5 Things an Artist Can Do to Succeed in the Art Business

If you don’t want to just be another “starving artist”, literally or figuratively, you’re going to need to prepare yourself for the road ahead.  You need to have a plan and you’ll need to be diligent about sticking to it.  Believing in yourself is the foundation to greater things, but you’re going to need to make good choices to allow that full potential to blossom.  Here are five things every artist should be focused on while they perfect their craft:


1. Do Your Research

All artists should crave that journey of improving and refining their craft.  Studying art history is something everyone can benefit from.  Study the industry and space that you are in, research your materials, supplies, and what is happening around your community.  By constantly improving your knowledge of technique and shared ideas, you will feel increasing confident about your potential.

2. Network

Along with your research, every artist must learn to network and be involved with artist collectives if they ever plan on selling their work.  Business, especially the art business, is all about who you know, not just what you know.  Opportunities are out there for you, but you will never hear about them if you limit your interactions to just a small circle of friends.

3. Understanding Branding

Personal branding is very important for artists.  Your art will speak for itself, but it is much more impactful and much more accessible when you have developed a strong brand around it.  Branding will encompass things like: developing a website, connecting through social media, targeted advertising, connecting with relevant blogs, websites, and galleries, for example.

4. Continue to Grow, Expand, Experiment

Having a strong work ethic is paramount to having a successful art business.  If you’re not producing new work on a consistent basis (this doesn’t mean pushing quantity over quantity, but you should have new art pieces released on a reliable schedule) then you can quickly fade away and be seen as less valuable in the business space.  Having a nice rhythm in your creativity also encourages productivity.

5. Understanding your Art’s Potential

We all have a different view of what success means to us.  If you want your art business to be successful, you’re going to need to figure out what you need to have in order to be happy as an artist.  Having a figure in your head for a yearly income is a good place to start, but you should also try to think about what you need to be happy and create as freely as you can possibly.  Relationships, mobility, and opportunity are some of the things that help us reach our full potential.