How to be a Successful Artist: Tips and Strategies for Building a Thriving Career

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Becoming a successful artist is a dream that many aspiring artists have.

However, it takes more than just talent to achieve success in the art world. As someone who has been in the art industry for several years, I have learned that there are several things that artists can do to increase their chances of success.

Firstly, to answer the “How to be a Successful Artist” keeping-me-at-night question, it is important to understand what success means to you.

Success can mean different things to different people, so it is important to define your own version of success.

Once you understand what success means to you, you can set goals and work towards achieving them.

Education and artistry, artistic practice, art business management, promoting your art, creating and managing your portfolio, financial aspects, dealing with criticism, setting up your studio, organizing your own exhibition, selling your art, and crafting an artist statement are all important aspects of becoming a successful artist.

But they can also be overwhelming no matter how much we really love art.

In this article, I will share some tips and insights that I have learned throughout my career and that seasoned artists share that can help you become a successful artist.

From understanding what success means to you to managing your finances, I will cover a range of topics that are essential for artists who want to succeed in the art world.

Key Takeaways

  • Define your own version of success and set goals accordingly. Check-in with yourself every 6 months.
  • Education, artistic practice, art business management, and promoting your art are all important aspects of becoming a successful artist.
  • Managing your finances and dealing with criticism are also essential to achieving success in the art world.
  • Own your “brand” – simple website with portfolio, your bio and artists statement give you weight.
  • The only person who never fails is the one who does nothing. Stop procrastinating and make 1 small step.

How To Be A Successful Artist Roadmap

  1. Understand the odds of becoming successful and define your personal succession paper.
  2. Decide which of 2 educational paths you will choose (academic or self-teaching).
  3. Define and be consistent with your practice to develop and refine your style.
  4. Look at yourself and your art as a business and manage it.
  5. Make an effort to organize your own exhibitions and art shows.
  6. Learn to sell your art not just through commissions of friends.

Read more: Passive Income For Artists: 20 Lucrative Side Hustles

1 – Understanding Success

Defining Success as a Professional Artist

As an artist, success can mean different things to different people.

For some, it may mean achieving fame and fortune, while for others, it may simply mean being able to make a living doing what they love.

For me, success means creating art that I am proud of and that resonates with others. It means being able to support myself and my family through my art, and having the freedom to continue creating without financial stress.

It’s important to define what success means to you as an artist, as this will help you set goals and determine the steps you need to take to achieve them.

Success is a subjective term, and what may be considered success for one artist may not be the same for another. Take some time to reflect on what success means to you and write it down.

Yes, take a pen and write it down right now.

This will serve as a reminder of what you are working towards and will help keep you motivated. But don’t worry, this is not something set in stone.

You grow as a person and as an artist and your meaning of success can evolve.

Check in with yourselves every 6 months to make sure you are staying true to yourself.

A gentle reminder: let go of the idea of being special and stop putting pressure on yourself for being unique.

Do what you know best and consistency gets people much further than entitlement.

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The Odds of Becoming a Successful Artist

How to be a Successful Artist
hi! It’s me – Masha!

Becoming a successful artist is not easy, and the odds are often stacked against you.

According to a report by the National Endowment for the Arts studies from 1990 to 2005, almost 2 million Americans mentioned an artist occupation as their primary job. By 2021 that number grew to 2.6 million.

However, the same studies showed that unfortunately during 1990 to 2005 Artists earn on average $6,000 less than other“professional” workers per year.

But it changed and keeps changing. The 2019 report suggested that full-time Artists earn an annual average of $52,800.

Yet, it is still not that much and the studies only account for professional artists who declared themselves as such. Many emerging artists will still have a second job to support their life.

A report by BFAMFAPhD, 2014 called Artists Report Back, explored how are 2 million art school graduates doing after the studies. Only 10% of art school graduates became successful artists.

The good news is you don’t have to graduate from the art school to achieve success and recognition. as well as good income as an artist. Only 16% of artists making money went to a special art school.

All of this still means that the vast majority of artists are still struggling to make ends meet.

However, this doesn’t mean that success is impossible.

With hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck, it is possible to make a living as an artist.

