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:

The power of conscious decision: “Yes, I will actually do it.”

I’ve written before about Idea Debt, and if you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know I think it’s probably the concept that...

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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