7 Steps to Become A Full-Time ArtistThe TRANSITION out of DAY JOB UNFULFILLMENT
They say that either the right or left hemisphere of the brain is dominant in each person.
“Left-brain dominant people tend to be logical, rational and organized, while right-brain dominance fosters creativity, imagination, and artistry.”
Which I would think is a fair assumption that there are a significant amount of ‘creative’ people in the world. In fact, I’d go so far as to say as much as 50% of the human population.
Yet less than 40% of creatives are actually pursuing their passion for creativity, with even fewer actually sustaining in doing so. Where are they?
Due to social conditioning, most creatives can be found in either the service industry, corporate world or as laborers. Treating their interests and passions as hobbies. The “thing” they like, but are not good enough at, or something they will do “one day” Why?
It’s not safe? It’s not “stable.” You don’t know how? “You’re not good enough.”
Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough. It will never be good enough.
If not for you, then for everyone else, because creativity is a fuel for innovation, and for the development of humanity. Furthermore, creativity serves as a source of inspiration for others. Every day not spent in a studio but elsewhere means less inspiration and less growth.
This paradigm of the starving artist lives deep within the minds of the creative and it’s time to break it. Seriously, there are now plenty of possibilities to earn money with creativity since the rise of modern technology and interconnectivity.
Here are 7 steps to becoming a full-time artist:
Where does your creativity lie? Creatives often have so many interests and a hard time choosing. First start with one thing, your core medium, topic, theme, or concept and define your voice. Stick to it and create a direction for yourself. What do you value and hope to share through your creative expression? Making a choice doesn’t limit you or define you as one thing, it’s just a starting point. Once you have created a solid foundation, move into your other interests.
On the contrary, if you are on the fence, “Sh*t or get off the pot.” You don’t have to ditch the job and go all in, but create a plan of transition. With a proper timeline, goals, milestones etc.
Find your tribe
In marketing terms, find your “Target Audience,” It’s often said, “if you market to everyone, you market to no one.” I often see creatives blasting out their content, then quitting when they get no love. Dig deeper, there is a lot of noise out there. Who would be interested in your work?
Who are the people sharing your values and passion? DJ’s & producers find dancers and music enthusiasts. Ceramists find restaurants, cafes, or the young couples wanting to decorate their apartment.
Learn more about target Audience here!
Start working to get some work under the belt. Artwork, performance, craftsmanship, whatever it is, put the work in. Next, refine. I know this is an exciting time when you accumulate a lot of work but sift through your output and showcase your best works on your website.
Make sure you log your work with high regard to quality. Meaning well photographed, simple user experience, attention to your creative progression, etc.
Sometimes money can appear to be a barrier but it should never stop you. If you can’t afford a camera to film or photograph your work, reach out to your photographer friends to shoot it for you. Find things to paint on, be “creative.” Leverage others, trade or barter. People are always there to help if you’re putting in the effort. Money is never a reason for you to stop. There is always a way. If you don’t find it, you’ll find excuses.
Engagement & Interaction
Put aside time to engage & interact with people both online & offline. Leverage what’s available to you.
Online: dedicate to 2-3 platforms which allow you a space for expansion. Find groups on Facebook of like-minded individuals. It’s not always about the sale, it’s about connecting and community.
Offline: find a community whose work, values, and vision resonate with you, and become an active participant. Show up, volunteer, and surround yourself with higher thinking creatives who hold you accountable and encourage your growth. Sometimes it’s hard and you need the right circle of influences to keep you pursuing your passions. Don’t underestimate the power of influence.
At the end of the day, your craft is your product or service. You, your values, your voice, and message are what manifests as your “brand”. It is rooted in your values, your beliefs, and your view. When communicating to your tribe (target audience), ensure you’re always online with your “brand”
Meaning, your web page, your opinions, your business card, and the way you represent yourself all encompass your brand. You are the brand! Be authentic! Inauthenticity never lasts, you want a lasting strong brand, be you, be authentic!
The 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, Place. Until you reach a point where you can afford the support, you have to set aside time to focus on your strategy.
What are you selling? How much are you selling it for? How are you going to inform your tribe about your products and where are you going to showcase your product?
When deciding your strategy, you need to take into account your expenses, i.e. material costs, fees, and set a price that covers at least your material costs.
Sales & Distribution
How can people find your art? Most specifically, your target audience? Do you have an online portfolio? Do you have a web page? Is it available on social media? Is your art exhibited somewhere? Where?
Having your work in random places outside of your audience’s reach leads to frustration and minimal profits. Be careful when choosing a channel and place for your art. If you’re an emerging artist whose art is at a high price point but in a poor standard cafe or local joint, your product is not congruent and there will be buyer’s discourse.
Go through these steps, create and map your goal, then work backward and create actionable steps so you know where you’re going. Include in your goals: When will you quit your day job? How much do you want to earn each month? How many sales, bookings or performances per month?
Next: Perpetually analyze your steps. Are they working? Are you creating the maximum results in your actions? Am I working towards my goals? Revise and keep going!
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