- by Barney Davey
Successful art businesses have many things in common. Art that sells, a viable plan to sell it, and routine repeatable actions to close the deal.
When you begin the act of creation, whether at an easel, behind a lens, or on a Wacom Tablet, you typically have a vision for how your finished piece will look. Of course, it is a work in progress, which means it will change as you continue to work on it and refine it.
As you start your artwork, you have a reasonable idea of what you need to accomplish with it. If asked, it is a picture you can communicate, even in writing, or sketches or both.
If you can’t imagine what your art business will look like in the future, you are a traveler without a destination.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll
When it comes to your career, or art business, in order to be successful, you need to know how it will look in a year, in three years, in five years. – Barney Davey
You don’t need a perfect plan; you just need a plan. To make your art business thrive, you have to invest in it. To build a collector base, you have to market and advertise to get them. Once you have found interested parties, you have to spend additional funds to keep them interested.
By creating a vision of how you want your art business to look, you give yourself clues on where you will look for new buyers and how much you can afford to attract them to your work. There is no cookie cutter method to create your vision.
There are many paths to building a successful art business.
If you examine the business model of ten or more top artists, you will get ten different ways to get your work to market. While some artists might have followed the traditional gallery method, others have dominated the better juried shows to become successful. These days, you find more artists building a successful business model by marketing online.
To Be Successful As An Artist, You Need Work That Sells, You Need a Plan, And You Need Action.
It’s true some artists might have backed into success without having a plan to get there. But, it is a terrible way to go about the business. I liken it to the equivalent of not saving for retirement, but rather investing in lottery tickets hoping a monumental win to make up for lack of prudent actions.
How Do You Begin to Make a Plan for Your Art Business?
Start by writing everything down. Use a vision board, or mind mapping software to help you keep track of you ideas. The initial actions are not designed to nail down how you want future business to look. Instead, use them to gain insights those things most appealing and helpful to you.
By going through this exercise, you can sort out what is most valuable, what is simply intriguing. There is a crucial difference. By honing in on what is required, you narrow down your choices. This allows you to discard many of those intriguing things that are usually a distraction. These things keep you from fully focusing on those plans and actions that will move your career higher and higher.
Your climb to success can be helped by surrounding yourself with the right people
You might consider creating an art salon group, or a mastermind group, or join one. While your vision is specific to your business and you, there are many other artists on similar, yet unique, paths. If you can find kindred souls who are willing to work together with you, you will receive a built-in support group.
It’s not unheard of for such groups to morph into other bigger things for all involved. It could be a creative artist guild, an annual show, or a coop gallery. Leveraging the power of a group is a terrific way to boost your art business to new career highs.
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