A studies by WashingtonPost suggested that the peak of artists creative careers are usually closer to 40s+ and rarely happens in 20s or early 30s. Discouraging? Maybe.

But in the age of technology, social media, both offline and online options to have a thriving art career, I do believe we can make it work before we are too old to enjoy money and benefits from it.

It’s important to remember that success is not just about talent, but also about perseverance and a willingness to put in the work as well as willing to adapt to tech and online powered world.

Building a successful career as an artist takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. But if you are passionate about your art and willing to put in the effort, success is within reach.

2 – Education and Artistry

As an artist, I have found that education plays a vital role in developing one’s skills and creativity.

In this section, I will discuss the 2 major paths that artists can take: art school and self-teaching.

Art School and Its Role

Art school can provide a structured environment that allows aspiring artists to learn from experienced professionals and gain exposure to a variety of artistic techniques and styles.

It can also provide access to resources such as studios, equipment, and a community of fellow artists.

The biggest advantages of an academic background is that no matter what style you will be painting afterwards, you have covered all the basics thoroughly, you had lots of practice and you gained a network,

However, attending art school can also be expensive and time-consuming.

Research and carefully consider the cost and benefits before making a decision.

It is also important to note that attending art school does not guarantee success as an artist, as I mentioned earlier, one study showed that only 10% of graduates earn money from being a full-time artist.

The Path of a Self-Taught Artist

On the other hand, self-teaching can be a viable option for those who cannot afford or do not have access to art school.

I am a self-taught artist and I follow a few fellow artists earning money from their art, having shows and exhibitions without formal education.

Self-taught artists have the freedom to explore their own interests and learn at their own pace.

And they can have equal success.

However, self-teaching requires discipline and dedication. It can be challenging to find resources and feedback, and there may be gaps in knowledge and technique.

Even if you are a self-taught artist you can always join an artist residency to connect with fellow artists, have an opportunity to focus on work and be part of an exhibition.

Regardless of the path chosen, continue learning and growing throughout your career. This can be achieved through attending workshops, seeking feedback from peers and mentors, and experimenting with new techniques and mediums.

For example, there are many memebership-based communities for artists that cost from $49 and offer courses, access to collectors, roundtables, personal mentorship and many more.

An example is Praxis community – monthly fee gets you access to a ton of educational materials, live sessions and facebook group.

3 – Artistic Practice & Style Developing

As an artist, developing a consistent artistic practice is crucial to improving your skills and creating a strong body of work.

Here are some tips for developing your artistic practice and finding your unique style.

Developing Your Artistic Practice

  1. Set aside time for creating art. Make it a priority to set aside time each day or week to work on your art. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, having a consistent practice will help you improve and stay motivated. It may sound obvious or meh, but if you look at the week that has passed, can you say that you were consistent?
  2. Experiment with different techniques and mediums. Trying out new techniques and mediums can help you discover new ways of working and develop your own unique style. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Trying new mediums doesn’t mean you ditching your main one, but it does mean that you can bring different techniques into your practice. Mixed media works amazing to explore different angles.
  3. Keep a sketchbook or journal. Keeping a sketchbook or journal is a great way to record your ideas and progress. Use it to sketch out ideas, jot down notes, and reflect on your work. Especially if you are traveling a lot (like myself) or need to commute to places. Look around, observe, make notes or sketches.
  4. Seek out feedback and critique. Getting feedback from other artists or mentors can be invaluable in helping you improve your work. Joining a critique group or taking a class can provide you with constructive feedback and help you grow as an artist. Post on Facebook communities regularly.

Finding Your Unique Style

  1. Explore your interests. Consider what themes or subjects you are most drawn to and explore them in your work. Your unique style may emerge from your personal interests and experiences.
  2. Experiment with different techniques and mediums. As mentioned earlier, trying out different techniques and mediums can help you develop your own unique style. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different mediums and techniques to create something new.
  3. Study the work of other artists. Looking at the work of other artists can help you identify what you like and don’t like, and can provide inspiration for your own work. Take note of what elements you are drawn to and try incorporating them into your own work.
  4. Be authentic. Your unique style should reflect who you are as an artist. Don’t try to copy the work of others or create work that doesn’t feel true to you. Be authentic in your work and let your own personal style shine through.

