There are a lot of ways that artists build their careers. No matter which path you may be considering taking as an artist, when you are trying to get your livelihood up and running it can seem daunting to make any changes at all. You need to decide for yourself where you see your career going.
Once you have a general plan for where you want your career to go, you need to make it happen for yourself. But how can you best go about giving your career as an artist a boost? This isn’t a topic that is often covered in art school, unfortunately, leaving many unsure of exactly how to get their profession started.
If you’re curious if there are things you can do to jump-start your artistic career, here are 5 tips to get you started. No matter if you’re just starting out or have been working for years, when it’s time to make some waves and increase your success as an artist, these 5 tips can help you get there!
Make Genuine Connections with Others To Boost Your Art Career
Most opportunities come from the connections made with other people. Whether it’s a job lead or information on a new class you could be taking, expanding your network is key. Working on personal connections with the people you’re already familiar with can be beneficial to your career path.
Don’t consider what you stand to gain from your friends and coworkers as you get to know them. That will set you on the wrong path. Just remember in any professional relationship you can give as much as you take. Your connections and network can expand. As long and you bring a genuine interest in your relationships they can be a benefit to your career.
You would never make a friend based on how they could help you get to a higher social status. You also shouldn’t look at your fellow artists and coworkers as steps on the ladder to a better position. There’s a difference between appreciating the work others do and asking them to help you move on to greener pastures.
The best solution is to work hard and form personal connections as you conquer your own personal goals. Showing your coworkers that you are a strong performer and a team player is the first step to them recognizing you as someone they want to connect with and will make them more inclined to think of you for future projects.
When it is time to seek a recommendation or job lead from someone, make sure you have a strong connection first. Make sure you’re friends for the right reason or you’ll develop a negative reputation. A relationship built on friendly camaraderie will make your life richer, and it may lead to more going forward.
The more people you know on a deeply personal level, the more likely it is to be thought of for an opportunity that arises. Just be sure to spread the wealth. Pass your friends and fellow artist’s name on when you hear of an opening where they would be a good fit. A great network goes both ways so be someone others will want in their circles.
To Enhance Your Art Career, Think Differently
Consider this: if you constantly think the same thoughts, you will likely make the same choices time after time. Those same choices will almost certainly bring similar outcomes. So in order to get new and interesting results try dramatically changing the way you look at things and approach your decision-making.
Small changes in your mindset can cause some great effects on your everyday life. For example, if you regularly avoid arriving early to a party try to come right on time at the next event you attend. Showing up when a crowd is smaller could give you the chance to mingle and connect with people you would have missed in a larger gathering.
In this party example, changing your mindset about not wanting to look too eager could be the reason your network grows out of some new genuine connections. Small mindset changes like this can make for some big successes. Maybe you’re not exactly sure how you can figure out how to think differently? It doesn’t need to be difficult.
Think about what you would do in a given situation then make small changes from there. Sometimes even the smallest changes can make a large impact on your life and career as an artist. Small changes tend to add up. Thinking differently could be exactly what you need to find the success you’re seeking.
Think Big And Your Artistic Career Will Flourish
When you’re freshly out of school and just starting out, you may have modest goals. Perhaps you’d even be happy taking ANY paying job in the art world since you’re looking to get your foot in the door. That’s fine. But when you set small goals, they are easily accomplished. When you’re looking to boost your career, you need to think big.
The more specific you can be when you’re goal setting, the more likely you are to work towards achieving those goals. Don’t just look for a job, aspire to greatness, and shoot for your dream career! Thinking big is a great way to get where you want to be in life no matter which stage of life you’re at.
Keep your dream and your big goal in sight. It will become easier to make the career choices and changes that will help you get there. If you’ve always wanted to paint, you likely don’t want to take a job at a photography studio just to pay the bills, would you? No, because you want to find opportunities that will keep you on the path to your dream!
Goals can be the traffic signs that help you make your way along the road of life. When you’re feeling stuck or as though you have exhausted a particular option, looking towards your ultimate achievement can be the inspiration you need to keep going. Dare to dream and keep thinking big! Don’t settle for a mediocre career when you could go on to bigger and better things.
No matter what your goal may be, it is likely achievable with a solid effort. Make strides towards what you want unapologetically. As you meet new people along the way, you can make genuine connections with others who can help you grow and lend support when you need it. When you dare to think big, you’ll find others who dream big too.
Think Better Of Yourself
Fair warning: if you are someone who has been accused of thinking too highly of themselves, this section may not be for you. But the truth is, many people underestimate themselves and consider downplaying their own personal successes. If you’ve found yourself in that position a time or two, you need to think better of yourself.
How you see yourself can affect your career. The only thing that stops you from finding success is the limitations you put on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being confident in your talents and abilities: knowing you’re a good artist is the first step to finding a career path that is right for you.
No one is going to believe in your potential more than yourself. If you find yourself wondering what exciting future you have ahead of yourself you need to have confidence in yourself. A career as an artist can be a fun adventure, as long as you’re willing to impress others with your skills and confidence.
Having a confident personality may seem odd at first, but it goes hand-in-hand with changing your mindset and thinking differently. Dredge up the courage to reach your goals and believe wholeheartedly that you can do it. When you consistently believe in yourself and your abilities, you can stop the doubts and dare to dream bigger and better than ever before.
Your Art Career Isn’t Going to Improve Until You Do
A new and better career isn’t likely to fall into your lap. Sure, it could happen, but more likely you are going to need to work hard to find the boost you’re looking for. If your skills aren’t on par with a particular studio or artistic style, then it’s time to get to work. Getting back to basics and making time to work on art for yourself to improve is a great first step.
Some techniques are more complicated than others and will require you to work hard to learn them and improve. Sure, you can learn from doing your daily job, and you should. But if you aren’t willing to go the extra mile to improve, you aren’t likely to get very far.
Take time out of your busy day to give better than your best. Drawing for an extra half hour, not for work, but just to draw could be the very thing that inspires your next big career move. Putting extra time into developing your skills can be a lot of fun. But not doing anything different isn’t going to help you get to where you want to be.
Or maybe, you’re seeking more guidance, in which case it might be time to go back to art school. When you’re actively in a class you will learn faster, plus you can connect with other artists like you and grow your network as well. Whether you choose an in-person learning experience or you opt for a virtual option, taking a class can help you in many ways.
A class format gives you the chance to take calculated risks with your work that you may not be willing to try in your professional life for one reason or another. Having a safe place to fail can help you build up your confidence and improve your skills, the combination will make you unstoppable. But you have to be willing to work for it.
Don’t wait for the big chances to find you, keep actively learning, and gain more skills. As you get better, you’ll take off into the career of your dreams. Don’t limit yourself to an average life. Schedule in time to learn and use your new skills to open more doors for yourself. The art world is ready for you and your creative spirit to take off!
A Final Thought
When you’re ready to take the next step to boost your career and level up, you need to expand your network with genuine connections and keep learning art. Believing in yourself and changing your mindset with different bigger goals can be everything you need to succeed in the art world. Sure, it may take hard work, but your dream career as an artist will be worth it in the end!