How to Become a Professional Artist: 15 Steps

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How to Become a Professional Artist: 15 Steps
How to Become a Professional Artist: 15 Steps

It is not always easy to reach the status of a professional artist who profits from what he does. To start with, you have to improve your talent and seek contacts in the art world. Also, be patient and do whatever it takes to get where you want to go - and don't worry: all the effort is worth it.


Part 1 of 3: Developing and honing your talent

Become a Professional Artist Step 1

Step 1. Enroll in an art school

Do an internet search to find out if there are art schools in the area and which ones offer specializations in your area of ​​interest. Nobody needs to have that kind of formal education to be a great artist, but that's usually where those interested start to learn.

  • If you already know what kind of artistic career you want to pursue, do a more specific and in-depth search.
  • If you know you want to become a professional artist, but you're not sure what specific area to pursue, you might want to try going to an Arts College. It is at the university that your horizons will expand the most.
  • If you already have a degree in Arts and want some kind of specialization, look for a master's course or another post-graduate course in the area.
Become a Professional Artist Step 2

Step 2. Attend art classes or workshops taught by professional artists

Contact local museums, galleries, art schools and studios to see if they have courses or workshops. Many such institutions make offers of these types.

Take advantage of these offers to study more about the type of art you want to develop professionally, as well as have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback from professionals

Become a Professional Artist Step 3

Step 3. Try to improve your artistic skills every day

As with any career, every person who wants to be a professional artist needs to be dedicated and practice a lot. It's no use having a natural talent or developing some artistic skill in graduation or something like that if you don't put everything into practice every day.

You will also become increasingly confident in your own talent and professional skills

Become a Professional Artist Step 4

Step 4. Seek a unique perspective as an artist

Experiment with different media and materials and seek inspiration in various places until you find your own artistic perspective. You need to produce unmistakable works and characteristics if your intention is to gain recognition and make a living from it. Talent and quality are important, but the question of sales is still valid.

Travel, seek new experiences and observe the world around you to find inspiration and express everything through art

Part 2 of 3: Publicizing Your Work

Become a Professional Artist Step 5

Step 1. Build a portfolio of your work

You'll need to assemble and send a portfolio of your work virtually anywhere you want to work or show off what you've done. The portfolio features the best works by an artist. So include the ones that you are most proud of and that have received positive reviews. Besides, it's also nice to include the works that are not yet finished - to show the extent of your abilities.

The portfolio can be digital or printed. It all depends on your professional goals, your personal preferences and the type of art you usually create. For example: a graphic designer can build a digital portfolio, which is certainly the format he uses the most; those who specialize in small, original drawings, in turn, can include copies of the works in a physical portfolio and send them to galleries or museums

Become a Professional Artist Step 6

Step 2. Submit your works to galleries and exhibitions

Discover how to display your works in a gallery to become more and more known. Competition is fierce and unfair, and the process may take a while, but this is still an essential step on your path.

When you start submitting your work for consideration, visit gallery openings and events and get to know the people who work at these venues, including other artists. Become a familiar face to those involved in the field

Become a Professional Artist Step 7

Step 3. Create social media profiles to display your art

No matter where your career is today, you need an Instagram and Facebook profile to showcase your art and become more and more known. Also start posting photos and videos of your art at least three times a week (or better: every day) until your followers get used to your style and perspective.

You can also advertise on Instagram and Facebook to increase your audience on social media and, over time, sales

Become a Professional Artist Step 8

Step 4. Display your art in public spaces

Think outside the box and ask the authorities for permission to display your art in public places and spaces: shopping malls, restaurants, parks and squares, fairs and festivals, etc. Be creative and don't be afraid to take chances - you never know when the next opportunity to show off will come along.

Part 3 of 3: Getting Started with Art

Become a Professional Artist Step 9

Step 1. Do market research before pricing your art

You have to analyze some factors before deciding how much to charge for your art: size, shape, medium, weight, theme, colors, production time, cost of materials and ingredients, and your level of experience in this area. Then find out what is the average price that other artists charge for works similar to yours. Get in touch with stores, galleries and other businesses.

After setting the price of your work, you have to justify this value. As unique as it is, the same goes for every original work - and, therefore, this factor does not weigh so much in the decision

Become a Professional Artist Step 10

Step 2. Draw up a business plan.

No matter what kind of art you produce, you have to have a business plan that includes your professional goals and a justification for how much you need funding and investment. In addition, research the possible markets for your productions and take into account all the ways you would be able to sell, as well as the estimated values. Finally, mention how many works you will have to produce to fulfill these goals.

When thinking about the financial issue, you have to take into account everything that can generate expenses: food, rent, more production materials and any other daily, weekly, monthly or annual expenses

Become a Professional Artist Step 11

Step 3. Join professional artists' organizations

Do an internet search for professional organizations that are relevant to the type of art you produce and see what you have to do to join them. This is the path many artists take when they are starting out, as it sends the message to potential clients and employers that they are serious about their careers. In addition, many professional organizations offer networking opportunities between artists.

Become a Professional Artist Step 12

Step 4. Sell your art in stores, galleries or online

In addition to promoting your work, you can sell the works you produce in stores and galleries. Although they charge a percentage of the sale price, these trades are still excellent for artists looking to gain a foothold in the market. You can also take chances on online stores, social media or on your own website.

Put your works up for sale on sites specializing in emerging artists, such as Elo7

Become a Professional Artist Step 13

Step 5. Set commission amounts

Whenever exhibiting your art, also make it clear that you are available to produce original artwork for individual clients for a fee. This is normal among a lot of artists. Despite not being a very stable strategy or even ideal for professionals who work with creativity, it still helps to launch the art into the world and bring a little profit.

The secret to success for every artist who works on a commission is to be flexible and listen to customers. Of course, you have to respect yourself as an artist, but don't forget that you're getting paid to create something specific based on what someone else wants. Find a balance between your vision and that of the person who hired the service, so the experience will be positive for everyone involved

Become a Professional Artist Step 14

Step 6. Start teaching art workshops and courses

As a professional artist, you will have the chance to earn a lot of money and share your knowledge and skills with the world - through workshops and courses for beginners in studios, galleries and so on. Finally, take the opportunity to stay abreast of current trends and techniques and increasingly optimize your talents. Seek and be inspired!

Become a Professional Artist Step 15

Step 7. Look for work as a permanent artist in companies

Many companies hire artists as permanent employees. This is the case of publishers, printers (small and large), design and advertising agencies and audiovisual production companies. They want professionals with varied talents: in graphic design, illustration, etc.

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