The first and most important step in becoming a professional artist is to develop your skills. Build up your knowledge and brush handling capabilities by taking classes, studying expert work, and practicing. If you want to be a professional, Naga4d you need to get your work to a level where it can hold its own among all the other artists. It’s a tricky thing to define. It’s a lot like the difference between a brand new cake decorator and one with years of experience and training. The difference in skill level is visual.
You can also ask for feedback from the people around you who aren’t afraid to speak the truth but are also not chronically critical. Or, you can observe people who are exposed to your work but have no personal connection, such as the person who assists you when you get a piece framed. Do they seem genuinely impressed with your painting? Take note, but also remember that everyone has different tastes. Try to get multiple opinions.
Develop a solid base of ten to fourteen pieces that you feel confident in. They should be cohesive and of a high skill level. Typically, you want each piece to relay a consistent painting style and similar subject matter, if possible.
This isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. You need to make sure the photographs you produce are of a high quality because they are going to represent your work. 1. There shouldn’t be any blur (so consider using a tripod), and the lighting should be even. 2. Many experts recommend photographing outside on a temperate, bright but overcast day. This creates a kind of natural white box. Mid-day offers the most neutral color tone as well, so perhaps aim to photograph somewhere between 11am-2pm. 3. Your primary image should show the painting image only – not the mat, frame, wall, or any other surrounding material. These items can simply be cropped out using a photo manipulation software.
This is also the time to establish a computer database to track your work and exhibitions. Do this early in your career so you don’t loose track. I, personally, like, but you can begin with a program you already have on your computer or search online for other alternatives. If you want to be a serious artist, it really helps to keep things organized and the earlier the better.
You should also now have an idea of pricing and will need to maintain consistency in that regard. Price increases should come slowly or after a special honor or professional association. And business cards are still used today to let people know your website address, where they can see more of your work or contact you.
Being a professional is more than just meeting certain goals, in my opinion. It’s also how you present yourself. It’s how you carry yourself, the way you dress, and the confidence you show in your work. When you engage in the art world, dress well, look clean, present your work in the best light…and have professional looking marketing materials. You wouldn’t believe the negative impact an unkempt mat and frame can have, for example. Or on the opposite tack, the positive one that a smartly dressed, engaging persona can have.
As you attend certain events, chat with the artists there and get a feel for how that career path impacts their life. Plein air competitions, for example, will involve travel. Commission work will require contracts and ways to communicate with clients. Outdoor markets will mean travel and the need to purchase a proper tent and hanging materials. Observe and ask questions. You’ll find that some appeal to you more than others.
There are many paths to becoming a professional artist because every artist (…every person) is unique. But you can use this information as a general template to help you get going in the right direction and discover your individual track.
Once you have some show experience on your resume, the next step is to ramp up your website and marketing materials. You’re going to need a well thought out artist statement and bio, as well as a professional looking artist photo that represents your artist personality. This is a photo of you – the artist.
An artist statement is basically what you want to say with your work, what makes it unique, or what you want the viewer to experience when seeing your work. A bio is simply your artist history (education, exhibits, etc.). All of this needs to be added to your website (if it’s not already there), and your website will need upgrading to one that allows you to use your own domain name. A domain name is the website address name (such as JaneDoeArt.com). Most free websites require you to use an extension in your address such as JaneDoe.weebly.com. It’s best to present yourself clear of any such extensions, so seriously consider purchasing one with only the name you decide upon. Artists often just use their name, such as janedoe.com, but it’s totally up to you. Just make it easy to remember.