Getting Down To Business... of Your Art

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Mindset

As an artist, you probably feel most comfortable with a paintbrush, camera, or clay in your hands. But in today's highly competitive art world, it's crucial to treat your art as your business and your brand. Embracing the entrepreneurial mindset can help you take control of your career, market your work, and create a sustainable income.

The Art of Business

When it comes to the art of business, there are several key areas you need to master to achieve success as an artist-entrepreneur.

Balancing Creativity and Commerce

As an artist, you're naturally focused on creating unique and inspiring works of art. However, to succeed as an entrepreneur, you'll also need to pay attention to the business side of things. This means understanding your target audience, setting goals, and creating a marketing strategy to reach potential customers. Learning to balance creativity with commerce is essential for building a thriving art business.

Building Your Brand

Your art is an expression of who you are, and your brand should be no different. Developing a strong brand identity is crucial for standing out in the crowded art world. This includes creating a cohesive body of work, crafting a compelling artist statement, and designing a consistent visual identity that reflects your style and values.

The Artist's Toolbox

Equipped with the right tools, you can create a successful art business that reaches a wide audience and generates revenue.

Online Presence

In today's digital age, an online presence is essential for any artist looking to make a name for themselves.

Social Media

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to showcase your art, engage with your audience, and build a loyal following. Social media is also a powerful tool for networking with fellow artists, galleries, and collectors.

Portfolio Websites

A professional portfolio website is crucial for showcasing your artwork and establishing your brand online. Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and include high-quality images of your work, along with your artist statement and contact information.


Building relationships is key to success in the art world. This includes connecting with fellow artists, collectors, and gallery owners who can help support and promote your work.

Art Fairs and Exhibitions

Participating in art fairs and exhibitions is a great way to gain exposure, meet potential buyers, and establish your reputation as a professional artist.

Financial Management

Managing your finances is a critical aspect of running a successful art business.

Pricing Your Art

Setting the right price for your work can be challenging but is essential for building a sustainable business. Consider factors like the cost of materials, time spent on creating the piece, and comparable works by other artists in your niche. Don't be afraid to value your work appropriately; after all, your art is worth it!

Budgeting and Expenses

Like any entrepreneur, you'll need to keep track of your income and expenses to ensure the financial health of your art business. Develop a budget that accounts for materials, marketing, and other costs associated with creating and selling your work. Regularly monitoring your finances will help you make informed decisions and maintain a profitable business.

Growth Strategies

To sustain and grow your art business, consider implementing some of these growth strategies.

Diversifying Income Streams

Don't rely solely on selling your original artwork. Diversify your income by offering prints, licensing your images, or teaching workshops. Having multiple revenue streams can help you weather lean times and ensure a steady income.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Working with other artists, businesses, or organizations can open up new opportunities and expand your reach. Collaborations can take many forms, such as creating a joint exhibition, partnering with a local business for a pop-up event, or designing a product line with another artist.


Treating your art as a business and embracing the entrepreneurial mindset can lead to greater success and fulfillment in your artistic career. By mastering the art of business, equipping yourself with the right tools, and implementing effective growth strategies, you'll be well on your way to turning your passion into a thriving, sustainable business.


  1. Is it necessary for artists to have a business mindset?

While it's not absolutely necessary, adopting a business mindset can help artists establish a sustainable career, reach a wider audience, and generate a consistent income from their work.

  1. How can artists effectively balance creativity and commerce?

Artists can strike a balance by setting aside dedicated time for both creative work and business tasks. This may involve establishing a schedule or routine that allows for focused creative time while also addressing marketing, networking, and financial management.

  1. What are some ways artists can diversify their income streams?

Artists can diversify their income by selling prints, licensing their images, teaching workshops, or offering commissioned pieces. These additional revenue streams can help stabilize income and provide financial security.

  1. How important is networking for artists looking to grow their business?

Networking is crucial for artists seeking to expand their reach, establish relationships with collectors, and secure opportunities for exhibitions and collaborations. Building a strong network can significantly impact an artist's career trajectory.

  1. What should artists include on their portfolio website?

A professional portfolio website should feature high-quality images of the artist's work, a compelling artist statement, a biography, contact information, and any relevant news or upcoming events. The website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and reflect the artist's unique brand identity.