The FIRST STEP to turning your art hobby into a career

By Nicole Tinkham

Think about this for a moment. How cool would if be if you had as much fun at work as you do creating art on the weekends? To many, the art world is “just a hobby”. But to others, it’s way more than that. It’s a way of life. Chances are you’ve had a creative side since you can remember but were never pushed to pursue it as a career. We’re always told to follow our passion but when it comes to art, it isn’t taken seriously. What gives? It’s time to take a stand and do what you love for a living no matter what they say! If you feel like you belong in the studio rather than an office setting, you need to make a career change. It IS possible to turn your art hobby into a career and we can help you do it. Read on for the first and most important step to making it all happen.

#1: Believe in yourself

The most IMPORTANT thing you need to do in order to turn your passion for art into a full time career is BELIEVE in yourself. It seems simple but too easily does self doubt sink in and steer us in the wrong direction. You’ll face numerous challenges throughout your career and people will put you down when they want to see you fail. Ignore them and continue to have faith in yourself. Use your naysayers to push you forward and prove them wrong. You have the skills and you CAN do this!

Believing in yourself is the first part but you must also believe in the business. If you treat your art as “just a hobby” it will remain a hobby and nothing more. Treat it as a BUSINESS and watch it form into more than just a weekend thing. Remember, you’re a professional now and you need to start acting like one! This isn’t just a game or something you’re doing on the side just for fun. Sure, you’ll have fun running your business but don’t shrug it off as no big deal. It is a big deal and you’ve got to take it seriously.

Once you start believing, momentum will pick up and you’ll be ready to actually start doing it. We know how scary shifting your career focus can be but if you’re 100% committed, you’ll just have to go for it. Don’t delay a second longer because that’s one second wasted where you could have been focused on your passion.

Another scary thing is putting yourself out there in the professional world. It’s something you never had to worry about as a hobby artists but you can’t get away with hiding out in the art studio any longer. You have to get your name out there and become noticed! Network with other artists (tips here), create business card/artist trading cards, enter your work in galleries, create an art portfolio (here’s how), and put together a website. Be CONFIDENT and show off your skills to the world!

Things will change in your life but we don’t want you to change your values and who you are deep down as an artist. When working on your art as a hobby, you tend to be carefree and expressive through your work. Sometimes when creating art as a career your focus shifts and your style changes. That’s totally normal so don’t freak out. Just remember where you came from and check in with yourself to make sure you’re still headed on the path you originally intended.

We know that making the decision to pursue an art career isn’t an easy one. We also know that you’ll go through some difficult times. Always remember your WHY. When you’re just about ready to give up, remember why you started. When a certain project frustrates you or you lose that creative spark (it happens to us all) think back to the passion you once had as a hobby artist and get that feeling back!

Tell us: Is turning your love for art something you’ve always wanted to do as a career? What’s holding you back? Comment below or over on our Facebook page.

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