If you make things, you can make money too
There’s this belief that is so damn persistent that it blows my mind. It goes like this:
You can only make money by having a job.
If you’re an artist, you can only make money by flogging yourself through a deadly and exhausting, not to mention expensive, process of galleries, art fairs and paying to enter rigged contests.
If you choose any other path, you will live a life of poverty and lack.
Do you know what gets my goat? The very people spewing this stuff, benefit from this system in some way. And also, my poor suffering goat wants you all to know that it’s 2020 and the gatekeepers do not matter any more!
There is a market for anything when you have access to the global market. We ALL have access to the global market right now. Got a phone and an internet connection? Global market, right there.
Here’s the thing, galleries have their place. It’s undeniable that they improve communities, make cultural treasures relevant and help inspire people. There is nothing more magical than seeing art in person.
But is it your business’s mandate to support galleries? Have you, the professional artist, have you made it your mission to prop up someone else’s business? Because that’s ridiculous and puts a huge part of your revenue in someone else’s hands!
I want you all to take a good look around on the internet. A look that has the intention of research because I’m not just pulling this out of the air. Artists right now can not only make money online, they can and are making very good money online.
And they do it without sacrificing who they are!
If you’re sick of the art world as it is right now with the politics and back stabbing and stepping on other artists to get ahead, then you should do this research even more. The one way of doing things is not the only way, and it’s certainly not the best way.
What it does require is that you decide that you are going to do things differently. That you don’t need to pay your dues, suffering or anything else in order to be a real artist.
A real artist makes art.
A professional artist makes art and then sells it for money. There’s no quibbling on how much money turns you into a professional. If you make art with the intention of selling it, you are a professional artist.
A thriving artist makes art, sells it for money and does so with the intention of making a good profit and behaving like a business.
But notice where it all starts? With the making. The making of art is where your goldmine begins. Your amazing success comes from the other key component: your mindset.
When you view your work as a business asset, you start treating it like one. When you view the act of selling as part of your job to monetize that asset, it puts you on the right path to actually making money.
So, if you make something, you have the foundation for a profitable business. The next question is, do you see a goldmine or do you see years of paying your dues with it?