Many artists create art for art’s sake as a hobby, but others do it to try to make a living. Choosing art as a
career is a risky move; everybody has heard of the term “starving artist.”
The odds are definitely against you, but it isn’t impossible. Almost everyone has some form of art hanging in
their home, and behind that piece is an artist who created it and made money from its sale.
When you think about it this way, the idea of making a living as an artist seems just a bit more feasible.
First of all, one thing you need to know for sure is that you don’t need a degree from an art school in order to
make a living selling art. People don’t buy art based on the pedigree of the artist who made it.
They buy what they find pleasing to the eye, or what they think will fit into the space they are decorating.
What you need instead is commitment, flexibility, and a resolve to succeed. You also need something most artists
don’t have: business know-how.
One of the reasons artists find it hard to sell art is because
most don’t have a lot of experience with business. If you want to make art your career, you’re going to need to
learn how to market your paintings and be a great salesperson. Do some research and find out if there is a market
for your type of painting.
Are there others who are selling similar works, and are people buying it? You may
think that you need to be unique to be successful, but sometimes being unique means that there is no market for
your kind of work. Go to art galleries, art shows, and websites. Find out what’s selling and who is buying it.
Are you willing to change the subject of your art to match what’s popular now? If not, you’ll find it a lot
harder to succeed at making art a career. If you want to be an artist who sells work every now and then, you can
stick with what your own creative impulses are, but if you want to make a living from it, you have to be aware of
what the market wants. If there is a demand for something and you have the talent to supply it, then supply it!
You also need to know how to price your art. This is something that many artists have trouble with, because it’s
hard to price something creative. There are paintings that have only cost $20 to make that are selling for hundred
of dollars and people are buying them. This also requires a lot of research and your end price will probably be the
result of a lot of trial and error.
Also, depending on where you’re selling your work, the same piece may change in price. This is okay. As long as
you’re making a profit that makes you happy, you can charge different prices for the work in different places. If
you manage to get your work up in a gallery, you can sell it for hundreds. At a local art fair, you might have to
lower your price to $50.
In the end, you just have to remember that few people succeed at making art a career because few people have the
motivation to really stick with it and give it their all. If you really want to make money selling art your career, keep trying until it happens.
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