You know that you love being an artist, and you often get compliments on your creations. Now, how to turn these warm feelings into a profitable career? It can be difficult to take that leap from casual hobbyist to professional artist, with questions surrounding proper representation and pricing difficult to answer on instinct alone. To help you take your art from a personal passion to something truly sustaining, we’ve sought out some of the best tips from around the web.
A great way to supplement your passion projects is by taking work on commission. Earn yourself some extra spending money by designing a specific piece based on a customer’s desires. This way you are guaranteed a payday, and can possibly make a connection for future sales.
While calling it “networking” may seem too clinical for an artiste, making personal connections for the purpose of furthering one’s career is important in every vocational field. Get involved in your local art scene not only to enjoy what others have to offer, but to put your face and art out there so people think of you when an opportunity arises.
Work in the Field
If your art skills or business savvy still have some developing to do, it’s smart to get working in the industry as soon as possible. Take jobs relative to your current experience, with the expectation that you will learn valuable tools from working alongside some already successful individuals.
Find Your Target Audience
Again, these strategic marketing terms may seem at odds with the emotion and passion that go into your art, but if you want to make money it’s important to make sure you’re targeting the right crowd. Look at the themes and symbolism that you work with and think about who that is most likely to speak to. Once you have a general idea of who will “get” your art, seek them out through exhibitions, magazine submissions and other chances to display your work.
Make it Easy on Potential Customers
If you’re an artist just starting out, nobody is going to work too hard or dig too deeply on the internet to try and find you. Make sure your online portfolio is professional and easy to find, and always have business cards ready when you are showcasing your work.
As with any other pursuit, you can’t just sit back and wait for the art sales to come to you. A great way to help keep you moving toward a successful and profitable career is to set goals. For example, tell yourself “I will sell one piece every month,” and then go out and make that happen! Setting clear goals will ensure your eyes are always open to opportunities and you won’t let yourself miss a big break.
The best way to figure out the current market prices for art like yours is to get out into the market! Research what other artists are asking, then see what you can do to compete. For example, adding a nice frame is always a great way to take your art to the next level. It’s also smart to track how long a piece takes you, then see what that would cost if you had an hourly rate. Check out the Art Price Calculator to get started on setting your prices!
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.
Great advice for the aspiring artist. I can apply these tips to my writing to. Thank you x
That’s a great point, Fiona! Best of luck to you in your creative endeavors 🙂