As an artist, there is nothing more that gives you a sense of pride or accomplishment knowing that you can rely on your art to make a living full time. I remember the day clearly when I had managed to sell a couple of my artworks and after crunching numbers realized that I have a legitimate art business on my hands. It was exhilarating and daunting at the same time.
Why daunting? It’s because I realized that upscaling my art practice required commitment, determination and prudence in equal amounts, if I had to build a viable business. Reminiscing about those earlier days made me realize how this topic could make for a helpful blog and help budding artists get a multifaceted perspective on whether they have what it takes to take their creative career to the next level.
So, after getting a pleasing response to your art and earning a satisfactory amount on your art sales, here are couple of things that you can consider when transforming your art career into a thriving business enterprise:
What do the online platforms say?
If you are not on the online art marketplaces, you are missing out. They can provide invaluable feedback on market trends for your particular kind of art and also helps you understand what the demand is. There are plenty of websites like Saatchi Art, Art Finder and Singulart that offer you access to their visitors while charging a reasonable commission rate. Even if you do not seem to attract any purchases in the first couple of months on these platforms, it is always a great idea to have updated profiles on these platforms for greater visibility and developing a following.
Saying “Yes” in the beginning
Starting off, you will be confronted with the Artistic Dilemma of creating art just for the sake of getting the bills paid. That is the reality of getting an art business of the ground, you will have to be willing to say yes to commissions that do not necessarily challenge you artistically or add anything of significance to your portfolio. However, this initial stage of saying yes to all sorts of commissions and engagements will be crucial in getting your business’ name out into the market and building “brand recognition”. It might be challenging and slightly draining in the beginning, but this is what you will have to do to get the business off the ground and also understand what your ideal client looks like.
Potential Business Partners?
Now just like any other business, having a partner or partners could be quite advantageous in spreading out the risk of embarking on a business venture. However, if caught in a partnership where there is no transparency or trust, you will really have a hard time getting your business going and also without a doubt, your art will suffer. So, be very careful in vetting out who you will be getting in partnership with and ALWAYS have a formal partnership agreement drafted to avoid problems in the future.
Fill up the skill gaps – Ask for help and delegate!
An art business has numerous facets besides the art itself: finances, marketing, purchasing. In order to ensure you handling these parts of the business correctly, do not be afraid to ask for help. Yes, asking for help can be the most vulnerable thing to do when you are a perfectionist like I am. However, the fact remains that you can’t do everything yourself. It is literally impossible. If you are struggling or facing a challenge in your work because of a knowledge or skill gap, then ask for help. I am sure there are plenty of people and resources out there to assist you. Also, at a certain point in the growth of your business, consider hiring people who can be delegated with tasks that are a time suck for you. Conserve your time and energy for things that actually matter to you and getting your business going.
There you go! These are some of the things that you need to consider and really think about before you make the commitment of going full-out on launching your art business. You should also check out my previous blogs like “5 crucial lessons I have learned as a Female artist and entrepreneur” to know more about my journey of getting my art business to thrive!
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