Jul 09, 2020
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Making it As An Artist: How to Pay Your Bills With Passion

If you’ve gotten a degree in visual art or studied sculpture in undergrad, you may be worried that you’re always going to be stuck working at your day job while trying to break into the art scene. This hunger to make meaningful artwork that also pays your bills can be complicated by seeing how expensive it costs to purchase some artists’ work at auction. 

One of the best ways to make it as an artist is to believe in yourself and always push to make your art sales a higher part of your income. If you want to pay your bills with your passion and creativity, here are two things to consider building into your strategy as an artist.

Invest in high-quality painting materials.

If you want your art to be taken seriously, you need to have the right items to make it. Without the right tools, you won’t be able to make high-quality artwork, which is crucial if you want to start commanding higher prices for your paintings. If your medium is acrylic paint, www.paintloose.com has a variety of kits that can help you get started painting. 

Complete with pallets, sponges, brushes, canvas, and paints, regardless of if you’re just getting started or have intermediate experience these kits will give you everything you need to practice your skills and make something great. Buying things like paints, canvases, and brushes individually can get costly fast, so being able to buy a kit that comes complete with everything you need can keep you focused on making your art instead of shopping around to try and save a few dollars. 

If you feel like you just need a little inspiration PAINTloose also offers DIY projects to try out by yourself or with your family. Sometimes trying out a new medium or different project while putting less pressure on yourself is a great way to open yourself up to new opportunities and ideas. As a resource for both artistic inspiration and supplies, PAINTloose is a great resource for artists looking to make it.

Make connections with gallery owners—or start your own.

Part of making money as an artist comes down to being able to find buyers who value your art as more than just a pretty picture. That means networking with gallery owners who can help give you and your work a platform. Sometimes it can be difficult to break into this scene as an individual, but by allying yourself with other artists you may be able to create a joint exhibition. 

At the opening reception, be sure to introduce yourself to anyone who comes and thank them for attending. Have business or artists’ cards with you in case anyone asks for them, and put your best put forward. This sort of networking opportunity can help you get future showings as well as connect you with buyers interested in more of your work or even commissions.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, consider starting a gallery of your own. Art galleries can be registered as non-profit businesses if they offer classes and other initiatives for the community (another great reason to shop from PAINTloose!) in addition to exhibiting other artwork. As you have more gallery shows and help other artists beyond yourself get their names out there, too, you’ll start to build a list of donors, constituents, and other interested art lovers. 

You can continue to communicate with these different segments of people using a simple peer to peer texting platform like the one offered by Peerly. Peerly lets you have one on one conversations via SMS messaging at scale, meaning that you can send out reminders about upcoming exhibitions or quick donation asks on days like Giving Tuesday and then respond to any replies you get from recipients. This makes it easier than ever to grow the base of supporters that can really help your gallery thrive.

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