her prints in...

Announcing 12 new sustainable creative businesses: Time to celebrate! 🎉

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I’m so incredibly proud to introduce you to the inaugural cohort of the Autonomous Creative Incubator! We’ve all been working so hard for this day...

Are you on the hamster wheel of being overworked and underpaid? How one neurodivergent artist created a path to success

Listen to Deirdre's story in her own words: When people talk about being “stuck” professionally because of constant overwhelm in their life, Deirdre Colgan Jones...

Portrait painter doubles her commission income with the right marketing tools

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Listen to Sarah's story in her own words: For several years, Sarah Marie Lacy had run a successful art school, but when the pandemic hit,...

From toxic academia to business as a support system: The power of guardrails to balance client work and studio time

Samantha Clark - The Quiet Coach and alum of The Autonomous Creative Incubator
Listen to Samantha's story in her own words: Samantha Clark is an award-winning visual artist and writer with an active exhibition schedule, who has also...

Read about what they've accomplished with The Creative Focus Workshop:

How being brave just ONCE brought forth a world of opportunities, and kickstarted a dream creative career

Blog Featured Image - Braeden Doane
If you have big dreams of starting a creative career… If you can imagine making something awesome and ambitious… ...then you can also imagine screwing...

Say goodbye to creative burnout: “If it doesn’t fit, it won’t happen.”

When you're on the brink of burnout, and you see other people publishing, launching, getting distribution deals, it's understandable if you think, "Those people clearly...

“It’s kind of poised to leap now, and that’s really scary and exciting…”

liz schiller
Liz Schiller is a writer, and not only that, she's writing a musical, one of the more complex and demanding dramatic forms to master. But...

“It’s like a fortune cookie” — When you surprise yourself with what you’re capable of

On March 14, Mx. Tiffany Leigh performs an excerpt from her unpublished memoir Camp Football at the live storytelling event Take Two, in Brooklyn. (In...

How to build a sustainable work process that produces results WITHOUT burnout

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Jennifer Shiman had the dream career for so many creatives. She created a popular series of animations (30-Second Bunnies Theatre: where animated bunnies reenact famous...

Focused action: The time to act is now

the time is now
Focus unlocks confidence which leads to action. Focused action. The other day I wrote an email to one of the alumni of the Creative Focus...

There is no gatekeeper. There is no gate.

no gatekeeper
A few weeks ago, I assigned my art students a fun project, a “forgery” of an artist they admire and want to learn from. One...

Focus + accountability = massively improved creative productivity…now that’s math anyone can love

Coni Rojas-Molina grew up drawing and identifying as an artist, but then discovered a love of mathematics. Which is great, but committing her focus to...

From nothing to on the air in 3 months: Community = accountability

So, how do you start a podcast? Jamie Berger was initially one of the most skeptical, but ultimately one of the most engaged participants in...

“I know exactly what to do in the time I want to spend on making art.”

michael w
Tell me if this sounds familiar: When I know somebody is waiting to get my work and there is a deadline, I always deliver on...

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The Autonomous Creative Incubator


The Incubator is the artist-centered program where self-employed creatives design a sustainable, profitable business rooted in their creative expertise.

The Autonomous Creative Incubator is not currently enrolling.

You can get the same results working 1:1 with Jessica Abel on building robust business foundations and getting amazing clients who will happily pay to work with you. Click the red button above to explore your options!

What happens when you design a creative business on purpose?

Find out directly from our students!


“By the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.”

“I was feeling very guilty about not being able to bring in what I felt was really just my market rate. I'm not even asking for a lot. I just wanted to be paid for the skills that I had. And even that was not happening.
Now I'm at a place where I can very easily see that by the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.”

Avantika Hari-Agrawal

Filmmaker and marketing strategist

Sarah Marie Lacy

From $10,400 in 2021 to $24,000 in 2022. And the year isn't over yet.

“In 2021 I booked somewhere around $10,400 in portraits. This year I'm in the $24,000 range. And it's only the end of August, so who knows what the end of the year will bring.
I have a plan for my business now and that sense of... control isn't the right word, because control feels really tight, but a command of this information that I can use to make better choices, use to make better decisions, use to create strategies.”

Sarah Marie Lacy

Artist and portrait painter

Deirdre Colgan Jones

From needing help with studio rent to fully funded through the end of the year

“My studio rent will be paid right through the end of this year, which is just mind blowing for me. I have gone from this slightly humiliating position of having to ask my husband, can you put money in my business account because I have to pay my studio rent? To that business account actually having funds coming directly from my clients. That's never been the case for me before, so it feels really good. I'm finally growing up, making a living.”

Deirdre Colgan Jones

Artist, mother, and coach