Unlike many careers that need years of education and training, becoming an artist is insanely easy. Just go out and get yourself some paints, brushes and canvas, and have at it. While it's not required, it would be helpful to look the part, too. After all, doctors drape stethoscopes over their white lab coats for no reason. You should wear black clothes, funky hats, and speak art babble whenever possible so others can easily identify that you are an "Artist". It's that easy.
Making a living as an artist, however, is insanely difficult.
Of course, there are varied strategies on how one can make a buck at their art. The first method, practised by most beginners is:
- Wait to be Discovered.
That's when you paint all you want, and then wait for some rich collector, or a fancy New York City Gallery to find you and make you rich. As a daydream on a boring day at work, it's great. As a business philosophy, it's not that effective.
The next strategy is:
- The Social Scene
You know-- twitter your upcoming art event. Update your Facebook status every time you finish a painting. Make an App for your art. The objective is to steer people over to your web site. This is the first cousin to Exposing Yourself, but it is also remarkably similar to Wait To Be Discovered...
Well then, what about
- Exposing Yourself
Hey, you can't sell it if no one sees it. At least this is a more proactive strategy for your art career. So you hang your work in any venue that has a blank wall. Personally, I have hung paintings in book stores, doctor's offices, town halls, grange halls, libraries, hospitals, cafe's and restaurants. It was great for getting my name known, but not so much for sales. The reason is that people are going to those locations for reasons other than buying art. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing any one leave a hospital with a new painting under their hospital johnnie.
The more intensive next step is
- Hit The Road Jack
Lastly I guess, is
- Lose 50 percent
So keep painting, and find a sales strategy that works for you. Just remember, there's lot's of difficulties doing what we do, so as the Godfather said, don't take it personal-- it's only business!