BgArt News Blog
Monday, May 01, 2006
  Challenges of Being an Artist
There's an interesting post over at the Art & Perception blog about the challenges of being an artist. Karl asks why is it so difficult to be an artist?

I think in this new world of mass media, hype, and money it's all about marketing. Artists often make it difficult for themselves because they're often humble, not very business savvy, not willing to invest in themselves, or don't know anything about marketing and branding.
You don't need business skills to create a good work of art, but you do need business skills to become a successful artist that lives on more than bread and water. If you have no interest in working on your business skills, you have to pay some one that has them.
An artist with great business skills and mediocre talent will always have more money in the bank than a talented artist with no business skills. Over the long term the talented artist may come out on top, but living on dry noodles and cheap coffee for most of your life (while you're being discovered), isn't very appealing.
Just browse through the contemporary art categories of Chris-toby's to see the value of good marketing. Artists with average talent are always selling works for $100,000++ at auction.
An artist and business skills is a bit like mixing oil and water, but it's a necessary evil if you want to be an artist that actually sells work.
>> Being an Artist, Art Marketing, Art Auctions
BgArt News Blog Comments:
Sounds cold and harsh to demand that a sensitive, feeling creature must learn the skills of business, but unfortunately you're right. No artist ever makes it big unless they learn the skills or business or partners with somebody that knows them.
My father is not computer savvy and I'm working on this area. He is a great artist. He paints Western, colorado and alaskan scenes that he has seen. How do you sell this original oil paintings?
I don't think that the talented artist will come out on top. Exceptionally talented, yes, but just talented is not enough today. Too much talented competition.

I believe the major problem for most artists is not so much acquiring the necessary marketing skills (it can be done in a few months), but having a solid understanding and a gut feeling for what works and when (and this takes years of experience).
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