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
image by ruby_blossom
There are lots of ways to make money as an artist. You can get your paintings into galleries and sell them for thousands. You can make street art for pocket change and fame. You can sell giclee prints online. You can license your art to other companies. Seriously, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to do it.
Which one do you choose? How do you choose?
Eventually, at some point, you have to grow up and stop acting like a starving artist. You need to get your you-know-what together. If you don't have a rich uncle, a sugar momma, or a trust fund then you need to learn how to sell your art. It's a business. Say it with me now:
How do you learn how to be in business? The same way you learned how to paint. By taking lessons and practicing. When you are learning to make art, you go to a class, hire a tutor, collaborate with friends, and make a lot of mistakes. If you are smart, and perhaps a little lucky, you hire a good teacher who takes you much further than you could have gone on your own.
Good teachers are expensive sometimes. RISD's tuition is $39,482 per year. But it's okay because you're investing in your passion, right? Absolutely. I have a whole bunch of debt from my BFA, but I don't regret it at all.
I think we all know enough people with college degrees who stopped learning the moment they walked off the podium. Let's not be that person. It's a given in most business circles that you invest in your self if you want to get what you want. For some reason, the art world teaches artists not to take control of their own career. There's a lot of insular thinking that generates a weird circle of, "I'm an artist. I don't do that." Meanwhile, people who never self-identified as artists are selling $25,000 commissions because no one told them they couldn't do it.
People who go to business school learn how to sell stuff. They then have a problem: what will they sell?
Artists simply have the opposite problem. They have something to sell, they just need to learn how to sell it.
A business person can come up with their own ideas to sell. They're called entrepreneurs. Artists can learn how to sell stuff. They're called entrepreneurs as well. Interesting how that comes together, isn't it?
Either way, the individual needs to learn. Artists have two choices: hire a business person, or learn to be a business person. You'll probably do both at different points in your career.
Trial and error is a great way to learn. Put something up for sale and see what happens. Make little tweaks until something works. Repeat. Read everything you can about: sales, art galleries, pricing, websites, email newsletters, social media, personal and business finance.
Coach. Agent. Gallery owner. Promoter. Manager. Do you know what each of those are? Do you know when to hire the right person. I'm a coach for creatives, but I'm not an agent or any of the other stuff. You may not need most of them, but you could probably benefit by hiring some or all of them.
The point is this: take the time to learn. Sit down each day and spend a some quality time with a good book. Try. Do one thing to further your financial goals each day. Don't give up.
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/