A great many people who are interested in art and creativity are far more than just fans. They are artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, photographers, and designers themselves, albeit in an amateur capacity.
You may be content to create for your own enjoyment, and not be bothered about showing your work to a wider audience. Or are you, like many artists, harboring a desire to make a name for yourself, and maybe a career out of your work? Even if you’re an avid consumer of all things creativity-related, you may not realize how many opportunities there are these days to make your work accessible and find employment in your area of interest.
Are you cut out to be an artist?
One of the major stumbling blocks people face when considering showcasing their work is the fear that it isn’t good enough. There are three sides to this issue. The first is that you are highly talented but have been hiding your light under a bushel as they say. The second is that you have a niche talent that could make you money, and the third is that your work isn’t what people are looking for at the present time. If you don’t know which camp you belong in, you need to get some quality feedback from other people, so you have a better idea of where you stand. That doesn’t mean posting your poems on Facebook or sending emails of your photographic portfolio to family and friends. These people know you and won’t want to hurt your feelings, so you’ll probably only get positive feedback. What you want is constructive criticism, which you can get by joining a group associated with your form of art, or by enrolling in a class with experienced and knowledgeable tutors.
What your feedback is telling you
When you’ve gathered some impartial feedback, you need to examine it and see what you can learn. You’ll have information about possible weaknesses in your work which you can then take steps to improve. You’ll also know what people find most impressive about your work, so you can focus on a specialization if you wish. You may disagree with the feedback you’ve been given, and at the end of the day, it’s your choice as to how you proceed. If you’re concerned about compromising your artistic integrity by making the suggested changes, you have every right to carry on with your vision. However, you may find that making money will be more of a challenge – at least until the world catches up with your genius!
Planning for making a profit from your work
It’s important to consider your options very carefully before committing to a particular path. You need to research your industry thoroughly in order to see what people are buying, how much they are paying, and where are the best places to sell. If you have a notable talent, then setting up your own website and social media accounts could be a good investment – in effect starting your own small business. There are also specialty websites for artistic works where you can have your creations displayed and sold for a commission. This is easier than doing the whole thing yourself, but your profit margin will be a little lower.
For most artistic endeavors where you are creating a visual product, using online shopping platforms can be a great way to get started. eBay and Shopify allow you to create your own store on their platform, or you could go for a specialist arts and crafts platform like Etsy or Not on the High Street. Again, it’s a balance between the advantages of having advertising and design taken care of for you with the reduction in profit, so you need to crunch some numbers and see what’s your best option.
Financing your project
You probably won’t want to invest too much in the early stages, because you don’t know how successful your enterprise will be. Also, you may have limited funds with which to promote your work, plus you’ll have a bigger outlay for materials when you increase your production rates. This is where piggybacking on a platform can work well, because the ongoing costs are relatively small, with commissions only being payable as you start to sell. If you need an injection of cash to get you going, credit may be your best option. Find out what choices are available to you on an informative site like Bonsai Finance, which has details of all different kinds of credit options. Just be sure you can cover the repayments if you’re considering using credit.
Knowing your market
Making a living from your creativity can be a challenge, and your most valuable tool is knowledge. For example, if you’re a writer, you need to choose the market for which you wish to write, and find out as much as you can about how to find freelance work or employment opportunities in that sector. There are specific attributes required for different forms of art and the outlets where the work is published. Register with support associations, relevant professional bodies, and websites that offer high-quality advice and information relevant to your niche.
You also need to be working and learning on an ongoing basis, taking classes and practicing your skills so that the quality of your output increases. It also helps to be able to market yourself, for instance raising your profile as a local artist by contributing to local media, writing for the local paper, attending community events, and maybe getting involved in your community by offering lessons or going into schools. Anything that raises your profile will help create a buzz around your work.
Not everyone who has artistic abilities will make money out of their craft, and for those who do, the profits may not be very big. However, having a career as a photographer for a magazine, or working as a website content writer can be highly rewarding ways of earning a living. You have very little to lose by giving it a go, and you could find you can make a decent wage from your talents, so don’t be afraid to give it your best shot.