Last week I wrote about a young art school graduate’s struggles to make a career. In response, some of my successful artist friends have offered him advice.
Brad Marshall is represented by the Fischbach Gallery in Manhattan and has been featured in American Artist. He says:
Patience is required for success in art. It is rare to come out of art school and meet success right away. I struggled as an illustrator for about 8 years, taken various supplemental jobs along the way. I eventually found a good job as a billboard painter. It was another 12 years before my spare-time fine art led me to get a gallery. Living in an active artist’s community like Asheville is a good start. The support and fraternity of other artists should not be underestimated.
Just keep doing art. You can always find a corner of your home to set up an art table. It might restrict the size you work in, but shouldn’t keep you from your art.
Amy Digi is a member of the United States Coast Guard Artist Program and has pictures in their permanent collection. She has shown extensively in the greater New York area and elsewhere. She says:
There has been a major change in the history of art called the Internet, which has never been exploited before—so take advantage of it!!
Find all free sites. There are hundreds but the basics are Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. Most importantly, do not use these for personal information, but just business, like pictures of your art work. Buyers want to know you are not a Sunday painter.
Open a Paypal account so that after people look at your work they can purchase it easily. Paypal is free to set up, but they take a small percentage of each sale.
Make an appointment with a Small Business Administration (SBA) office and have them help you set up your business accounts. Once you sell work, you are a partner with your state, and they want their tax money.
I have a lot of sales and get interviewed from people solely from the Internet.
|Michael Chesley Johnson|
Michael ChesleyJohnson teaches workshops in New Brunswick and Sedona, Arizona. He is a contributing editor for The Artist’s Magazine and the author of many books and videos on plein air painting. He says:
Here are some words of advice: Don't let your feelings get hurt, and learn to roll with the punches. Get some practical knowledge by finding a local ‘business’ art mentor who can teach a little about running a business, especially the marketing part. Don't just do art, but eagerly look to see what other artists are doing to make a living. But above all, be true to yourself - the money will follow.
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!