Developing a consistent artistic practice and finding your own unique style takes time and effort, but it is essential to becoming a successful artist.

By experimenting with different techniques and mediums, seeking feedback, and staying true to yourself, you can create work that is truly your own.

4 – Art Business Management

As an artist, it is important to not only create art but also manage your art business effectively. And yes, you and your art is a business.

Once you start seeing it as such your focus will shift but also your insecurities.

We often fear success and do nothing seeking for excuses. Stop it and do something. A small step.

If you can name 3 reasons why you can’t have a show now and then time goes by and the list of the reasons grow…well, it is a red flag.

You are sabotaginh your own business.

In this section, I will discuss two important aspects of art business management: Understanding the Art Market and Running Your Art Business.

Understanding the Art Market

To be a successful artist, it is crucial to understand the art market.

This includes knowing your target audience, understanding the current trends, and being aware of the competition.

Conducting market research can help you gain valuable insights into the art market and make informed decisions.

Better then – Art Babel, Artfinder and some other big player publish a report annually with all numbers and insights. Download it.

Another way to understand the art market is by attending art fairs and exhibitions.

This will give you an opportunity to see what kind of art is being exhibited, what is selling, and who is buying.

You can also network with other artists and art professionals, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.

One of the outcomes of understanding the art market is pricing your artwork appropriately.

Pricing your artwork too high can make it difficult to sell, while pricing it too low can devalue your work. Researching the prices of similar artworks can help you determine a fair price for your own.

I’ll talk about pricing in details later.

Running Your Art Business

Running your art business involves managing various aspects such as finances, marketing, and sales.

  • Will you pay taxes yourself or hire an accountant? (Accountants make it easier)
  • Is there a way to collaborate with interior designers, influencers or companies to outsorce some sales?
  • Do you keep a spreadsheet with all your expenses and do you calculate exactly your fixed cost and material costs to set the pricing?
  • If a sponsor will ask you for a budget, do you know what you are going to say?

Keeping track of your income and expenses is important for financial planning and tax purposes.

Creating a budget can help you manage your finances effectively.

Marketing your artwork is crucial for reaching your target audience and generating sales. This can include creating a website, social media presence, and attending art events. You can also collaborate with other artists and art organizations to increase your exposure.

Must-have marketing starter pack for artist:

  • Simple website with minimum information (your bio and artists statement both under 300 words, your works, contact you page)
  • Instagram account and Facebook page – both not PRIVATE and not the ones you keep for your family and pics of your dog. Professional page that states clearly your name, who are you and what art you make, what art is for sale and how to reach you. Use both posts and reels.

Consultants and curators do not recommend to have your prices on website if you plan to work with galleries.

When it comes to sales, it is important to have a clear sales process in place.

This can include creating contracts, invoicing, and shipping. Providing excellent customer service can also lead to repeat business and positive reviews.

4 – Promoting Your Art

As an artist, creating and selling artwork is just one part of the equation.

The other part is promoting your art to get noticed by collectors, galleries, and potential buyers.

In this section, I’ll discuss various ways to promote your art, including digital artists and online promotion, gallery representation, and art shows.

Online Promotion

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for artists.

Social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or Threads are great ways to showcase your work and build a following.

It’s important to post regularly and engage with your followers to keep them interested in your work.

Once Threads were launched many curators made a post looking for new artists. Isn’t it the perfect opportunity you were waiting for?

Collaborate with people on art or simply participate in podcasts – exposure doesn’t pay the bills but it grows your following which will lead to money.

Another way to promote your art online is through your website.

Your website should be a professional-looking portfolio that showcases your best work.

Make sure to include high-quality images and a brief artist statement.

You can also sell your artwork directly from your website or link to other online marketplaces like Etsy or Saatchi Art.

You should also have a nice blog on your website writing about topics a future buyer or collector may be interested, for ex., how to choose the best size of the painting for the house? And so on.

This will bring you traffic from people googling it for free.

Another thing that many overlook is email. Setup a free account, MailerLite, Mailchimp or Brevo all have free accounts to start.

Make a group for collectors. Add all people who are interested in recieving your portfolio to this group.

Email them regularly (once a week to once a month) with updates. Invite them to your studio, shows, announce sales.

