This post can really be for anyone’s interest, not just for the “Artpreneur”. I write this specifically for the artists who email me looking for some inspiration. Hope this will boost your artrepreneurial spirit!
Since childhood, I’ve always had a love for art, from crayons to crafts, then growing into the love of portrait sketching with the use of pencils, charcoal and graphite, and then later emerged into painting on canvas utilizing acrylics and oils. Art has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Doing art (as a hobby) is one thing. But I remember being asked as a child “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and I wanted to say “I want to become an artist!” Instead, I answered “I want to become a doctor!” even though I knew I didn’t. Like most people (and I know much of it was from my parents’ desire for me to have a career in the medical field), I was raised to believe that an “Artist” was not considered to be a practical career that would make you enough money to support yourself. Doing art wasn’t usually more than just a hobby. This was very much not uncommon when I was growing up and even some cultures/communities still believe this today. Well who says you have to be a “starving artist”? Thanks to the internet, the good news is that being a self-representing Artist CAN pay you enough sales to support yourself AND your family!
I get emailed questions by people all the time (most of whom are new business clients, artists, buyers, interior designers) — how do you start an art business, where do you go to market, how much did it cost, how are you scanning your images, etc. Really, you can find the answers to these questions online as the web is the greatest source of information. However, you can search and search until you burn your eyes out because like any career that involves being your own boss, it requires getting in touch with a much deeper source that you cannot find anywhere online; a combination of what I call “The Four P Recipe” — Plan, Persevere, Positivity and Passion.
The latter is the most important factor of all — Passion. My theory, “don’t start with your art if you don’t have the heart.” Most businesses, whether art-related or not, fail within the first year. Why? Because true passion wasn’t really there to begin with. You cannot be a good planner for your business without perseverence, and you cannot persevere (to sustain the business, especially when times are tough) without having a positive mind. But overall, it is much easier to be positive about something, if you have a passion for it (for your product/service).
As we are talking about art and business, you can say you have a passion for creating art, but have you found your niche in the art that you create? Are you true to your genre, to your technique and your creativity? An Artpreneur is more likely to be successful if the art you create is not what you think your audience will enjoy, but what you enjoy. This is what makes for a true Artist. Otherwise, it will only feel like a job.
You hear people say that “Artists are gifted because of their talent.” But I believe there’s more to it. If you find your niche, be true to your creativity (true to yourself), and create a strong portfolio, not only will you do well independently, you will learn a lot about yourself more than you’ve ever had before and be able to get in touch with your Being. Once you’ve found your Being, you will find a much deeper happiness. This is where Artists are gifted — because nothing can take that happiness away from you.