How to become a full-time artist
How many times have you been told that art is a dead-end career choice? I know I have heard this said by people so many times, and it is simply not true. If you find yourself asking is art a realistic and achievable career choice, you are in the right place to find out more. It is possible to turn your art into a successful career. Like most things, it isn’t always easy, but there are so many opportunities now if you have a plan and focus on taking it seriously as a career.
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The first step to becoming a full-time artist is to make the decision to take it seriously as a career. This is easier said than done. Some people will tell you, you need to get a ‘real job’ instead. If you want to start making money from art, or want to turn art into your full-time career you have to first work out which career path will best allow you to shine as an artist and display your talents for all to see.
There are so many art career paths to choose from, you might even start your own art business, like me. Once you have found a role that looks like it will work for you, you need to build a portfolio of your work. Lots of people do this at the same time as taking a training course to develop their skills. A portfolio is simply a folder full of examples of what you can do, that you can show to potential clients or employers. It has never been easier to get your portfolio of work out there and get noticed, so don’t be shy about making things happen and taking the initiative.
A career as an artist, or any creative is not always easy. However, it is definitely not limited to painting canvases. The world of art and culture is vast, and it offers so many worthwhile career paths and interesting jobs that are well worth considering. The best artists are very well connected and are good at building relationships in the part of the industry they want to work in. Go to events, sign up for courses, attend gallery nights, anything you can do to start networking with others will help you break into the industry.
Check out my ultimate list of 46 art-based careers for inspiration.
The cliché of the starving artist doesn’t have to become a reality, there are lots of art jobs that are very well paid and in high demand. Lots of areas of art can give you unlimited earning potential at the highest level, with some entry-level positions even earning £25k per year or more with technical training and a good skill level. The higher your profile is as an artist, and the better your portfolio of work, the more you are likely to earn. As a self-employed artist or running your own art business you are only limited by your time and imagination, you can build an art business as big or as small as you like.
I have chosen the route of starting my own commission-based art business that has allowed me to work with clients all over the world and start building my name as an artist. I find the commission process incredibly rewarding and I love that my work means so much to my customers. If you want to start making money from your art, I’ve shared my experience building my business in my new book, “Art is my career – How to Start an Art Business”.
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