The ‘Starving Artist’ myth says that artists are not good business people. This myth has been deeply rooted in the longstanding belief that most new artists fail because they don’t know how to sell their art. Neither of these could be further from the truth.
Am I an Artist or an Entrepreneur?
When you think of artists, you know them for their creativity, but generally not for their business sense. The reality is, most artists are entrepreneurs as well. Need proof? Just look at social media and you will find tons of artists promoting and selling their creative works of art. Social media has opened incredible marketing and sales opportunities for young artists.
Social media isn’t the only platform for new artists to expose themselves and their artwork to potential collectors. Sites such as Etsy, Artsy and Artplode all offer various avenues for selling your artwork online. Another emerging medium for an artist to display and sell their artwork is by turning it into unique products. CafePress and Art For Your Cause both offer artists a chance to promote and sell their artwork on items from yoga pants to backpacks.
Although these selling platforms offer artists an option for selling their artwork, it is still highly recommended that they have their own website to sell from as well. Having your own site allows you to maintain control of your pricing, saves you potential commissions and other fees, and brings validation to you as an artist and your artwork.
How to Thrive as an Artist
With so many avenues for artists to sell their work, why are so many still struggling to make a career in art? Successful artists possess some of the same traits as some of the most successful business executives. They are both passionate, driven, and consistent.
You must also be comfortable with self-promotion. As an artist, you have a style and a story that is as unique as the artwork you create. Go out and tell that story. Tell people why you create the way you do. The more emotionally connected collectors feel to you and your artwork, the more inclined they are to buy it.
Gone are the days of relying solely on pretentious galleries to display and promote your artwork. Social media and digital marketing allow you, the artist, to control your own marketing and messaging. It also means you can control your pricing. Unfortunately, many artists try to price themselves too low just to try to generate a sale. Pricing your works too low will give collectors the impression that you don’t value your own work, so they are much less inclined to invest in it. You are in control of your brand and the value you place on it, don’t price yourself short.