Lately I’ve been doing some serious thinking about my situation as an artist and where I’m heading. I’ve decided that now is the time to make things happen. To put some extra pressure on myself and to share my experiences (past ones and what I will learn from now) I’ve decided to make it all public here on my blog. Every Sunday - starting today - I will deliver posts about Art as Business. These posts will either be about me and my strategies, progress and drawbacks – or more general about Art as Business (those things I wish I had known 7 years ago)
I remind myself constantly “start where you are” (I’ve even glued the text on my window). If you want to run a marathon and have never been training it’s not very smart to decide to go for the New York Marathon straight away, right? To be able to succeed you would better have to start out slow and train until you’re fit. Same with most things – just because you can’t do it right away doesn’t mean you can’t do it. “All” you have to do is to figure out your current situation and come up with a strategy (and stick to it - and be very persistent).
So – where do I stand right now?
I’ve been self-employed as an artist since the summer of 2004 – with a break in 2005 when I was on maternity leave. I exhibit regularly (1-2 separate exhibitions/year) at galleries (but not the best), I make public commissions at least every second year and sometimes small odd art jobs, I sell my fine art prints in galleries (not a lot), I teach art sometimes and occasionally give workshops. (for details see my CV) Except for a 25% job in a gallery 5 months this year – and giving 2-3 aerobic classes/week until last year – I have not had any other job these years. I have been making at least half of the money me and my family (partner and son) has been living on. My partner is also in the creative business (film) so I have not had someone else’s regular income to lean on. Added should be that we have cut our living costs as much as possible.
Ok – it is not totally bad. I am slowly making progress, but I feel that I’m not really aware of where I’m going and that I’m probably not following up things. Besides NON of my incomes are guaranteed (workshops for example depend on demand and an exhibition can get very few visitors just because of the weather).
Two big questions:
1. What is my goal and how do I get there?
2. How will I make a descent living meanwhile?
I do not just want to make a descent living as an artist. I want make really good art and exhibit in the best galleries. This is not about money in any way. So how do I get there? (Anyone?) One thing I know for sure: it will take some time and I have to have some incomes to get there – which leads me to no 2: How will I make a descent living as an artist meanwhile?
Ahhhhhh .... START WHERE YOUR ARE:
Where do I make money now? What do I know doesn’t work? (And what will not take me away from my main goal?) Do I have additional ideas?
...to be continued next Sunday.