I was lucky enough to be sent to a big private art school by my very loving parents for my undergraduate degree. The school, in return, promised to develop me into a professional artist – one that can make a living through pursuing a career in the arts. I graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with emphasis in Motion Pictures and Television. And, here, 10 years later, do not call myself a professional artist. I do, however, know of many artists that are successful and I have a good idea of what it takes to get noticed and create a career in this field. Here are my three ideas on how to get started as a professional artist.
1. Differentiate your work. Love the paintings you see in the galleries and feel inspired to create your own art now? Great! Just be sure you’re recreating and not duplicating. Taking inspiration from a work is awesome and many artists are inspired by others. That’s what makes the communities so great. But differentiating your work is imperative to getting noticed and getting your work sold. Just as in business, find an unfulfilled niche and subjects that you’re passionate about, and you’ll be successful.
2. You’re passionate and are creating works that interest you. Keep going! Grit, the combination of passion and perseverance (also the name of a great book by Angela Duckworth), is especially essential for artists. Don’t stop creating early on because you’re not seeing an immediate return. Continuing to create will help you develop your skills in the long run and will give you a large sample of works to exhibit, when the opportunity presents itself.
3. Get out there and be part of your local art community! I have found that members of art communities, everywhere, are so supportive and want to help each other achieve success. Networking with other artists, gallery owners, museum curators, collectors, and the many other members of the community is imperative and will undoubtedly lead to opportunities you wouldn’t get on your own.
What are your ideas on how to get started as a professional artist? Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts!