I don’t have an art degree, but I’ve learned a lot by doing. I’ve gleaned a plethora of valuable lessons from selling art at local markets, working in the creative field, and working with successful artists.
I didn’t have a plan when I got started, but you should! That’s where this post comes in!
This post compiles the best lessons I learned outside of art school. I learned these the hard way, but you won’t have to!
1. Be Organized: Use Schedules, Lists, and Specific Goals
We creative types thrive off chaos, but for your art antics to pay off you must be organized. Set goals, write to-do lists, and schedule tasks. Have a place for every supply you use. It goes against our nature, but preserving your precious sanity makes it worth the effort!
2. Get Out There: Social Media and Networking is King
You have to get yourself out there if you want to make sales and be successful. Make friends with people in your field, use online social media like Facebook, Twitter, and online forums consistently. Join groups. This is the most important step for being an artist. Do this, and the opportunities will just keep rolling in!
3. Be Prolific: Make as Much Art as Possible
Create something every day. The most successful full-time artists I know are constantly churning out new work. Making sales is easier when you have a large body of work and merchandise for customers to choose from.
4. The Walmart Approach: Lots of Merchandise, Low Prices
It’s sounds evil, but this really works. Along with your higher priced items, make sure you have a big selection of low priced merchandise for customers. Think of the most efficient way you can churn out a large volume of your product (like art prints) for the lowest price, and produce!
But of course, don’t sacrifice quality! I know I mentioned
The Devil Beast Walmart, but don’t go all the way to the dark side!
5. Brand Yourself: Tell Your Story
Don’t forget to tell your story! Tell it with the work you produce, and include it in your social media, accounts, blogs, website, and marketing materials. Think of how you want people to feel when they view your work. Making this connection is what brings people back and helps you create a following.
Take action now!
Tell Me Your Story: Art degree or not, I want to know the art lessons you’ve learned from the proverbial Art School of Hard Knocks, that is, what you learned by getting out there and selling your work! Let’s chat about it in the comments.
image above Don’t Hold Back by Nan Lawson