Delving into an Artistic Business

Tips to setting up your Art Business by Doulene Walker Art



Introduction


Hello and thank you for stopping by,


So many of you question how to transition into making Art a full time occupation. (I put Art with a capital letter, not because my English grammar isn’t good, but because it is dear to me :-)

How are you to get serious with your Art, start selling it and ultimately stop working in your normal day job and make this your full time career?

Well, if you knew me, you would know that I get very excited about new business! I love everything about it. Especially the beginning part of setting up the structure, naming, branding and marketing. I have started many businesses from scratch and still own some that continue to this day some 16 years later. I find this fun, and I hope that you will too once you have read this.


You can make it fun! It doesn't have to be daunting or hard work. You can think of it as a piece of art - make a start, delve into all sorts of areas of setting up, go through an ugly stage and then see it reap the rewards once completed.

Many artists have connected with me on Facebook and Instagram, asking how to get serious with their art and to turn it into a business. Theses are beautiful people that are either not working or are currently employed - but none have set up their own businesses and got out into the business world.


It is exhilarating, it is refreshing and it is a great ride! It is the best feeling in the word, being able to roll out of bed, stay in your PJ’s (all day if you have to) work and work and work. When you are working for yourself you can work 16 hours a day.

OK, let’s start this Artist Business Journey!




Get serious and create great work


Really start to take your painting seriously.


Paint every day - getting into the habit of painting every day will give you direction and purpose. This will also help you to create discipline and habit. WIth this, you are going to learn so much about yourself, your style and your likes and dislikes.


Create your own identity - In this day and age it is so easy to gain inspiration from other artists. There is sometimes a fine line between gaining inspiration and getting lost by taking on someone else's style. It is a difficult dilemma.

Laura Horn has written a great Booklet on “Finding Your Unique Artistic Style”

Work through this workbook and let it help you to develop your own style


Speak the language of Art and Business - By this, I mean, tell yourself and others that this is what you want to do. This way you are putting your energy and thoughts in the right direction and things will start to happen. Tell friends and family about your plans and that you wish to slowly transfer into Art as a full time business. BUT - don’t always listen to the feedback. Please remember that you are immersed in this Art world - you love it and you understand it. Not everyone does! Believe in yourself and push ahead. Read my article “5 Steps to Kicking Artistic Fear to the Curb” for some inspiration on staying strong.


Keep looking at Art and keep learning about Art - We need to feed our creativity and there is no better way to do this than being inspired by others.

Also, learn to look at your surroundings. Notice shapes, colours textures and see what speaks to you and sparks excitement that you want to put onto the canvas.


Create a Series or Collection of Art

Start by building up to 20 to 30 sell able pieces of art so that you have something to begin with.



Action it


Paint every day

What time of day can you dedicate to painting? Tell your family that you will be taking time out in your own space to paint and create


DAY TIME of DAY AMOUNT OF TIME ALLOCATED


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday


Create your own identity

Laura Horn has written a great Booklet on “Finding Your Unique Artistic Style”

Work through this workbook and let it help you to develop your own style


Speak the language of Art and Business Get serious, talk to people about what you are planning. Read my article “5 Steps to Kicking Artistic Fear to the Curb” for some inspiration on staying strong.


Keep looking at Art and keep learning about Art - do some research about what style of Art you love - what your unique style is going to be then begin creating your collection or series


Setting up your business on paper


This can be a really fun part - so think of it as fun and just make a start. That way, you will slowly but surely get there. Taking these steps will help you to get the ball rolling on being professional as well as you taking yourself seriously on this journey.


Domain Name and Email

Decide on the name for your business. Most Artists use their name, as Art is very personal.

Search and secure your domain. There is an easy search tool at Crazy Domains

Unless your current email is something like crazyhotgirl@hotmail.com you may be able to keep with the email that you currently have. If you do need a new email, you can create a new free one or get a professional email through the website domain that you create.


Website

There are so many amazing website building tools out there. It makes it so easy for novices. I use WIX but there are so many others such as Squarespace and Weebly. Please do a search to see what suits you best. This part is a lot of creative fun!


Business Registration

Each country will have their own way to register a business. This is usually free and easy. It gives you a professional Business Number so that you can put this on your invoices. In Australia you register very simply at ABR


Business Plan

Creating a business plan can be a lengthy process if you get tied up in all the nitty gritty details. Start off very simply by asking yourself where you wish to be in 1, 2 and 3 years time. Click here for an in depth look at creating a business plan.






Your Target Market


Simply put, your target audience is the group of people that prefers the type of artwork you create. Knowing your Target Market sounds boring but it is important so that you know who is going to buy your Art.

It is also important so that you start marketing to the right people from the start. So, how do we know what our Target Market is?



Evaluate your Art

What kind of Art do you make? Portraiture, abstract, animals, landscapes etc. Try to keep something in your Art consistent, but having said that, it doesn’t mean that you won’t evolve as an Artist, it just means that you can become known for a certain style or thing.


Who are you?

What does your Art say about you? How do you want to be portrayed? Will you always wear an Artist apron? Will you always be messy, knee deep in paint? Are you meek and mild or are you outspoken and loud? What image do you want to portray?


Who wants to buy your Art?

Think of your Art and the person that you are and think about who will be attracted to that style of Art and that person. Are you targeting young trendy 20 to 35 year olds that are keeping up with design trends and colours, or are you appealing to classic Art lovers that prefer a certain type of Classic Art.


Market to and Create for your target market.

So, when you are painting, keep your target market in mind. This certainly doesn’t mean that you have to stay on one track for all time, but if this is your chosen style, which has naturally led to this target audience, then just keep it at the back of your mind. Remember to theme your marketing - your emails, newsletters and online imagery to suit your target market audience.





Marketing


Marketing can be a lot of fun! It can also be a little confusing and very time consuming! There are many different ways that you can market your Art. Expertise in marketing is at least as valuable as being able to paint well. It could even be more important! If you don’t get your Art out there to the world, no one is going to see it and no one is going to buy it.

There are many ways to advertise or market your Art and you will need to do a lot of research into each medium if you are not already familiar with these platforms from a business perspective:

Facebook

Instagram

Website

Email Mailing List

Art Websites such as Saatchi Art and Bluethumb - there are Many out there, so just look if this is what you want. With these websites, you will have exposure to potential buyers, but you will also be paying a high % of sales to the organisation. Just keep this in mind if going this way, as you will need to increase your prices across the board.

Other ways that you can market yourself are

Business Cards

Markets and Art Fares

Regional events

Art schools

Local galleries

Cafes

Network with other local artists - host a coffee morning

Teach an Art Class






Conclusion


I hope that this very concise Tips on starting your Art Business helps you out in even a small way.


1) Love what you do

2) Tell the world

3) Take actions to make it happen

4) Start Marketing yourself across all platforms

5) Paint, Paint, Paint


Good luck to you all! I wish you every success. This is a wonderful journey (being Artistic) and so is the business world. Business in itself is Artistic and I hope you love it and have an amazing and successful Life.


Colourful Love

Doulene xxx


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