About 6 years ago I made a conscious decision to be a “Professional” artist. I was going to be dedicated to my craft. I would work towards having things like; Inventory, Customer Database, Mobile Retail Space, Show Schedule and Dedication. I was raised by a Pro, I felt I knew what I was getting into. There was one problem, her footsteps no longer lead to the path of success. She started her art career in the 1980’s and things are radically different now. Oh well, I had made the decision and come “heck or high water” I was going to do this. This meant I had to throw out her road map and turn on GPS.
G, P, S? How does an artist find a GPS to success? I looked on-line, I followed leads, joined groups and talked to professionals in the field. That is how I found My Artreprenuer Program or MAP. There isn’t a book you can buy about being success at art. You can find how to run a restaurant, a retail space, there are business plans out there for every business but art. Map promised to give me a guide to the “ART BIZ”. It does but, the caveat is; you must work hard for it as well. Most of the things you need to learn are done by doing the homework. I have spent the last 3 months doing homework, and creating inventory, and going to shows, and traveling to my galleries, and, and, and….
The thing is, it is worth it. I wrote a rough draft Marketing Plan and hired an accountant (my husband) to create a budget. I also did a rough outline for a Business Plan. I’m going to have to polish them in the next month, but I did it. I won’t lie, it was hard. I kept having anxiety attacks while I was doing it because my art business is a mess. No one wants to face a truth like that. I did it because I want to be a success. I want to be a Professional Artist.
It isn’t for everybody. You can just make art because you love it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you must sell it. If you don’t want to, don’t. I give you permission to just create for the joy of it. That is being a grownup. Making a choice and being happy with it. All the hard work I am doing is being a grown up too but it is my adulthood, it doesn’t need to be yours. Let your adulthood be a steady 9-5 or swing shift with a steady paycheck and do art for fun. It is ok. Everything I am doing is my journey. I will share it with you willingly but I never expect anyone to follow me. That’s a lot of work. Ugh.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.