Chiara Magni Art
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How to Jumpstart Your Art Career

By Chiara Magni • Mar 23, 2021 at 10:00

How to Jumpstart Your Art Career

An art career cannot happen overnight. Becoming an artist takes dedication, hard work, and a plan. Unfortunately, many people who would like to start an art career have no idea how to proceed. Learning to develop your skills, attract clients, and turn a healthy profit can help you make a career out of art. Art jobs can span a wide range, from paintings to illustration to graphic design. Still, in many ways, all art careers require the same amount of hard work, planning, and networking.

Here are my personal tips to jumpstart your Art career.

  1. Develop your skills

    Well, this is a very sensitive subject. Unfortunately, a lot of artists tend to attract a lot of toxic people, they will give you advice “for your good’’, they will fake interest and friendship, they will rip off your money giving you false hope, or they will just openly criticize you.

    Personally, if I have to choose, I prefer the open hater, it is easier to detect and send to hell. However, it is very important to be aware of all the types of negativity and learn to smell bs before it comes into your life. This is a advice that I am giving to all artists from the deep of my heart. How is this answering the question about skills? Well to develop your skills you need to first understand them. You need hundreds or even thousands of hours of practice at your craft. you need to do this with a light and peaceful mind, you only need to focus on what is making you happy, on what is your idea of beauty, on what is the overall message behind your body of work. So you do you keep your mind free of negativity, how can you listen only to yourself, make sure your life is free from toxic people, be very careful with who you decide to let into your life if your guts are making you doubt about a person or about “a unique deal” well you better listen to them! You only need to pay attention to what your soul is suggesting to you and to what real fans and loving collectors think about what you create. For sure you need to be true to yourself and not do only what you believe will sell faster, but remember that you need to stay connected with the observers, you need to listen to their feedback, at the end of the day you need them in order to continue with your dream.

    So what I suggest is to find a balance between doing what you like and using the feedback to improve. Finding this perfect balance will take a while, probably years, with many attempts, a lot of mistakes, and ideally a lot of success, and I guarantee you that in the process of achieving this, you will develop your skills!

  2. Make a studio space

    It is almost like the “fairy tale” of all of the artists, but I see it to be true that we all have begun in a small place. For painters, it is usually a basement and for musicians/singers, it is usually their bedroom. Well, it was the same for me, I'd begun in a small room in my home, trying to get some space for my creativity, trying not to cover my whole home in paint, and fighting with the need of having more space to paint. I am now in a new studio, about 4 times bigger, now I can have a much bigger space to create and a space that I use to stock my works while they dry, before shipping.

    However, it is very personal and it all depends on the resources of the person and also on the medium you are using. I use oil paint and I do a pretty big canvas, so this perhaps is the medium that requires more space. I personally believe in hard work and in keeping it real: if you have never sold a painting or very few and you have a bunch of unsold paintings, you don’t need a bigger space but a better strategy. If you sell faster than what you can create and if you cannot keep up with commissions and you don’t have enough space to create them, yes you definitely need a bigger space. All of the studios are very personal and they all depend on what you need and what you want to achieve so there are not many suggestions I can give you; there is however only one piece of advice worth sharing: make sure your studio is your temple, you need to create a deep spiritual connection with yourself, so you need to create that auto master, you need to create a temple that is letting you express yourself in full and at ease.

  3. Find your artistic Voice

    This is very much related to tip 1, it is something that happens, you need to be aware of what is satisfying for you and your audience. Try to find a line of thoughts in your body of work, or an overall common message and continue with that. I know that things change very very fast in the mind of an artist, but don’t make sudden or too fast changes in your style or your audience will be thrown off. If you want to introduce changes do it gradually, walk your audience is with you, and make them ready to experience that new “YOU”.

  4. Make Yourself known and Learn to run a business

    Making yourself known and learning how to run a business are very related. First of all, get rid of the idea that if you are a painter you cannot be a manager and cannot do business! That is very very wrong! If you want to be successful you need to be an entrepreneur.

    Like for any other brand or product; at the end of the day, this is a job you are doing. Of course, I am referring to a painter that wants to do this as a professional career, not as a hobby. There is a lot to go through, don’t believe it is easy, at least not in the beginning. but once you are rolling it can be really satisfying. Patience and consistency are the keywords, this applies to everything, from the actual practice of painting to social media to dealing with collectors. However, an even more important thing is: Think Big! Keep on setting goals for yourself, acknowledge yourself once you reach them, and put right away a new one a bigger one! Only by doing this, you will always project yourself in the future for better and more exciting things. At some point in your path, if you have worked well you will feel the need to hire a team, whether to do all of the digital/informatic parts or a team that sells for your, or ideally both. It is normal at the beginning to do all on your own, it will seem impossible but you will spend more time doing promo and marketing than actually painting. This is normal, just don’t give up, follow your path and once you are grown enough you will feel the need to hire people that work for you and you will finally be able to concentrate more and more on painting and your creative growth. I absolutely know there is a very dark and sad period at the beginning of an artist’s career, you have all of my understanding on that, I am all self-made and did it all with basically no help, so try to endure and pass that moment of darkness as what is waiting for you on the other side is just marvelous.

    In The End, I would like to say… Nothing can prepare a person for the significant challenges and rewards that await them in their art career. As an artist, you’ll grow as a person and touch the lives of others. Creating beautiful works makes the world a more beautiful and enjoyable place. Still, an art career is not easy. You may take years to find your way and bring in steady, reliable income. Hard work and dedication are required. With determination, tenacity, and smart decision-making, you can have a successful career as an artist.