Challenges of Running a Small Art Business
As an artist, there is a point that comes when you feel that you’re now accomplished. It comes at a time when you get positive reviews about your work from family, friends, and immediate networks. You get that feeling that you can now monetize your talent. However, the monetization process is not simple.
Unlike when you’re doing art for fun and adventure, once you attempt to monetize, other things come up that compete for your attention. Technical business work is time consuming. Things like branding, PR, marketing, accounting, social media, tax and others are quite technical. They consume a lot of time to get right. Unfortunately, not every artist has the nerve to survive the turbulence. Sometimes, artists end up losing interest completely in the whole thing. To avoid getting out of this problem, you can always outsource some of the services. Sometimes you can join hands with a business-savvy entrepreneur whereby one person does the business while the other works on the art.
To be successful, you need exposure, which only comes through proper networks. Curators, collectors, galleries, and others can help improve your standing as an artist. When your works are featured in public galleries, you get a chance to impress a wider audience compared to studios and private display. Unfortunately, cultivating such networks is key to unlocking this potential. At first, Krishen Iyer recommends that small businesspeople must network with one aim, learn. People are willing to help a learner and rarely help competition. So, always pose as a student, learn, engage and make contacts. That way, when you’ll be presenting works, the person will mostly take credit and show you off as a product of his or her mentorship further widening your network.
3. Balancing other commitments such as family
Just like the business commitment, family, public presentations, gallery and media presence can take a toll on any artist. It is always a challenge to manage at an optimal level. Do what you love because even in the midst of all chaos, you’ll always find a way to create something. As an artist, don’t focus on what is paying, focus on what you love doing and would do it even in the tightest schedule.
4. Accepting criticism
Critics are everywhere, some of them critic things they’ve never even tried to do. Especially art critics, most of them are lousy artists. So, when someone critics your work, it is always a confusing thing for any artist. It is not as if the person is showing you a better version of your work, or is proposing to do a better job than you did. Learning to deal with criticism is an age-old problem for any artist. However, always accept criticism.
5. Refining craft
It takes talent, work ethic, and great attention to refine your craft. No artist will boast of doing a piece in record time. Instead, artists tend to labor on the years they took to make a product. The time, the dedication and the craft it took to make a product feature prominently. Always be patient, take an extra minute, hour, day, week, month etc. Even if you’ve to take years, go for it.