Canvas work

4 tips to help an artist grow their business

If you want to turn your artistic passion into a career, you need to start thinking of yourself as a small business. According to IBISWorld, there has been a 3.1% increase in the number of performers or creative artists in the United States from 2020 to 2021. * Therefore, it is important to network with this community to increase your success and share your amazing works of art with the world.

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Below are four key tips you need to keep in mind when starting your art business, along with comments from Arizona artists on how these tips guided them:

Start compiling everything you need as a business owner.

Catrina Kahler is the President and CEO of Artlink Inc.

“If you dream of pursuing your passion as an artist, you must first develop a business plan. Like any other type of business venture, focus and implement a plan and treat your passion like a daily work schedule. – Cyn silva, painter on large format canvas

“Master the art of organizing, keeping books and taking inventory of works of art. If these skills aren’t your strong suit, hire an accountant or other professional to help. Don’t forget to keep your tax receipts! Also, order yourself quality business cards that reflect your brand. – Keely Finucane, oil and acrylic painter

Create your artist mark and share it online.

“Create a clean website with an online store and keep it up to date. Also take quality photos of your artwork, store them on an organized hard drive and back up the photos. Consider hiring someone if you are unable to get quality photos on your own. – Keely Finucane, oil and acrylic painter

“The best way to share and promote is to start locally and then use social media to build your business. Regularly attend upcoming opportunities that benefit your typical interest by sharing or creating your work for the public. – Estevan Curiel, urban graffiti artist

Join artist networks and make connections.

“I joined and became a member of Scottsdale Arts, ASID American Society of Interior Designers, Artlink, and other artist networks. By joining these groups, I was able to determine who my niche market was, in order to better promote them. Networking with other artists is the key to success. – Cyn silva, painter on large format canvas

“Learning to communicate your art with other artists is the best way to network because we both understand that point of view. Each of us strives to reach new heights in our careers and sometimes networking helps increase the visibility of each other’s work. We are starting to create a network in our area of ​​expertise and become this community of artists in our region. – Estevan Curiel, urban graffiti artist

“Despite the art school mantra ‘I should be in the studio’, probably one of the most important times spent is reaching out and making connections. When you’re actively interested in what you’re doing others in your community, especially outside the arts community, you can anticipate that others will be interested in your work. Joan Waters, metal sculptor and graphic designer

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Most artists are ready to share their tips and experiences. Do not see other artists as your competition, but rather as other members of your community. Help each other. “- Keely Finucane, oil and acrylic painter

Be prepared to grow with your work

“Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and see the directions of your artistic career in order to revise it. Ask questions of other artists about what they are doing that interests you. Find a community that matches your style and work ethic to help you brand your work. The hardest part is to never give up and keep growing through your work. – Estevan Curiel, urban graffiti artist

“Don’t be intimidated by other performers and the way you will be received. Your work will progress as you progress, so remember that everyone starts somewhere, so don’t feel like you can’t be successful based on others, just be consistent and get out there. -you. People will admire your efforts and support your progress if you are motivated by your art. – Ashley macias, artist specializing in surrealist art

“Being self-employed means you let go of the idea that there is someone or something you can blame things on. At the same time, you have to learn to fail and regroup, then start again. No one is saying it’s easy, but you’re on your way to really working with yourself and what’s real, engaging in the creative essence of life. Sales don’t always equate to success! That said, there are as many ways to be an artist and a businessman as there are ways to be a human being on this planet. It is important to find what is right for you. – Joan Waters, metal sculptor and graphic designer

All of these Arizona artists have learned a lot by getting involved and working with other members of the arts community. With these tips, you can join them in turning your passion for art into a career!


Author: Catrina Kahler is President and CEO of Artlink Inc. Artlink makes the arts an integral part of development by connecting artists, businesses and the community. Founded as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit by artists in 1989, the name Artlink is a guiding principle for the organization, as it supports stakeholders in the artistic and cultural community, amplifying its collective force. For more information on Artlink, visit Connect socially with Artlink on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.