Many accomplished artists look back on when they began and wish they knew then what they know now. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
In the following article, we’ll address some of the things most artists encounter at some point in their careers. From dealing with rejection and success to finding your confidence and conducting the business side of things, we dive into several things young artists need to know about pursuing a creative career.
- Establish the Business Side of Things Early
Some artists create for themselves, and some create for others. If you fall into the latter category and hope to sell your work, you’ll need to establish the business side of your operations as early as possible.
Whether you’re working for yourself or a creative design studio, you need know-how and equipment to keep good records. As your business grows, your records and customer data will become more important, especially when it comes time to pay Uncle Sam his due.
- The Road to Being a Professional Artist is Long and Bumpy
As an artist, your craft is never truly honed. There’s always room for learning and improvement. If you think you’ll create wonderful works of art that people will flock to and purchase instantly, you may be in for a tough surprise.
People can be cruel, and you’ll likely deal with more rejections and criticism than you think you can handle. It happens to even the world’s best artists. Grow a thick skin and let negativity slide right off. Keep creating for yourself and never give up. If you’ve sold pieces, keep in touch with the buyers. These are the people who make your job worth it – your motivation. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so settle in and enjoy the journey.
- Do Things Your Way
The art world can get fiercely competitive. If you let yourself get caught up in the rat race, you’ll quickly lose confidence in your ability to produce quality artwork.
Stop comparing yourself to other artists, and stop worrying about how much they’re selling or how much you’re not selling. Do things your way, and focus on creating works of value. Remember, competition is the enemy in the art world.
- Have an Alternate Source of Income – at First
Having a full-time creative career doesn’t happen overnight. If you rely on the income from your art to live, you may end up going to bed hungry many nights. Be sure you have an alternate source of income – at least in the beginning – until the right buyers discover your work and you become the big success you already are in your imagination.
Having more than one stream of income will also let you create the type of art that makes you happy rather than art that only makes the customer happy. This may mean you aren’t an overnight success, but the right buyers will come along eventually, and that makes it all worthwhile.
- Trust Your Abilities and Instincts
You know what you’re doing as an artist, so trust in your abilities and your instincts. Combine that with some strategic marketing and good business sense, and you’ll find yourself a success sooner rather than later.
Many experienced artists look back on their careers and discover they wish they knew in the beginning what they know now. Having a creative career is challenging, but if you love what you do and know the things listed above, you can begin your artistic career on a positive note.