An Artist's Life: Making Art Your Business
Updated: May 12
Art and Business Don't Mix.
Or do they?
Back in the school days all they taught me was how to be the best artist that I can be. What they didn't teach me was that I would also need a business degree.
These days if you really really want to make a living solely by your work of art you have to know how to sell them. It's no longer enough just to get yourself noticed by big name galleries or art enthusiasts in your final year at art school and be taken under their mighty wings of social and financial security and fame. Especially when there are thousands of other artists competing for the same prize. The art world is as vast as the Pacific Ocean, and millions of fish swimming about in search for food.
Thanks to the Internet, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to not get themselves noticed and to sell themselves to prospective buyers and grow their business. But that is much easier said than done for
introverts like myself. Artists by nature are introverts - keeping to themselves and not being able to open up to the outside world. Artists would rather hole themselves up in their studios making bunch of paintings to their hearts' content than to mingle with a crowd and talk away about their art. (And that's the worst part- explaining to others what your art is about. But I think I will save this part for future post)
Luckily, it does not take another four dull years of college to learn about business. There are plenty of resources online that can help one to learn the art of deal making (NOT the one by Trump, mind you) as well as ways to promote yourself as an artist. Not all methods taught online is for everyone however; it takes trials and errors to figure out what works for you best.
So try I did. And the result? Wish I had something positive to say. Sure I knew it was not going to be an instant hit, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I had hoped to be an overnight sensation. To be honest, a lot of these guides I've fished out online gave me false impression that I would see instant results. If I could just find that perfect guide that fits neatly into my needs and situation...but I know that's never going to happen. I have to go out and find it for myself. As mentioned, Trials and Errors. And it will be a safe bet that it's going to take a loooong time.