I have been drawing and painting since I was 6 years old, it’s all I ever really wanted to do when I grew up. My mother was an artist, and watching her, it just seemed like she enjoyed it so much. I never realized that there was a huge downside to being an artist, until I got older. The fact is being an artist isn’t the most stable job there is. Here is a list of my things that I find to be really hard in this career and what you should prepare for.
1. People Generally Tend to Love Art, But Don’t Want to Pay for It.
I have really noticed this about murals especially, they can cost several thousand dollars and some people think this is outrageous. It it not just about the materials and an artist’s time, it is also about the fact that it is a very personal piece. A real mural is not some sticker that you can buy and put on a wall, but this is what a lot of people are doing and it doesn’t quite capture the same effect. Today’s economy is having a major effect on how artist’s can make a living right now.
2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
If you are an artist that has another job, then keep it. The art world is so unpredictable. One day you may have jobs coming in left and right and the next, nothing. I personally started to go to art school straight out of high school and after 1 semester and a lot of research, I decided to switch my major to Mathematics. Don’t get me wrong, I did well in my classes. It’s just that I realized that after I graduated and surmounted this huge debt, that there was no real guarantee that I could ever pay it off. I decided that I would go into Mathematics which is a more stable field and do my artwork on the side. I think that this is the only way to still be able to do what you love, but not have to struggle so much.
3. Getting a Networking Community Together
This one is very hard for someone like me who has always been a quiet person, but it’s almost impossible to be a successful artist without doing a little networking. You can build a network online on Facebook or at your local cafe where artists like to hang out. Find where there are local art shows, go on an art walk, and try to get your work shown in these places. Just try to get your name out there and get more artist friends because they can connect you to people that they know. It’s not that hard because you already know that you have something in common, which is art.
I hope that as an artist you will find these 3 things helpful to you and your career.