Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Artist advice - How to be an artist

Artist advice - How to be an artist
Are you an artist, or a business person. There are many artist who are technically good, but their work doesn't sell. Then there are artist who's work is just OK, and they can't stop selling.
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I often have parents come up to me at art shows and ask what advise I would give to their 14 year old budding artist. I say, "If your he or she, wants to be an artist, then he actually will be a salesman, so he should go to college and get a marketing degree and a minor in art. If his art skill are good, his marketing degree will help him be successful. If his art skills are excellent, but he doesn't know how to market himself, or talk to people in groups, and individually, he will fail.
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What does an artist do!
You have to present yourself in written and verbal form to Galleries, the general public. You might what to give talks, demonstrations, or give lessons as a way of promoting yourself.
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You need to know about price points, so that you know how to price your paintings.
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Your going to have to do research, to learn how you can cut your cost and find the cheapest supplies, outsource, figure out how to Wholesale.
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You need to know who your market is, and figure out, where is the best avenue to reach them.
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To some degree, you going to have to do some accounting.
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You may Physically have to learn how to make frames and matts. Or invest in machinery to help you make then, in order to cut your cost, so that you make more profit. If you are a full time artist, you will lose a fortune if you are having a frame shop do your framing for you. Unless they are giving you a heck of a deal.
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The toughest job, with the highest turnaround is Salesman
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Not only are you a salesman, you are selling yourself. Not only are you selling yourself,, you are selling something personal. The reason that sales people don't last is because they can't handle the rejection. When you are an artist, the rejection is worse, because you aren't selling a vacuum that you have no emotional attachment to. You are selling yourself, and it is hard, to not take it personally, when you don't sell.
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I could go on and on
So, what is my point! Nothing in the long list I have given, has anything to do with creativity and the actual producing of your art work. The sooner you start thinking of yourself as a business person, the sooner you will start to make progress with your art career. That means that you have to dedicate time to thinking about the business side as well. You have to do some research to learn whatever it is that you need to know. Study, do your homework! AH, Dad, stop it! As my son would say. You may need to take a speech class, or whatever it takes. The sooner the better.

One of my abstract paintings
Original acrylic geometric abstract
in MY Etsy Acrylic Store


6 comments:

  1. Derek, you're absolutely right, but I still don't like the selling part! Wow - love the abstract! Yet another facet of your talent.

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  2. You know, I don't like the business side either. Most artist don't. It takes you away from being creative. It, would be nice if someone would do it for us,for free!

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  3. your painting made my day!

    looooool!

    : )

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  4. Love the abstract and also the "How to paint reflections on water". Do you have advice on how to write an artist statement?

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  5. Selling is everything in the world. We are always tried to sell our self. When it comes to selling an artistic work it would be more difficult. Thanks for the selling advice. I am enthusiast to selling myself every time at any cost.

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