Why I don’t recommend ads

As a former marketer who helped businesses make millions with ads on Instagram and Facebook, I would not recommend an emerging artist to focus on ads.

Ads that are scaleable, reach your audience and can work on automation require tons of testing, great budget and are simply stressful.

And of course, years of experience on how to tweak little things on Facebook (and also how to not go nuts every single time there is some sort of issue with Facebook).

I doubt you have time to master ads, spare budget of thousands of dollars or simply desire to do so.

Unless you explored absolutely all free tools and nothing works, don’t waste your breath over ads.

Exceptions are cases where you want to run a challenge, launch a giveaway or share a freebie or super cheap guide.

Getting gallery representation is a great way to gain exposure and credibility as an artist.

Research galleries in your area and find ones that exhibit work similar to yours.

Look at their submission guidelines and follow them carefully. Be prepared to provide a portfolio of your work, an artist statement, and a resume.

If you’re accepted by a gallery, make sure to maintain a good relationship with them. Attend gallery events and promote their shows on your social media platforms.

This will help build a strong relationship with the gallery and potentially lead to more opportunities in the future.

This approach takes time don’t hesitate to call them if you haven’t heard from them, but in general, don’t be pushy.

Art Shows

Art shows are a great way to get your work in front of potential buyers and collectors.

Local art fairs and exhibitions actually have become a reliable income and commissions source for many artists.

When attending art shows, make sure to have business cards and promotional materials on hand.

Engage with potential buyers and collectors and be prepared to answer questions about your work. This is a great opportunity to build relationships and potentially make sales.

5 – Creating and Managing Your Portfolio

As an artist, creating and managing a portfolio is crucial for showcasing your work and building connections with potential clients or employers.

In this section, I will discuss how to build a compelling portfolio and effectively manage it.

Building a Compelling Portfolio

When building your artistic portfolio, it is important to showcase your best work and demonstrate your unique style and creative vision.

Here are some tips to help you build a compelling portfolio:

  • Choose your best work: Only include your best pieces in your portfolio. Quality over quantity is key.
  • Show your range: Include a variety of pieces that showcase your range of skills and styles.
  • Be selective: Don’t include every piece you’ve ever created. Be selective and only include pieces that are relevant to the audience you are targeting.
  • Consider the presentation: The way you present your portfolio matters. Make sure it is well-organized, easy to navigate, and visually appealing.
  • Add details: your name, title, year, mediums used and price.

Portfolio Management

Managing your portfolio is just as important as creating it.

Here are some tips to help you effectively manage your artistic portfolio:

  • Keep it up-to-date: Regularly update your portfolio with your latest work.
  • Customize it for your audience: Depending on who you are targeting, you may need to customize your portfolio. For example, if you are targeting a gallery, you may want to include your exhibition history.
  • Use online platforms: Online platforms such as Artwork Archive or Behance can help you manage your portfolio and reach a wider audience. Apps like Canvy or ArtPlacer can help you create visualisations for your art in different interiors.
  • Protect your work: Make sure your portfolio is protected by adding watermarks or copyright notices to your images.

6 – Financial Aspects

As an artist, I understand that financial aspects can be a crucial part of a successful career.

As much as we all prefer to be broke but follow our passions we do hope to start earning from it while we are still alive. And hope doesn’t pay the electric bills.

You can earn from your full-time job money to spend on art making on early stages, but you can also try fundrasing and approaching sponsors for a specific project.

Most artists are too scared too look for patrons, but I know some people had success with that strategy.

Earnings in a Fine Art Career

Earnings in a fine art career can vary depending on several factors, including the artist’s reputation, experience, level of skill, and the type of artwork they create.

As an artist, I have found that it is important to price my artwork appropriately and to have a good understanding of the demand for my work in different markets.

One way to price artwork is to consider

  • the time, materials,
  • overhead costs involved in creating the piece
  • framing, packaging and shipping.

Another approach is to research the prices of similar works by other artists in the same market. It is also important to have a consistent pricing strategy across all works to maintain a professional image.

Keep in mind that prestigious online galleries take up 30% to 40% commission while some art consultant and offline art galleries can ask for 50%. Does your pricing accommodate that?

Another way to increase earnings in a fine art career is to diversify income streams.

