Updated: Oct 18
You’ve done the required steps. You’ve set aside space (and time) for painting and created an office space.
You’ve spoken with an accountant and considered your business name. You’ve made your business legal and acquired a separate checking account, plus, joined a debit/credit card collection service.
You’ve decided what your focus will be for your medium, style, and subject matter. You may already have a social media account where you share your work with your growing audience. Perhaps even had a painting or two in a gallery or street fair. Maybe even sold a few paintings.
But you recognize that even with all your efforts, at best you’ve sold a handful of paintings and still can’t figure out how to turn a profit or earn a living with your paintings.
You think to yourself “what am I doing wrong,” “is my pricing off,” or “how can I make the leap from 2 to two hundred sold paintings and start earning a living from this God given gift”? Am I right?
Well, you’re not alone, because most artists never make it past this stage of self-doubt before reverting right back to the “need a day job” mentality. Let’s face it, the “starving artist” profile did not arise from nowhere!
It’s tough to break though that invisible veil that exists between making it and not making it with your art career. It can seem like things are stacked against you and may feel like “why am I even doing this.”
This is the point of where you either must make a firm commitment to your art business, or you must let go of the way you thought a painting career was supposed look. Because if you don’t change something you simply won’t make it as a fine art painter. You’ll go on as a hobby painter or perhaps give it up entirely.
So, what do those two choices look like? First, if you have not gotten to the edge of giving up and said to yourself “I’m sticking with this no matter what” (mostly because you can’t see yourself doing anything else) you most likely will. This isn’t an easy road to take, or everyone would be doing it!
Secondly, I think we sometimes have blinders on when it comes to what it means to be a professional painter. I know I did. As a single parent I limited myself to showing my work at galleries, in part because I thought that selling through galleries was maybe not the only way, but the best way to become a professional artist.
I've made both choices, at different times. I committed to carrying on with my art business no matter what. (More than once) Then just when I hit my limit and decided to give up, I redefined what I thought a fine art career looked like. That was when everything changed.
I would have never guessed that I would be creating Personal Energy Portraits for clients across the county because it didn’t look like a traditional painting career. I had to give up my ideas of what it looked like to be a professional painter.
Both choices are a defining moment in your career. Both will send you into new directions, and both are simple mind shifts that guide you to new outcomes and eventually success.
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