Getting Started in Your Art Business

7 Tips for Getting Started in Your Art Business

Teri Chambers

Dreaming of your own art business but don't know where to begin? Start Your Art Business with These Seven Helpful Tips!

In our previous article Creating Art with Photos, I discussed 3 popular software packages that I often use to create digital art incorporating my photography.  However, you may not know where to start if you have never used any of these before.  

Everyone's learning journey is different.  Here is the path I took.  

I have been very involved in photography for many, many years.  As a result, I had amassed thousands of photos that could be used in my art but I wasn't sure where to start.  I started looking through Pinterest for some ideas on photos in art.  I was amazed at the ways it was being incorporated! So I started to look on my iPad for tools to create art and I found Procreate.  I already knew Photoshop very well by this time and I had heard of Affinity's Photo and Designer.  I had only used the Photo application so I wanted to learn more.  YouTube videos were hit-and-miss. During my searches, I found a learning tool called Skillshare. 


Now, I will be very honest here - I was extremely reluctant to sign up for anything that costs money when I was getting started in art business.  But I had watched several YouTube videos and some were simply ads with nothing else.  Others were very helpful but were very short or lacked the detail I felt I really needed. 

Joining Skillshare has more than paid for itself several times over and here is why I write that.  

  • I discovered artists I would never have found anywhere else.  
  • I discovered the successful artists that train and teach as part of their livelihood so they take it very seriously and they post many classes in a variety of subjects related to art. 
  • I found so much more than integrating my photos into art.  I found tools to help me create digital paintings, abstracts, and more.  
  • I learned of ways to actually make money using my photography without paying for ad space on Google and to bring in money organically.  

Most importantly, I began following artists who started out the way I did and are now highly successful.  I found artists who are personable and willing to instruct others simply because they LOVE art the way we do and want to see others along a path to success.  I found artists who share their art, their time, their resources, and their knowledge.  None of that was available on YouTube alone. 

If you are wanting to get a side business, hobby or full-time creative career headed in the right direction, it will take time.  It will take your focus and attention.  It will cost some money but determining where you spend that money can make or break you.   

Ways to Getting Started in Your Art Business on a Limited Budget

Let's talk about some ways you can learn while staying on a very limited budget.  

1.  Find artists to follow from Instagram or Pinterest. 

Most of us are out there.  I am out there on @canineinspired on all social media platforms that I use regularly.  

2. Analyze other successful artists

Look through the artists' shops, posts and websites to get a feel for how he or she is using their art.  Are they selling only the designs? Are they selling on products? 

3.  Determine your passion - create a niche. 

A niche is a specific area of subject matter.  For example, my niche is home decor based on dogs and nature.  When you have a niche, it doesn't mean you can never do anything else but it does help you focus on your business rather than being all over the place.  

4.  Define your mission. 

Why do you want to share your art with the world? What statement are you trying to make? What issue are you addressing? This can be personal or business.  For example, maybe you have a real desire to create medical art that can be placed in doctors' offices and other health providers' areas.  Perhaps you have a passion for architecture and buildings and want to sell to homeowners with the same passion.  Maybe you want to sell only wall art.  Maybe you just want to create your art, share it with others and have no desire to sell it at all.  The point here is that whatever you decide to do with your art will design your path forward. 

5.  Create goals. 

Yes, I know, artists HATE goals.  Setting goals for my business is my least favorite thing to do but it's a necessary evil.  If you set goals, you actually give yourself insight, focus, and the freedom to create more art.  Setting goals frees your mind from those tasks that drag you away from your designs.  Those nagging thoughts such as "I really need to find a way to make some money instead of creating more art" or "Do I really have time to do this right now", etc.  Having goals will keep you on track and moving forward.  You will have more time to look forward to your design time! 

6.  Do NOT be afraid to share your art along the way!

This is key to building an audience and you never know who may see your work and offer some assistance, and reviews or even want to sell it on their business! You also never know who you may inspire to follow you.  If you continue to wait thinking you are not talented enough, you may never get your work out there.  We are our own worse critics.  

7.  Find a way to continue learning. 

Never stop learning.  This will allow you to hone in your skills, fine-tune your niche and make contacts and friends who will help you when you feel discouraged.  

Be sure to tag me @canineinspired on IG to share your work! I can't wait to see what you created! 

 Wishing you success as you getting started in your art business!



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