Some pointers for my fellow artists who want to be creating art for a living.
1. Save money – get a bank account ideally with a savers account attached and put money aside if you’re in a job currently . It’s better to start your career as an artist with funds in the bank than starting with nothing. You have something to fall back on and don’t feel desperate to earn money immediately.
2. Plan – work out what you want to achieve and how you want to do it. Work out your costs ( for products, materials ) and think of how many hours you plan to work a day and what kind of products you can sell. Originals, prints, cards, online tutorials etc.
3. Don’t do it unless you know you’re ready – wait until you’re sure you will make an impact and people enjoy what you do. Don’t immediately think you’ll be an instant success and a millionaire in a week. It doesn’t work like that. Use your social media channels to ask questions to your followers to understand what they want from you and whether they would buy from you. I do this regularly, it’s pointless creating art to only sell to a minority when the majority want something else. You always have the final say, but it’s wise to listen to your clients.
4. Understand the first sale will always be the hardest – getting that first sale is very difficult but it’s worth spending time to get it. Don’t instantly think that now you’re setting up as a sole trader or a business that people will throw themselves at you.
5. Be prepared for failure – you will get things wrong. Not my opinion but a fact. Sometimes no amount of planning can stop certain things happening, however it’s how you deal with it that matters. You can quit and not pursue it anymore, or you can try again with the added knowledge of what went wrong.
6. A**holes – you better get used to these as well. No matter how good you are there will be someone doing the same thing as you that you consider better or more talented but in reality it doesn’t matter. A lot of people will make it their personal career to diminish, destroy and ruin you if you let them. This is either down to jealousy, incompetence on their behalf and fear that one day you will succeed more than they do and people will like what you do more.
7. The customer is king, but you’re the boss – you’ve seen my dodgy hate mail and messages. Respect the people who buy from you, make them feel a million dollars and they will always come back to you. Give them the feeling they have something that money can’t buy, even though they paid for it. Don’t accept criticism from those who simply haven’t got a clue or those who just want to put you down ( refer to point 6 ).
8. Be confident – you CAN do this.
Here is a small sampling of some of Christopher’s own artwork as a coloured pencil artist. Read about him below the images. Click the first image for the slideshow.
About the Author
Christopher Durant is a coloured pencil artist from the United Kingdom. Art is his greatest passion and he hopes to inspire others who follow his journey. You can find him on Facebook @durantsdrawings and you can follow him on Instagram @durants_drawings. Both @ links are clickable.