There is no single perfect way to run a creative business, but among the most successful full-time artists you will notice some similar basic habits. Professional artists have a grip on time management, their creative practice is regular and consistent, and they hold themselves accountable to peers. Whether you plan to quit your day job or just want a nice side hustle, slowly integrating the top five habits of successful artists will set you on the road to better success in your art business.
Here are my 7 top tips that will set you onto the path of success:
Daily art practice. Most great artists from any walk of life who are at incredible heights of skill and success, develop a daily work habit. Rather than waiting for a long work spree, they work consistently every day. This helps build muscle memory, is less stressful and so much more rewarding. Some of my favourite ways to do this: keep your work 'time' and 'space' fixed, join accountability groups, do what helps to get into the moment – music, an art book or whatever is your thing. Keep distractions at bay – I like to put my phone across the room. I also let people know that I am unavailable, except for emergencies.
Build a large body of work. Every artwork does not have to be a masterpiece. Play with your medium and experiment often. To be known as an artist in any right you do need a large body of work that has been seen by your audience to give you authority and credibility in your field.
Stay inspired. Learn consciously. Read. Research on masters, your favourite artists, learn from the best. Observing how other successful artists have built their skills and business will teach you tons. Invest in yourself, keep learning– take courses, buy books, buy good material.
Take care of yourself. Rest, take breaks, avoid stress, do other things for yourself – avoid burnout. Creative blocks will happen to everyone, it’s a reminder to pause and take rest, do something else to recharge, refresh.
Learn how to market your art – a professional has to handle their art as a business. If you create a product, no one will buy it unless you show up and tell them its for sale. Learn about online and traditional marketing, social media, and how to create your brand.
Find multiple streams of income. Just waiting for your art to sell consistently can be frustrating and make you wish you hadn’t quit your day job! There are many ways of making money from your art which are recurring means like teaching, selling prints and patterns. Find out what you like and what matches your style and go for it!
Take feedback. Interacting and discussing with your mentors or fellow artists is very important to your growth process. Join communities, work with other artist and join local art groups to share your thoughts, art processes and work and be open to critique.
Hope this resonates with you in some way! I would love to hear your views on this, you can comment here or message me on Instagram.