How to be an "Artist"
I want to start this post by stating that this is not professional art advice it is just what has worked for me so far and I would recommend it to anyone ready to jump into the printing world.
Being an artist is challenging. When you're an artist that is trying to turn a passion into a successful career, you are taking on a business that you run completely on your own. I would love to sit in my studio all day and all night doing nothing but painting but unfortunately that leads to nothing but a cluttered mess of work building up day by day in the creative space; I've been through this believe me. This is part of the driving force that pushed me to start turning this dream of mine into a business. A business that has many failures and disappointments before there are ever successes and milestones achieved. My position in my business is owner, book keeper, social media marketer, event planner, sales, packaging and shipping, print maker, and artist...and studio cleaner and organizer but I'm doing pretty poorly at that job right now. I also work a full time job for a steady income.
This is the same for every artist out there trying to make a living I'm definitely not saying I'm special or better than anyone, I'm just explaining what it takes. There is no easy road to success, but if you have the drive and motivation and keep that vision of success with you, you will get there. I spent time seeking out and meeting successful artists and art teachers in my area a few years ago. I asked all of them the same question "How do I sell my art?" and the answer was always; "keep painting and you'll get there", "show your work and network", all answers that didn't satisfy me because I wanted to just take a picture of the painting I did, put it on facebook, and sell it to someone interested in it.
As time went on I realized that continuing to paint, showing my work, and allowing myself to be vulnerable rather than ashamed and unsure of myself WAS the answer. And now I'm the one answering the difficult question of "How do I sell my art?"
There is no set in stone answer. There is no book that says "this is how you make a living as a painter". The answer that I give is try everything. Any opportunity that arises, take it! This past year I participated in an outdoor art festival in mid november on a rainy, 40 degree day. I knew the weather was going to suck and I had people telling me not to participate but I did anyway. Did I sell anything at this show? No. I sat outside for 8 hours in cold and rain which I will do any day before I say no to an opportunity because a week later I know I'll be saying "what if?". I am always looking for and experimenting with ways to expand and keep my work and my website fresh and interesting. I go about my day thinking about what my next blog post will be, I go to bed planning out my next TikTok video. This is being an artist and this is what it takes outside of creating your next masterpiece. The term "artist" becomes broader as you progress and take on new challenges to advance your business.
I decided last year that I was going to start making prints of my work to give more affordable and reasonably sized options (since most of my work is large). I searched around for places that offer printing services for a little while before I came to the conclusion that I wanted to invest in a printer and take on the challenge myself. This proved to be a MUCH larger challenge than I ever expected it wo
uld be. I had very little experience using Lightroom and Photoshop which are necessities to get the perfect print. I had even less experience with understanding how to edit colors and light to look the same when printed on paper, and what type of paper to use, and what settings to set the printer at. It was all a learning experience that wasted a lot of ink and a lot of paper. Regardless, I am happy that I took this on myself, I am still learning how to better my print making every day and the knowledge is expanding my title of "artist".
All of my prints are available online in the Print Shop, and here is a short video showing my process!
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