The Biggest Mistakes Professional Artists Make

Being an artist is a hard but spiritually rewarding way to make a living. However, many artists that are living solely off their art get by paycheck to paycheck, so to speak, with very little job security. Often, if they don’t sell enough pieces every month, they might have to take up part-time work. Being an artist offers many benefits that most other jobs just can’t offer, but there are big mistakes artists make that can stop them from enjoying the financial security they deserve from their profession.

Not Being a Business

If art has always been your hobby, it can be difficult to transition from doing something for pure enjoyment to doing something for sustenance, as well as contribute to the artistic community. You need to set yourself up as a business, as it will enable you to make money from your art and distribute that consistently, giving you more financial security in the meantime. Many artists are resistant to anything to do with business, as feeling they may feel like they are ‘selling out’, but if you don’t declare your transactions properly you can suffer tax penalties. If you don’t set up as a business and don’t make yourself a business plan, you are stunting your ability to grow as an artist, which is greatly aided by financial security.

Not Marketing

If you’re making money from your creativity, you’re going to need to know how to market it properly. Marketing yourself feels unnatural and uncomfortable to many artists, which is why some create personas to distance themselves from the efforts that are needed to bring them success. You need to set aside a certain amount of time every week to focus on marketing efforts, whether that’s digital marketing like social media use or blog creation, or trying to market yourself by contacting galleries.

Burning Cash When It Comes In

Hopefully, you will be rewarded for giving your life to creativity and have some good shows at some points. When more money comes in than you expect, it can be easy if you’re not used to it, to just burn through it on luxury goods or by treating yourself and your friends. This could be money that you devote towards new materials, techniques or even that you put aside for your future. Media and entertainment wealth management experts are specialists who give artists advice on how best to handle their money, as things like pensions and retirement funds need to be considered.

Not Investing in Yourself

It can be easy once you’ve developed a style that you’re happy to focus on other things, but as an artist, you should be looking to grow and to improve. This isn’t only beneficial for your personal life, but also the value of your art. The greatest artists always tell a story of personal development throughout their oeuvre, but if you don’t put aside time and energy so you can invest in educating yourself, you run the risk of not reaching your full potential.