11 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Career as an Artist
According to the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, there are almost 2.5 million professional artists in the United States alone. So, becoming a successful visual artist is undoubtedly within your reach.
However, it can take time to establish yourself as an artist and become highly profitable. But the more time and energy you put towards your artistic career, the easier it will be to attain success.
Get started by considering the following 11 powerful ways to boost your career as an artist.
1. Boost Your Career as an Artist by Developing Your Skills
You’re sure to have natural artistic abilities if you’re planning on pursuing a career as an artist. But you’re more likely to travel further in your career if you first spend time developing your skills.
Learn General Methods and Techniques
By learning about things like form, color, line, and texture, you’ll be able to hone your artistic skills. It’s a good idea to learn about general art skills as well as ones that are relevant to your discipline.
Learn Specific Methods and Techniques for Your Artistic Discipline
If you’re a printmaker, you should definitely learn various printmaking techniques, if you’re a sculptor, you should learn sculpting methods, and so on. You may not have even discovered what your main artistic discipline is. In that case, you should experiment with different media to find your creative niche.
For example, if you love to paint, you should experiment with watercolors, oils, and acrylics. Skill development will require commitment and hard work. But it can be a lot of fun too.
Spend time developing your artistic skills for your specific medium. You’ll then be ready to take your work to market and begin your career as an artist.
Teach Yourself or Enroll in a Course
You have the opportunity to teach yourself and find out about different ways of making art online. But it could be more than worthwhile enrolling in art courses.
Having a degree or a master’s in an art subject can also provide you with credentials that may make it easier to get your work into high-profile galleries.
2. For a Successful Career as an Artist, Set Up a Website and Connect on Social Media
Once you have developed your skills and have made art that is ready to sell, it’s time to set up a website to showcase your work.
Don’t overlook the importance of this step. In the early stages of your career as an artist, having a website will help you to get your artwork out there. As you progress in your career, galleries will want to be able to find your work on the web easily.
Make sure your website uses UX and UI design methods and has high aesthetic appeal. After all, you need to attract and engage visitors and show off your work in the best possible way.
Once you have created your website, connect with people on relevant social media platforms to spread your artwork and get noticed.
In this digital age, creating a strong internet presence by setting up a website that’s connected to all your social media accounts is crucial. You can also sell your work directly or accept commissions via your website.
3. Enter Art Competitions to Further Your Career as an Artist
There are loads of local, national, and international art competitions that are open for anyone to enter. So, you should definitely look at the different contests you could enter. But be picky about which competitions you enter.
You should enter the ones that suit your type of artwork. Take a look at past entries over previous years to see if your work would be suitable. With many competitions, you have to pay an entry fee. But fees are usually minimal and it’s more than worth spending a little cash to make a success of your art career.
4. Read Industry Publications to Gain More Opportunities in Your Career as an Artist
You should read industry publications to keep abreast of what’s going on in the art world. But by regularly reading publications for artists, you can also access listings for commissions that you can apply to.
Many magazines and websites for artists feature ads from private individuals who want to commission artists, such as commissioning portraits. But they also often feature ads for public art commissions.
You should apply for any relevant position that you see advertised.
5. Enhance Your Career as an Artist by Selling Your Artwork at Craft Shows
Your aim as an artist is sure to be to get into high-profile galleries. However, you need to take things one step at a time. Before high-profile galleries will consider your work, you will need to build up a reputation.
In the meantime, you can generate income from your artwork and become accustomed to selling directly to people by attending craft shows.
You’ll also gain invaluable experience concerning how to speak in a professional manner to interested parties. Furthermore, craft shows are a great way of getting honest feedback about your work.
You’ll have to spend money on reserving spots at craft shows, but that initial outlay can be more than worth it.
6. To Boost Your Career as an Artist, Create Colorful Business Cards or Postcards
Every professional artist needs to have business cards to hand out. You should have cards to hand out at craft shows and other events. But you should also keep your cards on you at all times. You can then hand out the cards to anyone you meet who expresses an interest in your work.
But you shouldn’t opt for boring business cards. You are an artist after all. So, make sure your cards are visually appealing.
Better yet, consider creating small postcards that feature your artwork. The more visually appealing your cards are, the more the recipients will notice and remember them.
7. Applying to Prestigious Online Galleries Can Be Very Rewarding for Your Career as an Artist
In this internet age, you have more avenues to sell your work than ever before. By performing an online search, you’ll discover multiple web-based galleries that could sell your work on your behalf. And many prestigious online galleries are open to working with new artists.
Ensure your work is of high quality and matches the type of work that an online gallery is looking for. It could then be easier than you think to partner with a prestigious online gallery and sell your work.
For instance, Singulart is on a mission to encourage artists and designers to share their passion for aesthetic beauty and leave their mark on the world. So, that is a good place to begin.
8. Taking Your Work to Physical Art Galleries Will Help You to Take Your Career as an Artist to the Next Stage
While there are various avenues you can explore to sell your artwork, your main objective will probably be to get your work into physical art gallery spaces. So, the sooner you start taking your work to galleries, the better.
Begin by going to local art galleries. Take your work with you, ask to speak to the owner, be polite and friendly, and then show your portfolio of artwork.
It’s also important that you dress respectably so that you make a good impression. And remember to leave your business card or postcard with the gallery owner. Even if one gallery isn’t interested in your work, the owner may contact another gallery owner who is likely to be interested in your artwork.
Also, treat the process like an interview in the sense that you should be highly prepared. You should be ready to answer questions about yourself and your work. You should also research the individual galleries before you arrive.
Once you have gotten your artwork into local galleries, it will be a lot easier to approach more prestigious art galleries later on.
Furthermore, don’t limit yourself to art galleries. Various types of establishments showcase artwork. So, when you’re just starting out on your career as an artist, approach places like:
9. You Can Boost Your Career as an Artist by Getting Involved with Your Local Art Community
It will be much easier to find new opportunities if you get involved with your local art community. Being in touch with other artists will also provide you with the support and encouragement every artist needs when pursuing a professional career.
Begin by researching different local art leagues and groups. Depending on where you live, there could be just one or two or there could be dozens.
If there are lots of groups in your locality, make sure you research each one first to find out which ones would be most suitable for you. If you paint abstract expressionist works, attending meetings for a local watercolor group might not be a good fit.
If you can’t find a local art league or group that is suitable, consider starting your own.
10. Network with Other Artists Online Can Also Help You to Boost Your Career as an Artist
Becoming involved with local art groups is one excellent way of networking with other artists. But you should also network with other artists online.
The more contacts you make, the more exposure your work can gain. Using social media platforms is a great way of connecting with other artists and art lovers. But you could also do things like write informative blog posts with comments sections to connect with other people.
11. If You Want Your Career as an Artist to Be Successful, Learn How to Run a Business
Lastly, you should learn the basics of running a business. The most successful artists are those who produce high-quality work and have a business head on their shoulders.
As a professional artist, you should know things like:
- How to identify different routes to market.
- How to price your work and make a profit. That should be based on the cost of your materials, the time it takes you to produce your work, and the market value of similar artworks by artists at similar levels to yourself.
- How to market your artwork.
- How to get exposure for your artwork.
- How to set yourself up as a sole trader.
- How to complete your taxes.
- The tax benefits that are available.
- Other benefits that are available.
- How to network.
- How to grow your business.
Spend just as much time learning the business side of being a professional artist as you do learning how to hone your artistic skills. You’ll then be in a much better position to boost your career as an artist.
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