Here are four important suggestions for artists who are starting out their career right now. Follow these steps religiously (I write from 18 years of experience)
1. Be persistent
Building up a successful career takes a lot of time. You’re not going to become a successful artist overnight. Persistence is key. If you aren’t prepared to invest a lot of time into becoming a successful artist, it isn’t going to happen for you. It will more than likely take you a long time to get where you want to be and you will encounter bumps in the road along the way. It’s important to remain persistent even when something doesn’t happen or something turns out different to what you thought it would be. You have to be prepared for every eventuality and you have to let yourself get past any stumbling blocks.
2. Build up connections
It’s essential that you build up a network of connections if you want to become a successful artist. Build up an email list and notify your contacts whenever you have something to advertise, such as an exhibition or the fact that your work’s being featured in a magazine. Get your friends and family involved as well. Whenever someone supports you in any way by attending an exhibition or by buying one of your pieces, for example, maintain your connection with them by thanking them for supporting you. An excellent way of building up connections is to get yourself on as many social media sites as you can.
3. Put yourself out there
There’s a lot that can be gained from putting yourself out there. Do everything you can to learn about art and what it takes to become a professional artist. Take advantage of any opportunities that you think will be of help to you and your career, even if they don’t seem like much at the time. It’s going to take a while for you to get a sell-out exhibition at a top gallery. Until you can do that, make do with simply getting your work shown at smaller exhibitions. Start small and work your way up. Another good idea is to become involved with your local art scene. Attend events and get to know other artists in your area. Doing this is a really useful way of finding and establishing important connections.
4. Have a clear vision and realistic goals
It is essential to have an idea about what you want to do in your art career. Of course, this may well change over time, but as long as your vision’s clear, you can go about achieving your career goals more effectively. You stand a better chance of being successful if you offer something different from others, so have a think about what your unique selling point is. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what sets you apart from others, always bear this in mind. Be true to yourself and your unique vision. When it comes to goal setting, it’s important that you set goals you can realistically achieve. By all means, be ambitious, but don’t set your goals too high, otherwise you’ll just end up feeling frustrated and disappointed when you don’t achieve them. It’s better to achieve lots of smaller goals than not to have achieved any bigger goals.