This can include selling artwork through galleries, online platforms, or directly to collectors, as well as offering art classes or workshops, and licensing artwork for commercial use.

Here are some side incomes for an artist:

  • Running a SEO blog (I do that and you are reading it now)
  • Accepting commissions
  • Organizing online and offline art workshops for those who love painting
  • Organize teaching for fellow artists
  • Licensing your work for commercial use in posters, prints on demand, books, etc
  • Selling prints yourself. You can only sell 1 original work but hundreds of prints of different sizes and it is also more affordable for some people. From phone to pillow cases – prints are very popular.
  • Have a Youtube channel. Once you pass the monetization requirements you can earn some dollars from ads in your videos.
  • Collaborations with apparel brands and designers. What if your art can be places on a limited edition of some dresses or hoodies?
  • Consulting firms and companies on buying art and decorating their spaces.
  • Opening your own small gallery where you can showcase other artists and earn commissions from sales.
  • Writing a book and self-publishing it on Amazon Kindle. Can be for people learning to paint, for artists, a journal, for kids… tons of potential there (I’ve done the research).
  • Content creation for art brands. If you work with specific medium and once you have some following, you can reach out to them and become their ambassador earning commissions when people buy that paint.
  • Affiliate marketing. Same principle. You genuinely recommend supplies, people buy and you get rewarded.
  • Converting your art and selling digital art. While most people who approached you about NFT on instagram are scammers I know some artist do have some NFT art in their portfolio.

And this is just on top of my mind!

Most Lucrative Painting Genres

While the earning potential in a fine art career can vary, there are certain painting genres that tend to be more lucrative than others.

As an artist, I have found that portrait, landscape, and still life paintings are among the most popular and profitable genres in realistic style.

While abstract art is trending enormously, along with textured art. Both neutral and bright colors are popular, bold strokes, volume, details gain attention on social media.

Portrait paintings, in particular, can command high prices for commissions due to the personal and emotional connection that people have with them.

7 – Dealing with Criticism

As an artist, I know that dealing with criticism can be tough.

Not only people come screaming This is not art, then there are simply racist and mean people.

I happened to be an expat Russian leaving abroad for years. I would never thought I would face racism in art world, but I heard many hurtful things and rejections.

However, it is important to remember that criticism, whether constructive or not, can help us improve our skills and grow as artists.

In this section, I will share some tips on how to handle criticism in a positive way.

Before that, I found that popular book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck is an amazing one-two evenings read, written funny and smoothly that teaches you among other things, how to give less of those f**** about irrelevant opinions.

Accepting Criticism

The first step in dealing with criticism is to accept it and the fact that we cannot control other peoples opinions.

It can be difficult to hear negative feedback about our work, but it is important to remain calm and listen to what the critic has to say.

Remember that everyone has their own opinion, and not everyone will like your work. Take a deep breath and try to be objective.

Ask yourself if the criticism is valid and if it can help you improve your skills.

Also consider this: was this opinion asked for? Does this person have what I’m trying to achieve?

If the answer is no, brush it off and if needed block it (if it happened online).

While you aren’t responsible and can’t control what people say, you are responsible for keeping your focus on your work.

Learning from Criticism

Once you have accepted the criticism, it is time to learn from it.

Look for specific points that the critic has made and try to understand their perspective.

Take notes if necessary and try to apply the feedback to your future work. Remember that criticism can help you grow as an artist, so try to view it as a learning opportunity.

Break it down – is it about one of the steps I talked earlier? How you manage your art business, your education or your style? What would be the perfect outcome?

Here are some additional tips to help you deal with criticism:

  • Don’t take it personally: Remember that criticism is about your work, not you as a person. Try not to let it affect your self-esteem.
  • Don’t dismiss it: Even if you don’t agree with the criticism, try to understand where the critic is coming from. They may have a valid point that you haven’t considered.
  • Seek out constructive criticism: Look for feedback from people who are knowledgeable in your field and can offer constructive criticism. Avoid seeking feedback from people who are overly critical or negative.
  • Use it as motivation: Use criticism as motivation to improve your skills and create better work. Remember that every artist faces criticism at some point in theirprofessional career, and it is a normal part of the creative process.

