11 tips to turn your art into a career

Tip 1
Develop your artistic skills.
As with any career it is important to be good at what you do. You need a certain level of skill to stand out from the rest of your competitors. Immerse yourself in the skill that you want to learn. Becoming a better artist means experimenting with different mediums, joining local workshops, courses or following online tutorials. There are so many tutorials online that you can experiment with. Browse the web to see what suites you. We have an ever growing collection of art tutorials on our Youtube Art Channel.

2 Keep a journal.
Carry a journal around with you at all times. This will come in handy when you want to write down an idea that comes in to your head. Or perhaps, while you have a cup of coffee you can doodle away in your art journal. The more practise hours you put in the better you will become.

3 Develop your artistic voice and style.
After having tried out different mediums and styles you will realise what kind of medium you are most comfortable working with. Focus on the medium and experiment even more. Try working on different surfaces or different sizes.

4 Create an art studio space.
All artists need a well organised space to work in. You don’t need a large art studio to produce great work. As long as you have a well lit area, a table and some storage space you can get to work. This can be in your kitchen, living room, bedroom or garage. Start small and dream big.

5 Set your goals.
Setting goals for yourself can help you accomplish your dream career and it helps you to move forward. For instance, build up a portfolio, have an exhibition, contact a gallery. When you have achieved your goal, make sure to set a new goal for yourself.

6 Document and catalogue your work.
It’s important to have a good record of your work. Not only for yourself to see your progress, but it’s also nice to be able to show prospective clients work that you have made and sold. Make sure that you note the size of your work, the medium it was made in, when you made it and the price.

7 Make a portfolio.
A portfolio is a powerful tool. There isn’t an artist who should be without one. You can have a portfolio in the form of a folder or book. You can have the real art work in there or good photographs of your work. his is often more practical if you are traveling. You can also have an online portfolio in the form of a website. Make sure that you only have relevant art in your portfolio. You will be showing this to potential clients, so don’t clog it up with art work that you don’t find relevant or isn’t what you want to represent.  Don’t make do with second best. If there is something you want changing…… change it.

8 Create a website and visiting cards.
Dishing out your visiting cards is a great way of achieving free publicity. Some shop keepers allow you to leave cards behind on show. When you talk to somebody who expresses interest in your work you can pass on your contact details. Also having a website that you can refer to is important. Have your portfolio online and link to your social media platforms. You can create a large audience with your website and social media.

9 Network.
Build a network around yourself of people that are interested in art. Use your social media platforms to keep people informed about your latest art project and take them behind the scenes. Share your story with them and they will become engaged with you. The more stories you share with them, the more your art work will be talked about.

10 Exhibit in your local coffee shop, library or restaurant
Get your art work and your name out there for people to see. Often local stores, coffee shops, restaurants and such will be happy to hang up your art work on their walls. It’s a great way to start showing your work and spreading your name. Some stores may charge a percentage of a sale. Make sure that you hang up information with your art work that can lead potential buyers to you and your website.

11 Contact galleries
Galleries will often want to know what kind of experience you have had showing your work. Contact your chosen gallery so that you can show them your work. It is essential to make an appointment with all art galleries before you arrive. Only visit galleries that exhibit a style similar to yours. For instance, there is no point in going to a gallery that sells abstract art, if you are a realist painter.

We hope that these tips have given you some inspiration and help you to move forward.

Best artistic wishes Jean and Jocelyn