Tell Your Story, Sell More Art
The Price is Right
Confessions of a Professional Art Gallery Closer
How to Create Raving Fans by Telling the Story of Your Art
Burnout & Its (Sometimes Surprising) Consequences
How to Get Into A Gallery, and Succeed With A Gallery
The Power of Persistence
Build a Budget for Success: How I Tripled My Income in 2 Weeks
Learning to Sell Art: Investing in Yourself
Top Traits of Successful Artists
What Makes Art Remarkable?
Working for Free
The Evolution (and Re-Evolution) of An Art Business
Ann Rea: Artist, Entrepreneur, Instant Success
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Become An Artist?
8 Ways to Improve Your Online Portfolio
Artists, Do You Need an Agent?
The Power of Consultative Selling
How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You
Artist Housing Projects
The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online
Artists Who Sell: How to Write a Killer Sales Page (and why)
The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Artists Make on Their Blogs and How You Can Avoid Them
Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!
How to Write An Artist's Statement That Doesn't Suck
How to Make Your Art Stand Out Online?
10 Strategies to Improve Your Art Sales
Social Sharing on Artist Websites & Online Galleries
Why Artists Should Avoid Gallery Representation
5 Art Pricing Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
How to Research Your Online Art Market
The Crowdfunding Guide for Artists: Part 1
12 Things all Starving Artists Believe
Personal Branding for Artists
How Paula Manning Lewis Has Sold More Than 30,000 Pieces of Art
How to Build An Art Business While Working a Day Job
The Benefits of Buying Art Online
Beginning Your Journey as an Artist
Art for Art's Sake
Paul Gauguin was a stockbroker for 11 years before he decided to become a painter. With his career change, he split with his wife and children and ruined his own life. He became depressed and even tried to commit suicide.
People hear that story and think, "Why in the world would anyone with money want to quit their job and become an artist?"
As an artist yourself, dear reader, you probably identify with this poor chicken. Working a day job is just the worst. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Some artists have had crazy demanding day jobs and still managed to build a successful art career. Kelly Rae Roberts was a social worker. Matt Leblanc and Hugh Mcleod were advertising executives. I worked for internet marketing firms for six years before I went full time with The Abundant Artist. There are a lot of stories like these.
Last week an artist posted a question over in the ArtEmpowers forums. I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially her question was how do I build an art business while I have a day job?
I get this question a lot. It's tough, no lie. There's a reason that so many young artists refuse to get a job - how can you make art, show it, and sell it when you are working for someone else 8 - 10 hours per day? You need time to be creative.
Plus, if you're not a young artist you might have other things to think about like romantic relationships, children, pets or even (gasp) vacations and relaxation time! What's an ambitious artist to do?
Above all, here's the issue: you have to want it enough. You have to want it so much that other things don't matter.
You have to want it so much that you're willing to forego television, movies, sleep, nights out with friends or exercise. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of what you want right now for what you want your life to look like in the future.
You don't have to totally neglect yourself or let everything go, but you have to want it so much that you wake up thinking about art and go to sleep thinking about art.
If you have a good job, or even an okay job, you have to ask yourself: do I really want to become an artist full time?
It's a hassle. You're going to work long, grueling hours with little to show - probably for years before you have a big enough nest egg to quit and enough collector interest to keep up your momentum.
Lisa Call is an example of an artist with a great day job who still has a day job and an active social life. She does her art when she's not working, and she's perfectly fine with that. You can have that life. There is nothing wrong with that - Abundant Artists find joy and fulfillment with the life that they want.
Still with me? You're sure you want the life of a full-time artist? Before I share my thoughts, here are a couple of good quotes from artists I mentioned above.
Matt Leblanc - "When I was working full time and working on building my art business, I was always telling people that I was training for a business marathon. If it doesn't hurt and you don't feel like stopping, then you are not working hard enough to succeed."
Hugh Mcleod - "If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you."
Kelly Rae Roberts - "Starting an art biz while stilling working a day job is absolutely possible. You'll need a few things: a vision for what you're working toward, passion as fuel, and commitment to go the distance one small step at a time."
Matt, Hugh and Kelly Rae are all artists that worked demanding day jobs while building their art business. Notice that they don't sugar coat what it takes. Most of the artists I talk to don't spend enough time on the business side of their art business. You may prefer to be in the studio, but if you're not making enough money from your art to live on, then you need to spend more time marketing and selling - it's really that simple.
Matt told me once that he spends 50% of his time on the business side of his art. More when his Fusion show is coming up. After talking to dozens of artists who've made the full-time day job to full-time artist transition, here's what I've learned:
Having your own art business can be the most fulfilling thing. It's an incredible feeling to realize that you will pay your rent by selling paintings that came from your own brain and hand. If this is truly your passion, then you will find a way to do it.
This article is courtesy of Cory HuffCory Huff is a digital strategist specializing in helping artists learn to sell their art online. His Big Hairy Audacious Goal: help 1000 artists create a full-time living from their art. You can view more blog posts like these and get a free gift for ArtPal artists here: http://theabundantartist.com/start-here/