More Articles

The Value of Art In Situ

The Pain and Power of Tough Criticism

How to Build Profitable Relationships with Galleries

New Technologies for the Studio Artist

A Distinctive Body of Work

How I Got My Art Placed on TV and Movie Sets

Video Marketing & Artists: A Match Made in Heaven

Tips for Promoting Your Art on Instagram

Selling Art in the Wholesale Marketplace

What Do You Want as an Artist?

Is Your Art Priced Correctly?

Boost Your Art Marketing with Printed Materials

Collection Strategies for Artists

Problems Getting Paid? How to Never Get Stiffed Again

What’s Going Right with Your Art Business?

How Artists are Using 3D Printing

Goals Matter: Pointers for a Productive Year

How to Create Successful Art Events

Social Media Tips from Lori McNee

Why You Fail to Sell Your Art at Festivals and Fairs

My Studio Mascot

Move Towards Your Destination

What Your Customers Can Teach You

Collaborating on Art? Why You Need a Contract

Connecting with a Niche Market

Increase Your Art Sales by Making an Emotional Connection

Will Your Great Idea Translate into a Great Business?

How to Balance Art & Life

Give Yourself a Promotion

4 Ways Booth Signage can Draw a Crowd

Secrets of a Successful Open Studio

The Thrills of Networking Within A Local Artist Community

Partner with Your Galleries to Sell More Art

The Artist Doesn’t Always Know Best

Protect Yourself from Art Scams

Put Your Business Cards Away

How to Deal with those Dreaded Shipping Costs

Luck vs. Opportunity

How to Get Accepted by the Press

Artists are Entrepreneurs

How to Promote and Sell Art on Instagram

Playing Up

Is Fear Running Your Art Business?

What I Learned by being a Gallery Owner

How to Get Rejected by the Press

Art with a Healing Touch

Art and the Struggle with Depression

Are You at a Loss for Words?

Avoid these 7 Mistakes when Photographing Art

How a Hard Look at Business Changed an Artist's Life

7 Reasons Why Your Art Marketing Isn’t Working

What to Do when your Show is Slow

Working Smarter to Sell Your Art

Top Tips for a Successful Open Studio

What's the Back Story on Your Art?

10 Free Ways Artists Can Get Publicity

Selling Art with Confidence

The Power of Repeat Sales

6 Ways to Sabotage Your Art Business

5 Steps to Gaining Referral Business

It's Not All About the Money

Consistency is Key to Making Art Sales

Should You Quit Your Day Job?

6 Display Tips to Increase Your Art Sales

Making a Profit with Your Art

What Blue-Chip Galleries Can Teach Us About Social Media Networking

Artists Need A Business Plan

Your Greatest Asset in Finding Gallery Representation

Hiding Away


The Personal Touch

Sell Your Art into the Corporate Market

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

Painting Terms

Mixing Colors

The Benefits of Buying Art Online

Beginning Your Journey as an Artist

Art for Art's Sake

What’s Going Right with Your Art Business?


It's easy to zero in on the problems you are facing with your art business. Let's take a look at what's going right.


Focus on the Positive when evaluating your art business. Read about it at


Whenever I do an artist website review, or start working with a new consulting client, I gather information from them and take a look at their background, their story and their online presence. Immediately things leap out at me, because I'm sensitized to looking for certain elements of how the artist is presenting and communicating with their audience. And I find that I naturally look for what they are doing well.

My thinking might be "Wow! Look how they have found an interesting market to pursue," or "This Home page is perfect – nailed it!"

Does every creative business have problems? Of course. There is always room for improvement, and our businesses are works in progress. Having outside input is an important part of gauging the impression we are giving and changes we can make.

Focusing on the negative is the stuff of headlines and it does get eyes on an article. Everyone wants to know if they are making one of the "5 Mistakes that are Killing Your Sales" and readers devour lists of this type because they are operating out of fear.

But the way we build our small businesses is not only by finding out what's wrong. It's by building on the positive, acknowledging what we are doing right, and what we have accomplished. Let's take a look at what you have done:

  • Do you have a logo, brand or tagline you are really proud of?
  • Has your work surprisingly appealed to a certain type of customer, and are you taking advantage of a new market?
  • Is your schedule filling up with exhibitions, events or opportunities to sell?
  • Has your impact on social media resulted in a growing base of fans?
  • Have you gotten press exposure, won an award, or received other praise?
  • Have you learned a new strategy that seems to be working for you?
  • What recent accomplishments have you made?

Taking an honest look at where you stand should be like giving an art critique. A well-done critique will acknowledge positive aspects first. What is going right? What is well done? Get clear on where your strengths lie, and where your foundation is solid. Then, move on to the challenges you are facing, and single out goals you want to pursue to overcome them.

Putting the emphasis on the positive and acknowledging what is going right is not only motivational, but puts things in a perspective where you can balance what you have done and what needs to be done next.

Carolyn EdlundThis article is courtesy of
Carolyn Edlund, founder of Artsy Shark, is a business writer, speaker and consultant for artists. She is the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, presenting at art business workshops throughout the United States. Carolyn works with artists every day in strategy sessions designed to help them structure their businesses, set and reach their goals. Find out more about scheduling your own business consultation with Carolyn here: window