expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
The hungry artist metaphor is alive and well. Creatives and artists are told from an early age that they have to “grow up” or “find other ways to make a living”. However, the truth is: as an artist, it is entirely possible to make a living and build a successful business.
Of course, building an arts business doesn’t come with a manual. On top of that, few traditional commercial construction practices apply. What’s more: as creatives, we often think of ourselves as right-brained (creative and intuitive) without left-brained analysis or planning abilities. Most artists don’t see themselves as entrepreneurs, and we don’t see many examples of artists supporting themselves through art.
However, they exist. Every day, artists make a living from their art – without sacrificing their passion or creativity. By following these five steps, you can build a successful art business that supports you and your creative spirit.
Related: How to Really Make Money From Your Passion
1. Great product
It’s the same for any business: you need to have reliable products that people want to buy. While “greatness” is subjective in the art world, there are still standards in any medium. A potter needs to create usable pottery, a painter needs to think about composition, and a composer needs to think about certain notes when creating music.
When it comes to selling art, your craftsmanship matters.When you are an artist and have a raw talent, you also want to make sure that the art you create is best version itself. That means it’s possible to invest in artistic training, practice your craft, and even learn from other artists.
study However, works from other artists are not the same imitate other artists. When we start thinking about selling our art, it’s normal to start looking around to see what other artists are creating or selling. However, this is not the way to create the most powerful artwork that people want to buy. However, creating “honest art” is.
Honest art is art that is true to you and your skills.honest art is just art you can be created. The more authentic you are to your skills and experience, the more likely your artwork will attract attention and buyers.
2. Business plan
Most artists will avoid “planning” like the plague. It sounds too structured, too rigid, and too detailed. Generally speaking, artists are visionaries and dreamers, no planner.
The good news: Your art business plan doesn’t have to be an 18-page printout that you submit to a bank or investor to get funding.This plan is just for you, so you can Clearly See if you’re on track (and tasked).
You need to plan for things like collections, gallery exhibitions or art fairs, commissions and artistic developments. This is part of the plan if you want to make your first sale within the next two months. How will you sell?
Overall, it also helps to understand how much money you need to make from your art business and how you will price your work. This way, you know you need to sell a certain number of products to achieve that goal – and you can create a plan to help you get there from there.
Numbers, like plans, are often overwhelming for artists. However, this is a necessary step if you want a viable business and support your needs.
Related: How to Build and Sustain a Successful Art Career
3. Marketing strategy
Every business has to market its product in order to sell. Of course, freezing is normal when we think about marketing something as personal and original as our art. This is also where artists may encounter resistance—especially art purists who believe that art and business should never be confused.
The most effective way to overcome this problem is to remind yourself that sharing your art is how it makes an impact. Check out other artists to see how they promote (read: Marketing) their art is done in a way that matches their passion.
Take musicians and bands for example. They might post their latest song on social media or send a newsletter about their upcoming debut. Does this feel like marketing? No, it feels like they are happy to share their creations with fans.
Potters and illustrators also frequently announce “new product drops,” letting followers know they’ve restocked shelves with gorgeous ceramics or their most popular prints. Artists present themselves on video, painting their latest commissions in real time. Even some of the most famous performing artists like JLo, Lady Gaga and Dr. Dre promote their upcoming events or releases by sharing behind-the-scenes footage on social media.
When artists think about marketing, they probably think in a left-brained, structured way. However, there is a way to “do” marketing in a way that feels both effective and creative. It all comes down to finding the right platform where the artist feels most authentic, while also engaging people.
You may find that you are better off sharing your work in a newsletter, or you want to focus on social media. You may also find that social and local activities feel most natural to you.The key is to find marketing strategies that get you in front of people who wants to buy your art.
4. Build the brand
People aren’t just buying art; they’re buying artists. Think of your favorite musician, painter or band.You love what they create, but also how they create and Who they are. As humans, we rarely, if ever, separate art from artist.
This is why creating a brand is so important. The most basic definition of a brand is the way you can differentiate your product from others and communicate that difference in your marketing.
As artists, we often see our “brand” as our artistic look. How many times have you automatically found out in a museum if the artwork you’re looking at is Picasso or Carlo? But your brand goes beyond your unique artistic model.
Your brand is your story, your medium, your personality, the way you speak — even the visual patterns in your art and online presence. Your brand is also how you attract employees (i.e. potential buyers). Who are you selling to? what to say to them? Do you create in a specific way that people say they like?
Consider your brand and how you can present yourself and your art anywhere. From local art fairs to your website and social media, your brand (and your presence) needs to be consistent.
RELATED: How to Go From Hungry Sideline Artist to Full-Time Thriving Artist
5. Just getting started
No one – even those with a degree in business management – knows what to do in the first place. As an artist, you may be completely new to the business world and have a lot to learn in a seemingly short amount of time. But remember: you’re no stranger to being an artist.
You have the innate skills, heart and drive to create meaningful, honest art. People are less motivated than you to create a business and succeed.This real However, the key to success in your art business is just the beginning. Decide how you want to sell your art, how much you want to sell and who you want to buy. It’s time to make a living off your art.