How to Make Your Art a Business: Tips on Marketing and Selling Art

Looking for tips on how to turn your art into a business? “How to Start Making Your Art Your Business: 100 DIY Tips” could be your guide. With each of this book’s chapters listing simple ten one-paragraph tips, it’s a quick and easy read. The author is Tamara Holland, an attorney turned multimedia artist. Check out her website at Bean Up the Nose Art.

The chapters discuss tips for each of the following steps of beginning an art business:

  1. Deciding whether this is for you right now
  2. Allocating time and space
  3. Putting efficient systems in place
  4. Beginning to market your art
  5. Blogging your art out
  6. Building business and support through social media
  7. Selling at bazaars
  8. Teaching classes
  9. Approaching brick and mortars
  10. Jumpstarting stalled creativity

Being a professional artist means you are a business owner, a role that isn't for everyone. In the first chapter, Holland outlines the 50/30/20 rule for a successful art business — devote 50% of your time to marketing, 30% to administrative tasks, and 20% to creating new art. She suggests deciding whether this rule excites you or turns your stomach before moving forward. If it turns your stomach, there are companies like Fine Art America, Zazzle, and Society6 that can help with some of the more laborious issues like printing, shipping, and customer service. You’ll make less money, but it may be worth that trade-off.

All of her tips are useful; I particularly liked the chapters discussing how to start marketing your art, blogging, building your business and support system through social media, and teaching classes. As an introverted artist, I know that self-promotion can be a daunting task. Holland recommends creating a social media “cheering squad” with artists for promotion and support. Art classes are another good potential income stream; I’ve attended numerous lessons over the years. Online classes have gotten extremely popular, so if you ARE an introverted artist, don’t rule out teaching because you don’t like standing in front of a group.

Finally, she has a chapter devoted to tips on jumpstarting stalled creativity. Creative blocks, even if they are just teeny, tiny ones, are something nearly every artist faces at one time or another; as an artist, I’ve even developed my own tips for overcoming creative blocks. The number of hats we all have to wear is increasing in both number and complexity. Your creativity, while spontaneous in the past, may need a little gentle coaching now. Holland’s tips —go outside, take pictures, ask questions, and Log off — are useful exercises for all of us, whether we consider ourselves artists or not.

About the author

author

Joely Rogers is the vice president of Frame Destination, Inc. She has been with the company since 2005. Joely has a graduate degree in English language education and storytelling from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is also a lifelong artist and paints, sculpts, and creates art journals and jewelry in her cozy home studio. Her personal website is www.cafejoely.com.

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