Fine art can be a fine investment—you get the best of both worlds: with your painting, you get to earn money while doing what you love. As an artist, you don’t have to starve or become buried deep in debt as long as you have the money smarts.
Here are several tips for artists who want to boost their ability to generate income to sustain their craft:
1. Evaluate and manage your finances well
Art alone won’t bring food to the table. So when making financial decisions, consider not just your creative practice and your passion for art. Be practical—think of the consequences in terms of your financial situation each time you make a life-changing decision.
In addition to that, think of other ways you can add to your income. If that means taking odd jobs just to make your budget a little more comfortable, then do it.
2. Start your own business
Who says artists cannot be entrepreneurs? Get your head start in real estate investing, and when you have earned an amount enough to open an art gallery to sell your Seneca Lake artworks as well as those of other artists, go for it! Once you have launched your art gallery, treat it like a business.
3. Network with key people
Grow your network to raise your chance of getting more buyers of your artworks. The more connections you have, the more people know what you can offer. Also, meet fellow artists—you can learn a lot from their experiences and advice on how to make money as an artist.
4. Consider teaching jobs
If you have a passion for teaching and sharing your talent and knowledge as an artist, teaching can be a good way to augment your income. Depending on your specialization, you can be a sculpture, fine arts, or painting instructor in college. You can also be a professor of art or art history in your local college. Look for job postings that are in need of teachers with a background in art.
5. Give your art a full-time commitment
Some artists would rather focus on their creative practice than taking on non-artistic jobs—and they succeed. If you think you are better off being a painter as prolific as Picasso, then, by all means, spend your time in the studio and make more artworks!
6. Be unique
In the art industry, it pays to be strange—in terms of your artworks. By coming up with intriguing and quirky masterpieces, you are able to catch people’s attention. Create something different that other artists have not done so far. This way, you make your own mark as an artist and increase your chance of attracting buyers for your artworks.
7. Be open to criticisms
Art is very subjective—and there is always going to be someone who will not like your work. Learn from the constructive feedback, and take the bad ones with a grain of salt.
There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to making money as an artist. At some point, you will find yourself succeeding and failing. What matters is that you keep going even when the times get tough.