If you follow the mastery process through constant practice, inspired by profound interest you cannot fail to produce exceptional work.
A career in the arts industry is not a walk in the park as most people might be thinking. Yes, the schedule will be flexible but the paycheck might not be as regular. Just like entrepreneurship, the creative business has been glamorized while downplaying the various challenges faced by upcoming creatives. Every artist faces a unique set of challenges but the following tend to cut across the board: - Constantly creating great work, gaining publicity, cash-flow e.t.c
Let’s look beyond the challenges for now. You’ve made up your mind not to keep your creative works to yourself, when people ask what you do, you don’t fail to mention your art and most importantly you’ve decided to do it on a full-time basis. How do you make cash off it?
Commitment and practice
It’s understandable for struggling artists to be forced by circumstances into having regular jobs and doing their crafts on the side or on need-basis before anyone finds their works worth paying for. However, in art, passion and practice go hand in hand. If you follow the mastery process through constant practice, inspired by profound interest you cannot fail to produce exceptional work.
As an artist with a regular job, you’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to your art too. Would you expect your hands to maneuver in a constructive way if all your time is spent on your construction or bartending job?
Create a supportive network
There’s no defined roadmap for a professional artist to follow as one pursues their craft. Having no standard path to be followed means you’ll never tell when your career will “bloom.” Therefore, it’s critical when you are starting out to identify and connect with communities that will support your work.
Artists have been known to create collectives through which they support and develop each other and at the same time put their efforts together to gain visibility.
An artist mentor will come in handy for you. An artist mentor will not only counsel, inspire and motivate you but will also share his/her invaluable experience i.e. their career path. Be sure to get someone with the same skills and vision as yours.
Treat it like a business
Financial accountability-having the mentality that you should sacrifice everything for art can land you into a financial quagmire. For example, you don’t have to go pay for that expensive workshop when your rent is due. Accounting for your art-related expenses is not only important in knowing the cost of creating your works but also it also informs pricings and future financial projections.
When hosting a gig, it’s okay to invite the people who support you most. Unfortunately, in most instances, friends rarely buy your stuff. Be keen on who you invite and it’s best you focus on growing your fan base.
Whether it’s a product or service, its value is pegged on quality. Speaking of quality, doing stuff out of the norm might not be a good idea but is an asset to the art industry. Forbes Contributor Jessica Hagy explains how eccentric work is valuable in relation to art in her post, “Why weird is wonderful (And bankable).”
Bottom line, put yourself out there. Give your art career the momentum it needs by interacting with people who will bring attention to it such as bloggers and photographers. Don’t be afraid to put a price on it, commercial talk about your artwork shouldn’t be a hush-hush subject.