Fine Tune Your Art Business Morgan Bricca, Murals by Morgan, shares some of the things you should consider before beginning a career as a professional artist.

First Steps: Getting your art business started

In my first video, “Taking the Leap: Is becoming a professional mural artist right for you?” I suggested five things to consider for a success as an entrepreneurial artist. They are:

1. Be passionate about what you create
2. Be willing to learn new skills
3. Be prolific
4. Be ready for the long haul
5. Don’t be your own worst critic

You do not need to quit your day job (yet), but you will move faster through the following steps depending on how much experience you already have and how much time you have to give to your new venture.
Here are five first steps I recommend you take:

1. Specialize
2. Create a consistent portfolio
3. Have professional quality photos taken of your work
4. Define and understand your target market
5. Build Your Brand

This video offers the main direction, but I recommend you read more in depth on all these subjects.

Here is a list of my favorite books that have helped me substantially along my path:

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron

Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

The E-Myth : Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

Once you get through the first five steps, pause, and celebrate! The first steps to take are the hardest. One thing I have learned being my own boss is it can be a blessing or a curse. Be a good boss, and give yourself a long weekend getaway or take yourself out to a nice dinner to celebrate. The point is to be clear on accomplishing the tasks, and when then are finished, to celebrate that success. Give yourself gold stars, check all the boxes, whoop and holler in your car about how awesome you are!

Invite your friends and favorite people to a launch party. Put out business cards, put your art up or photos of your art, maybe put out some cool stickers. This is the launch of your own business as an artist. This is not time to spend a lot of money looking successful and offering free wine. Make it a potluck and BYOB. Your friends, if they are friends, will be thrilled for you. They will come up with ideas for you about who might be interested in your art or what commercial application your art might have. These are great clues, and if they fit in to your core competency, follow up on the leads and thank them! If you make artsy scarves and they say my aunt Minnie loves scarves, then you say, “Can I contact her? Will you send her to check out my wares on my fantastic new website/Etsy/Main Street Café?”n These are the first steps of marketing: work through your existing tribe to look for opportunities and possibilities for your artwork.

It is essential to believe in yourself. No one else has your unique voice, background or offering. When you start out, that might not be as evident. It takes time to build your unique abilities and way of thinking will bring about entirely new situations, insights, and way of communicating that. This takes time. Be willing to learn what you need to get there. This won’t happen overnight, and that might be ideal for you and your art anyway.

I wish you all the best in your journey!


You might be interested in