Starting an art career does not happen immediately. Developing your skill takes years of planning, hard work, and dedication. In the UK, over 52,000 people are employed as artists. Unfortunately, even for the brilliantly talented artist, breaking into the art industry can be challenging, with many not knowing where to get started or to make money from their passions and skills. Despite these challenges, there are several ways you can successfully launch your art career. Whether you’re a painter, graphic designer, or illustrator, here are a few tips to help you jumpstart your career:
Develop your skills
The first thing you must do if you want to embark on an art career is to develop your craft and skill. Since you’re interested, you are likely already a creative person with a passion for art. The good news is that’s all you need to get into art. Building your skills takes a lot of hard work and painstaking commitment. You might be naturally talented, but it may not be enough without taking your time to perfect it. You can develop your skills by taking a few courses, practising regularly, visiting places of inspiration, and seeking constructive criticism to work on areas you need to improve. Websites such as Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, Blueprint, Masterclass, and OpenLearn have hundreds of courses to choose from.
Find your artistic voice
Now that you’ve worked on your technical skills, it’s time to find your style and technique. For many budding artists, this is not something that comes immediately to them. Rather, you are more likely to develop your voice as your talent and passion grow. Still, there are a few ways you can develop your style, one that art enthusiasts will be able to identify your works from others in the same space. Create your artistic voice by exploring new ideas and methods, you should also keep a journal to record any new experiences or ideas. Engaging with others in the online art community is also a great way to help you identify a style and technique you can lean into. If you prefer to connect with artists IRL, search for exhibition opening nights, there will be lots of like-minded people in attendance to mingle with and get your creative juices flowing – you never know who you may meet while networking!
Make yourself known
Even if you might be the most talented artist in the world, nobody will know who you are or what you’ve done if you don’t put yourself out there. Like any other business endeavour, marketing and networking with other artists and key art stakeholders can play a huge role in your success.
Try as much as possible to enter art competitions, attracting many buyers and art lovers. You can also sell your products at craft shows, take your work to galleries, or get online to market your talent. For example, if you’re a painter, there are several online art platforms where you can sell your custom canvas prints to clients. Utilise social media to your advantage, show a before and after your work on Instagram, or upload a video of yourself creating artwork on to TikTok to build your following. And lastly but certainly not least, make sure your website is always updated, and upload your work to portfolio sites such as Behance, The Dots, LinkedIn, and Creativepool.
Starting an art career takes a lot of work and, like any other career, is riddled with many challenges. But when you stay dedicated to your craft and are willing to learn and explore, it can help you establish yourself and have a successful career.
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