How many times have I heard “But it’s not a real job.” Or better yet when I tell people Im an artist they ask “Ok, so what else do you do, like what’s your ‘real’ job?”
Some say that it isn’t a realistic career choice, and the myth of the “starving artist” stereotype is still very much alive and kicking? Its certainly not easy being a successful fine artist (someone who makes a living by creating original, one-off pieces of art) but some people do succeed with it.
A career in art is not limited to being a painter or sculptor. Behind every piece of art in the media or magazines for instance, there’s a graphic or commercial artist. Graphic artists put the magazines together; illustrators draw the cartoons and graphics. There are website designers and computer-graphic artists as computers don’t draw the images themselves; they’re just the tool, a modern version of a paint brush! And what about animation? There is also film, TV, and stage set building. We have world class facilities here in
There is also photography, interior and landscape design, shop-window design or window dressing, a job I trained in also, back in the days when I believed what I was being told in that fine art wasn’t a real a job! We need framers for our work so framing can be an option. Clothing design, look at all our successful designers in
Part of being a successful artist is being able to sell yourself, good marketing skills are so important. The world will rarely come to you; they don’t know you are there, so you need to let them know you are. In this day and age a web presence is almost a must. Having a website to showcase your art allows the whole world to see you and is also useful when you want to show someone your latest work, much better than lugging a photo album around with you! I personally use webwidgets for my site. Theyre affordable, helpful and easy to use and give you the control to change things yourself, which is important for artists to be able to do.
Art will not always about making money although we need that to survive and to buy more supplies so we can keep on creating. You have to decide what's more important to you: money or having a job/career you thoroughly enjoy. Assess your priorities and make your choices accordingly. Do without rather than go into debt for a non-essential item or trip (and take a critical look at what you consider essential). Wouldn’t you rather be able to say: that you lived an interesting, creative life or that you lived in a huge house had a flash new car and the latest fashions? Would you regret not finding more time for your art?
Some people choose a job simply because it pays the bills and leaves them with plenty of time to pursue a fine-art career part time whether its in the arts industry or not and if this works for you then all good, the best of both worlds perhaps? It takes a lot of determination and hard work to make a career as a fine artist. You need to create paintings people want to buy, some see it as selling out to paint stuff that goes with someone else’s curtains. But I think you need to be realistic, if you have a studio full of work that’s not moving because it’s all your heart and soul type stuff then you’re going to have to rethink things if you want to make money from this career. I find its best to do some commercial stuff and some from your heart and soul and then you are more likely to be successful. If you manage to make it to be a top artist you can paint what you want to your hearts content, make it your goal!
Posted: Saturday 9 January 2010