“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
― Marilyn Monroe
Have you ever been talking with someone new that asks you what you do for a living? Do you respond “I’m an artist” maybe “I creative beautiful paintings full of color, dedicated to wildlife and nature.” Basic or creative? The creative response will probably get you a better reaction. For me, the trickier question arises once I get their interest.
“How do you make a living on that and how do you promote yourself?” Que crickets here
Crickets, not because I don’t know, but because what response will keep their interest vs making them fall asleep or run away screaming. Let’s address the first question. First: it not only depends on how long you have been painting professionally, it also depends on what your life is like right now. For example, I have been painting professionally (to make money/a living) for about five years now. But, I also have a full time job. *Gasp*
Like most people, I have bills that need to get paid and need to put food on the table. But with all of that life stuff involved with my art career, it’s about balance. Once you figure out the balance, it feels natural. My goal is to make a complete living on being a full time artist. But for now, I must make decisions on what needs to be done vs what I want to be done. To balance that even more, I also tend to take more time off more often from work to dedicate to painting. Luckily I work at a picture frame shop so, my bosses understand.
Second issue: How do you promote yourself? This is the more complex question, in my opinion. The information is vast. Social media (like my Facebook Fan Page), my website, business cards, simple conversation, ect. But for someone that is a little one the shy/modest side, talking about my work to other people feels unnatural. But, I have gotten better at it.
There is a fine line between bragging and informing. It’s again, about balance. But, if you are like me, a little on the new side. I would recommend coaching. Yes artists have coaches at times too! I was able to work with Cory Huff from The Abundant Artist last year. From that experience, which I hold close to my heart daily, I am now more confident it promoting my art.
That is, more creative in a way. It is a learning curve, that I will say. You hear promotion and you just scream inside. It’s scary, but making it fun helps. Telling people that if you join my newsletter, you get a sneak peak at work or free prints. Or if you help name a painting and I pick you title you get first dibs on buying the piece. The list is endless.
In the end, it’s dedication and balance. My two favorite words. I learn my limits with trial and error. If I am so exhausted I can barely stand, I should probably take a day off and relax. Also, one thing people forget to do is communicate with other artists.
Get involved with others you admire. Maybe a small group to chat art. If you can’t go somewhere, what about a Skype group? That is something I have wanted to do for a while now too, interested? Message me 🙂 my Skype name is artisttaylorann. Either way, stay confident in yourself and push forward.
Be Kind and Thank You.