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Becoming a Professional Artist - 8 simple rules to follow

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Working with several plastic artists from different cultural backgrounds since 2011, our studio, Fine Art Imaging, put together a list of “simple rules” that we think would better support your professional artist career if applied consistently.

Museum Curators & Professional Artists
Frame & protect your artwork

Every successful artist must be doing something right! It all starts with:

“protect and respect your own art!

1. Framing and displaying your art

Your artwork should always be displayed with a proper frame even if minimalistic. Framing adds value and inspires trust to the eventual art collector interested to make a purchase. Where and how a piece of art is displayed, has an impact on its perceived value. Take a hint from the care that art galleries and museums put into hanging and lightning the artwork.

2. Title and sign your art

The art business is one of selling emotions. A good title (and even better, a good related story) confirms to the buyer that this piece of art belongs in her or his home, so don’t omit this critical step. Always keep accurate records of the title, dimensions (height stated first and weight second) and related dates (date of completion ; date of exhibition ; date of sale) of each piece. Observe how art is titled in museums and art galleries.

3. Making endless touch-ups

Once you have finished an artwork, put it aside and leave it alone. Think about it as final product that need wrapping (what frame will better compliment it, what kind of light should be presented under). No piece of art is ever 100% finished – it takes discipline to walk away and courage to decide to present it to the art lovers. As any other job, the artist profession requires this type of professional behaviour.

4. Discounting your art to make a sale

Big mistake! Remember, you are a Professional Artist. Lowering prices to make a sale may seem a smart move, but sets a precedent. Once you have established a price just stick with it – this way you will be fair and honest to yourself and the eventual art collector interested by your art. She or He will feel protected to know that you will not lower the price for the next buyer as soon as they stepped out of the door. If you run into price-sensitive buyers, just offer them a giclée fine art print reproduction instead. Reserve your originals for the genuine art collectors willing to pay for original art.

5. Using cheap or low-end materials

Probably most of the artists were tempted at some point in their career to save money using cheap materials. BUT if you want to be taken seriously and be a professional artist, you should decide to invest in high-end art tools and supplies which will perform better, last longer and put your art more firmly in the “collectible” category.

6. Create collections

As an artist you are on a journey and if you plan on a long one, it is better to build up a solid portfolio. Aim to create collections of minimum ten artwork pieces using a cohesive theme and style – If this collection will be mixed in with 90 others made by different artists, a prospective art collector should be able to pick out which are yours. Your style should be rather unique , yet consistent to attract the attention of serious buyers.

Professional Artist - Success Rules
Art collection display

7. Handling your artwork

Treat everything you created as “precious” even if it is not your best work. You, the artist, should be the first one to protect and properly “introduce “ your art to the world. From a professional image perspective, think for example about the message you send when your artwork is well protected by a proper packaging versus a piece of art transported in a trash bag.

8. Getting an art capture before selling the original

The image of your artwork could actually end up being worth more than the original piece. A preservation-grade art capture will be a testimony in time, a security to address an eventual copyright dispute and a source of additional cash flow for you and your descendants. Our studio Fine Art Imaging is specialised in high resolution preservation-grade digital capture and can help you to address this essential step in preserving your art.

Do you want to know more about securing your art while creating an additional source of income for you? Get in touch and we can talk all about it.

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