Why You May Not Be Ready to Turn Your Art Into a Business by M Theresa Brown

Although I am considered a successful marketing artist, where every bill that I pay comes from money that I earn through my art sales, I am fully aware that what I do for a living, creating and selling my art as a business, is not for everyone! Self employment is hard work!

But recently a long thread ran on another forum that I belong to with advice from many, various artists on “starting a fine art business” being thrown around like it was a recipe for biscuits!  I am always amazed at how quickly someone will take advice from someone who may not be where they want to be! (think about that) Why would anyone take business advice from someone who has never run a business?

Still, after browsing through dozens of replies and comments on the topic-all honest and well intentioned, but still lacking in real life functionality, I realized what the   real issue was underlying all the comments. Just under the surface was the need to justify creating!

For so many artist there is something magnetic about the words “art business”. They  feel that they must justify creating their art.  Businesses do not happen overnight and I constantly remind artists that it is hard work. It is more than that.  Starting, running and maintaining a successful business is a state of mind. Combining creativity and business is also a state of mind and you will be unsuccessful if you cannot switch gears to accept and embrace what needs to be done.:-)

Keep this whole thing in perspective. There is no need for an artist to “justify” her expenses to anyone. (and I use “her” as this seems to be a predominantly female trait!) Not to her friends, not to her spouse, not to her relatives. Art is no more expensive than golf, video games, gardening, fishing, scrapbooking or any other hobby that someone chooses to have.  Only in art does one’s hubby (and I see this with women ALL the time) say “you can sell this, Honey and make some money” or (as one woman just emailed to me) ” “Honey, you need to stop playing around and go get a “real” job.”    Well why doesn’t he take his fish to market and justify the cost for all the fishing and the boat payment? Or his golf score from last week to try and sell and amaze on Ebay to pay for the golf clubs? 🙂 You see my point.

So relax. Only when you find your sales REGULAR and “real” should you even consider going the business route. Regardless of all the “easy” ways to sell your art that “experts” all over the Internet are selling or advising, use plain old common sense. There is no such thing as an easy business :-).

Now go have fun at your easel and don’t be pressured into a premature decision! Art and Business can be fun, exciting and stimulating but only if you accept the mindset AND your sales justify this decision!



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