There’s a lot more to being an independent artist than just creating artwork to sell to your audience. When beginning your career as an independent artist, you have to consider the business side of things as you get started as well. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur, setting yourself up for success in the future.
At the end of the day, art is a business. It is how the art world works. If you are interested in becoming an artist, you need to have an entrepreneur side, too. This is the nature of the industry if you want to build success as an artist. You have to be knowledgeable about the business behind independent or freelance work.
When you create something, you want it to be valuable, and you want others to see that too. To make sure others will see the value in your artwork, you need to have a valuable skill set. You should develop skills that reflect your talents and abilities and that demonstrate your expertise. This will provide your clients with an understanding of the value and worth of what you can create. If you offer unique, effective, and profitable skills, then you can almost guarantee yourself a successful future in the art industry!
Preparing for the Business Side of the Art Industry
To navigate your way through the business side of the art industry, you should prepare yourself with the necessary tools to succeed as an independent artist. These tools will be just as critical as your talent and skills, allowing you to create a career you can rely on to support yourself financially.
Have A Plan, or Two, or Three
In any career, it is important to have a plan. It’s even a good idea to have a backup plan, and maybe a few more things to fall back on too.
You want to diversify your streams of income and find side jobs that can help you throughout your career. If something falls through or a client changes their mind, you want to make sure you have another source of income coming your way.
This is where side jobs play a significant role, helping independent artists stay successful even through hard times. This can be critical to your financial stability, providing you with the necessary resources to pay bills, meet goals, and continue your artistic journey.
In a way, these alternative plans can save you. If you want to have a successful future in the industry, you have to find unique ways to earn a comfortable living. Even if things don’t go according to plan A, you can rest assured with plan B, giving you a different opportunity to fall back on.
How to Cope when Your Original Plan Fails
If your plan A ends up failing, there are ways to cope and remotivate yourself to conquer plan B successfully.
When dealing with the discouragement that accompanies a failed plan, there are steps you can take to motivate yourself and prepare yourself for the new plan. Find something that works for you and use it as a coping mechanism to handle your emotions and find motivation.
Find something that gets you going! Find something that can wake you up and get you motivated again. Some artists use music, others prefer to exercise, or practice meditation, depending on their interests.
If it can wake you up, get you motivated, and help you refocus on the task at hand, then use this to your advantage. If you are feeling discouraged or down, let this bring you out of your current mindset and allow it to give you the momentum you need to find the state of flow that is essential to your success as an artist.
Deciding What to Charge for Your Work
Deciding what to charge for your work can be tricky. There are typically 2 situations in this scenario: you either charge per piece or you charge an hourly rate. This is the most common controversy you will run into when deciding what to charge for what you create.
Many considerations come into play before you can even make a final decision on pricing. You need to think about what you are creating, what the client wants, and most importantly, how much time you will be spending on the piece itself. After considering this, you should be able to make a smart decision regarding the way you want to be charged for what you are working on.
You also have to think about the reality of it all. This is your job, your career, and your income. You need it to be stable. You need to make sure you are receiving a comfortable living wage, even as an independent artist.
Even though it isn’t always about the income but more about pursuing what you love, you still have to think logically regarding pay and profit. This is the real business side of working in the art world. You need to be prepared to set a reasonable rate and prove that your skills are worthy of that rate.
In the chance that your client prefers to pay per piece, you need to have a backup plan. Depending on their request, consider the time it will take you to complete the piece. Use this information to decide a fair price, that you and your client can both settle on.
Having these options will help you choose the appropriate rate or price per piece and set you up for success in the industry.
Working Remotely as an Independent Artist
When you choose to work remotely, you open a door to new opportunities. This can help you jumpstart your career and expand your horizons.
It is important to take these chances when you can. You will thrive in the new space and potential connections you can make. Take these opportunities when they come and use them to your advantage. This will help you gain more knowledge and expertise about the industry.
Prove to your clients that they hired the right person by showcasing your strengths as an artist. Show others your unique talents and the value that you bring to the studio.
Make sure you have the right idea of what the client wants, considering their expectations and standards. As you take on their request, make sure your skills are reflected in your work. Make yourself stand out amongst the crowd and be memorable. This will help you land more jobs and build connections in the industry.
Maintaining a Steady Income as a Freelance Artist
At some point in your freelance career, you may have concerns about your income or where your next paycheck will come from. To combat this concern, it’s a good idea to have a plan to diversify your streams of income.
Split your work up into multiple channels to create different streams of income that you can rely on in the event that something falls through.
Have side projects that you are excited about, look for new opportunities, and set yourself up for success, even if failure ends up hurting you. If something goes under, don’t let that sink you! Latch on to a different stream of income and work it until something new pops up. This will help you stay financially stable and secure in your career.
It will also help you reach out to more contacts and create connections with new clients. In turn, you will find more job openings and new possibilities available. These connections will help you build a future as an artist, leading you to success in your career journey.
Building Success as an Independent Artist
To build success for yourself as an independent artist, it’s important to have the right business tools to thrive.
Have a plan in place and a backup plan (or a few backup plans) to follow that. This will prepare you for any outcome and you’ll have multiple streams of income to support you in your career. If one of your plans falls through, don’t be discouraged! Find ways to cope positively and remotivate yourself. This will help you get back in the groove and into your artistic flow, to find your way in your career journey.
Keep an understanding of the business side of the art industry. Do your research, stay educated, and use the proper tools to tackle the entrepreneur side of being an independent artist.
Figure out an appropriate rate to charge that satisfies you and is fair to the client. Find ways to work remotely and make impressions, creating connections that will last a lifetime. Develop multiple streams of income for yourself so you never have to worry about your financial stability.
These tools can help you figure out the business side of art, preparing you for whatever may come your way in this industry.
Art and business go hand-in-hand, which is why it is valuable to have strong entrepreneur skills as an independent artist. This will help you market your work, showcase your talent, and create the right connections that will help you build success, now and in the future!