8 – Setting Up Your Studio

As an artist, setting up your studio is a crucial step towards achieving success.

A well-organized and functional studio can help you focus on creating your art, and can even serve as a source of inspiration.

And when you start it doesn’t have to be a rented space. You can work in your room, garage or basement until renting makes financial sense. There are always tricks to organize it in a smart way.

Choosing the Right Art Studio

The first step in setting up your studio is choosing the right space. When selecting a studio, consider the following:

  • Location: Look for a space that is easily accessible and convenient for you to get to. It should also be in a location that is conducive to creativity and inspiration.
  • Size: Consider the size of the space you need. You should have enough room to work comfortably and store your supplies.
  • Lighting: Good lighting is essential for creating art. Look for a space with plenty of natural light, or invest in high-quality artificial lighting.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is important for your health and safety. Make sure the space has good air flow and consider investing in an air purifier.
  • Noise: Consider the noise levels in the space. If you need a quiet environment to work in, look for a space in a quiet area or consider soundproofing the space.
  • Window: I cannot work without a window, I can’t breathe. If you are the same, that would be top of the list.
  • If you are allowed to drill or change something (you will need to hang things but also paint can splatter everywhere and you need to agree on cleaningor repainting once moved out)

Once you have found the right space, it’s time to set it up for your needs. This includes:

  • Organizing your supplies: Invest in storage solutions that will help you keep your supplies organized and easily accessible. This could include shelves, drawers, and containers.
  • Setting up your workspace: Arrange your workspace in a way that is comfortable and functional for you. This could include setting up your easel or desk, arranging your lighting, and setting up your computer, lamp, tripod for recording.
  • Creating a comfortable environment: Consider adding elements to your studio that will make it a comfortable and inspiring place to work. This could include adding plants, artwork, or comfortable seating. A comfy chair also.

9 – Organizing Your Own Exhibition

As an artist, organizing your own exhibition is a great way to showcase your work but it can be a daunting task.

Planning Your Exhibition

The first step in organizing your own exhibition is to decide on a theme.

A unifying theme will tie the different pieces together and make them feel like part of a larger whole.

A specific theme leads to a more cohesive exhibit, while a broader theme lends itself to a more diverse offering of art pieces. Once you have a theme, you can start selecting pieces that fit within it.

Tip: Give yourself space from NOT thinking about the theme. I find that inspiration and vision come exactly when I let the planning go and focus on having good sleep, good food and simply being in my creative me space. Then boom and I see it.

Next, you need to find a venue.

Consider the type of audience the location will attract. Are working professionals in the area? Is it a popular tourist destination? You want to choose a location that will attract the right audience for your work.

Once you have an exhibition space, you need to decide on the logistics. Will you be selling your artwork? If so, you need to decide on prices and how you will handle sales.

Will you be providing refreshments? If so, you need to decide on the type of refreshments and how they will be served.

Collaborating with small businesses will keep the costs down.

Executing Your Exhibition

When it comes to executing your exhibition, organization is key.

Make a checklist of everything you need to do leading up to the exhibition, including setting up the artwork, arranging refreshments, and promoting the event.

On the day of the exhibition, arrive early to set up the artwork and ensure everything is in place.

Make sure the lighting is appropriate and the artwork is displayed in an attractive manner. If you are providing refreshments, make sure they are set up and ready to go.

During the exhibition, be available to answer questions and talk to potential buyers.

Make sure to have business cards or other promotional materials available for interested parties to take home.

After the exhibition, be sure to follow up with potential buyers and thank them for attending and maybe including them into your email list.

This is also a good time to solicit feedback on the exhibition and use it to improve future events.

10 -Selling Your Art

As an artist, selling your artwork is an important part of building a successful career.

Here are some strategies that have worked for me:

Strategies to Sell Art

  1. Create an online presence: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial. Consider creating a website or online shop where potential buyers can view and purchase your artwork. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can also be great tools for showcasing your work and reaching a wider audience.
  2. Attend art fairs and exhibitions: Participating in art fairs and exhibitions can be a great way to get your work in front of potential buyers and connect with other artists and industry professionals. Be sure to have business cards and promotional materials on hand to give to interested parties.
  3. Collaborate with galleries and art consultants: Building relationships with galleries and art consultants can be a great way to get your work in front of serious buyers. Be sure to research galleries and consultants that align with your style and aesthetic, and don’t be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself.
  4. Offer commissions and custom work: Offering commissions and custom work can be a great way to generate income and build relationships with clients. Be sure to clearly communicate your pricing and process upfront to avoid any misunderstandings.

