Why the starving artist?
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"Starving artist to ARTrepreneur"

How to sell art

I've often wondered why of all the professions in the world it's only the artist that's been given the label of 'starving'. Heck, I've been trying to coin the phrase 'starving carpenter' forever now but it just doesn't seem to be catching on. The truth is anyone who isn't particularly adept at the important aspects of their job will eventually fail. So why has the artist been left to starve while other professions flourish?

I have a few suggestions. First, for others the 'starving artist' makes for great imagery and adds to the romanticism of their profession. We've all watched the musician playing their heart out in an empty bar, or the artist painting on a busy street corner, and admired them for doing what they love. Secondly, the right brained skills so prominent in the artist, such as imagination and intuitive problem solving, are in stark contrast to the organized and well planned mind that characterizes the left brained business person. Lastly, I believe that many artists set themselves up for failure through the belief that business and art should never mix, and in turn lose valuable opportunities to advance their careers; leading to frustration and failure.

"I believe that many artists set themselves up for failure."

So how do we overcome these obstacles and find success as ARTrepreneurs?Unfortunately there isn't enough space in this column to adequately address this question. The needs of a working artist come in all shapes and sizes with no generic plan to fit every one. However, there are basic fundamentals that should always be followed no matter what your chosen profession. To be successful at anything in life you need a plan. A plan based on small attainable goals which eventually lead to a greater achievement. As an artist you should know where you want to be in ten years, and set many small realistic goals to get there. You also must be willing to make sacrifices. How far you want to take your career will depend a great deal on what your willing to sacrifice. Some sacrifice their social lives. Others, their favorite TV show.

"If your willing to sacrifice nothing then chances are your career will not last."

If your willing to sacrifice nothing to make your career happen then chances are your career will not last. Hard work is possibly the most important fundamental you need to follow. As I’ve grown older I’ve learned that hard work will always get you farther then talent alone. If your willing to outwork others in your field you can expect to surpass them, even if their talent is greater then yours. Finally, I believe you should be willing to learn from your mistakes. Successful people who learn from their mistakes never truly taste failure. Always be willing to learn, always be willing to adapt.As artist’s we’ve volunteered to become business people whether we like it or not. Until your lucky enough to land your dream job, or find an agent willing to market your career, all aspects of keeping your business afloat are on your shoulders. Build a plan for success through attainable goals, work hard, be willing to make sacrifices and learn from your mistakes. That is a recipe that any ARTpreneur can use to find success.

Robb Scott
Contact: artist@www.robbscottdrawings.com
Greenfield, NS
Articles copyright 2008-2009 Robb Scott ©

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