Artists often ask me… “How do I ‘make it’ as a professional artist?”
Smiling to myself and not looking forward to their reaction,
I repeat my most authentic reply,
“Take business classes.” I wish it were a sexier answer, an answer that a free spirited, gifted, wonderful Cultural Creative would love to hear.
Yet this week alone, I spent hours on end working through rebranding, designing my new website, learning systems for product creation and focusing on strategic planning for events where my work will be featured. I continually study to create more success for my business.
My goal is to live a life I MAY CONTINUE to ‘do what I love’ and work forever in my passion while contributing financially to my greater community.
I wish there were a magic bean I could give artists to help them succeed financially…or do I? Just as a brilliant accountant, lawyer or doctor learns his trade, we must all be responsible for creating the life we desire.
I ask myself, “Where am I weak in my business.” Then I go learn about it. In the beginning years of my painting business, if I simply could not grasp the subject, I would search for an expert in that realm that I could do a trade with, or mentor in some fashion. We made clear agreements, then we would get to work. Also, I’m a huge fan of master mind groups where each member supports one another, and am still currently a participant in two highly confidential business support groups.
My weaknesses lie perhaps in the realms of business, so I read all I can on subjects which evade me. Books like Good to Great, The Tipping Point, Guerilla Wealth, the E-Myth Revisited, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and multiple software instructional manuals sit within reach of my desk.
20 years ago I decided I would not own a television until I was financially free. I’ve missed Sex in the City, Seinfeld and Lost (except for cocktail viewings at friends houses. I AM currently addicted to Law & Order every day when I work out at my gym.)
So, dear Artists, study. Make a life of learning the market, business, galleries. Start with books that interest you and read before you go to bed. Mark out an hour a week to study a part of your business. We all want managers. Agents. Brokers. Yet, what do you do if that magic person doesn’t show?
You can do it. I did.
There is no magic bean.
Now get to it. Start with Art Marketing 101 by Constance Smith, or Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Good luck, my artist friends.
You can do it.
To YOUR Good to Great Success….
Tuesday, June 15, 2010