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So you wanna do art for a living....

There are a LOT of artists on the net. There are even more in RW. And many of them...many of you...think you want to "make a living" doing art. But can you? Probably not.

Over and over through my years on the net and in RW interactions with artists, I hear the cries of the talented and not so talented wishing desperately to "break into" being a "professional artist." But how many of those have the guts to get out a actually market themselves and their art. And how many are willing go the tedious, boring, frustrating, and mostly thankless miles of commission work that is an artist's bread and butter? Not many.

Most want to be discovered...for art that is commonplace at best with no real and marketable vision - pretty pictures on the wall is what they paint. And everybody does it. What makes the extraordinary is unique perspective, unique style, unique vision, unique artistic statement (the one imbued in your style, not the one you write.) Sure, a given amount of people will buy your artwork, but you certainly aren't going to get rich by it...unless you are one of the few, the chosen, and the lucky.

So what does that leave? Everything. But that everything is spelled W-O-R-K. Everything you see commercially produced requires some form of design or art. It requires an eye, a flair, a talent, a skill. And every art CAN be applied to a product - a product the artist produces or a product that someone else produces.

So, here are your markets...if you want to go the miles.
If you are a "fine artist"
1. start your own gallery or community gallery and learn how to play the market, bringing people to WANT to own a work featured in that gallery.
2. get a GOOD gallery to buy/show your paintings
3. become your own agent or get an agent
(this is a long, arduous, and difficult project for those of even uncommon talent)

If you want to produce art for commercial application
1. get a degree and get hired by an Inc.
2. do your own thing on a local and, in time, a regional level -work for hire projects for organizations (churches, small businesses, private parties, community projects, etc.)
3. do your own thing and create a product for your art or sidle up to someone with a product that needs your kind of art, then be ready for the manufacturing phase and the marketing of that product

BUT, always remember - working for yourself, working with someone else, and working on commission basis (work for hire) requires discipline to get through the drudgery. And doing art on demand, especially to the whims of clients, IS drudgery. Are you ready for that?

And even if you work completely for yourself, creating what you want, when you want, be aware that it still can become drudgery. There will still be headaches and the doing will become WORK, no less than that of any job.

The question becomes, can you, will you, do you really want to do it? And can you do it "on-demand" no matter what?

 

Originally Published onJan-19-02, 05:04 PM (GMT) on http://artcritiquegallery.com/dcforum/DCForumID16/17.html

 

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