Friday, June 30, 2006

Do you have what it takes to be a professional artist?

By now, you probably realise that to be able to make a living from your passion, you must be able to sell your art (check out my previous posting on the subject). Which means that sometimes you will be torn between pleasing yourself and pleasing your clients. And that you will have to spend a sizeable amount of your time promoting your artwork. And that you are going to have to go through all the nuts and bolts, income and expenses, profits and losses of owning your own art business.

Are you up to the task?
Or should you consider getting a job at a company where you can exercise your creativity and express yourself within their boundaries. Many consider it worthwile to give up a bit of freedom in exchange for the stability and steady income that a job provides. And, as many artists choose to do, you can operate your own art business part-time (which is great for deducting expenses on your income taxes); or simply creating art for art's sake and storing your masterpieces in the basement for none to see (which I find quite sad, being an art-lover!).

Questions to help you find out:
Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to evaluate if you have what is needed to be a successful professional artist:
  • Are you disciplined enough to work alone, prioritize your tasks and organize your time?
  • Are you able to make decisions and take responsibility for them?
  • Are you confident about your art and motivated to sell it?
  • Is there a market for your work (have you studied it)?
  • Do you enjoy being "you inc" where you are the boss, the employee, and your income depends on you?
  • Do you have enough savings and potential clients to get through your first year in your art business?
  • Are you able to survive without depending on a regular paycheck?
  • Do you notice and seize opportunities / easily solve problems?
  • Are you aware of legal or accounting resources (or have contacts in those fields)?
  • Do you have any prior professional experience in your field?
  • Are you able to motivate yourself and stay positive even during rough patches (moral support from friends and family really help here)?
  • Are you flexible enough to modify your work to accomodate your client's requests?
  • Do you truly believe in what you do?
You should be able to answer "yes" to most of these questions if you want to pursue your carreer as a professional artist. For those you answered "no" to, read a book or attend a seminar about the subject.

If more than half were answered negatively, I strongly suggest that you consider getting a job through which you can fulfills your creative needs.

Good luck!


Blogger Amarjeet Prasad said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.

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