Keep reading: Where Can I Sell My Paintings? 85 Best Art Selling Sites

Learning from Best Selling Artists

One of the best ways to learn how to sell your art is to study the strategies of successful artists.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from some of the best selling artists:

  1. Build a strong brand: Successful artists have a clear and consistent brand that resonates with their target audience. Consider what sets your work apart and how you can communicate that to potential buyers.
  2. Price your work strategically: Pricing your work too low can devalue your brand, while pricing it too high can turn off potential buyers. Research the market and consider factors like materials, size, and complexity when determining your pricing strategy.
  3. Stay organized: Successful artists treat their art practice like a business and yourself as a business owner, keeping track of inventory, expenses, and sales. Consider investing in a bookkeeping software or working with a professional accountant to stay on top of your finances.

Crafting an Artist Statement

As an artist, one of the most important things you can do is craft an artist statement.

This statement is a brief summary of your work, your artistic process, and your inspiration.

It helps the viewer understand the meaning behind your art and creates a connection between you and your audience.

Keep it under 300 words.

All galleries, open calls or contest will ask for it.

Writing a Powerful Artist Statement

When writing your artist statement, it’s essential to keep it simple and concise.

Avoid using jargon or complex language that may confuse the reader. Instead, focus on conveying your message in a clear and direct manner.

Usually, it has to be written as of I/Me, but some venues will ask for 3rd person format, so keep 2.

  1. Start by introducing yourself and your work. WHo are you and what art do you do.
  2. Explain your artistic process and the techniques you use to create your art.
  3. You can also describe your inspiration and what drives you to create.
  4. Next, discuss the themes and ideas that are present in your work. What do you hope to convey through your art? What message, what unique perspective are you trying to send? Be specific and give examples of how your work reflects these themes.

Do not try to write an essay Why you became an artist, it is a selfish way of thinking about your statement and it is not what the statement suppose to talk about.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an artist become successful?

Becoming a successful artist is a combination of talent, hard work, and perseverance.

Success can mean different things to different artists, but generally, it involves creating high-quality work, building a strong reputation, and gaining recognition from the art world and collectors. Networking, marketing, and staying up-to-date with current trends and techniques are also important factors in achieving success as an artist.

What are 5 things an artist needs to be successful?

To be a successful artist, one needs to have a combination of technical skills, creativity, business acumen, and perseverance.

Here are five things that can help an artist succeed:

  1. Technical proficiency in their chosen medium.
  2. A unique artistic vision and specific style.
  3. Strong marketing and networking skills.
  4. A willingness to take risks and try new things.
  5. The ability to handle rejection and setbacks.

Attenting an art school or have impecable drawing skills is not necessary to become successful, sell work and be content with career path.

How do you train to be a successful artist?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the path to becoming a successful artist can vary widely.

However, some common strategies include pursuing formal education in art, seeking out mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities from consultant or an established artist, attending workshops and conferences, and practicing regularly. It is also important to stay up-to-date with current trends and techniques in the art world.

How can I be famous as an artist?

Becoming famous as an artist is not something that can be guaranteed or easily achieved. However, there are some strategies that can increase an artist’s visibility and exposure, such as exhibiting work in galleries and museums, participating in art fairs and competitions, building a strong online presence, and collaborating with other artists and influencers.

What qualities does a successful artist possess?

Successful artists possess a range of qualities, including creativity, discipline, passion, perseverance, adaptability, and a willingness to take risks. They are also able to handle rejection and setbacks, and are constantly pushing themselves to improve and evolve their craft.

What are some common habits of successful artists?

Successful artists often have a range of habits and practices that contribute to their success, such as:

  • Maintaining a regular practice of creating art.
  • Seeking out feedback and critique from other artists and mentors.
  • Staying up-to-date with current trends and techniques in the art world.
  • Building a strong network of contacts and supporters.
  • Balancing their creative work with business and marketing tasks.