Is Full-Time Artist The Right Path For You?

Nicole Tinkham

Is Full-Time Artist The Right Path For You_

Quitting your full-time job to focus on your art sounds like the dream life, doesn’t it? You can start your own business, be your own boss, work from home and set your own hours. We talk to many artists who are either already doing this or have a big dream to make it happen. It’s not a simple decision though. There are many things to consider when starting a business for example, your vision for the future, setting business hours for yourself, investing in coaching and training, giving up a steady income, letting go of some things in your life to make more time for your business, and much more. With that being said, becoming a full-time artist isn’t the right path for everyone. To find out if it’s right for you, ask yourself the following 10 questions.

1.    Are you willing to learn new things?

Taking your art to the next level and starting your own business means learning a totally new skill set. We’re talking about business skills as in networking, pricing your art to sell, managing your finances, and promoting yourself. This is totally different than learning a new art medium which you may also find yourself doing.

2.    Can you control your feelings?

As an artist, you probably already know that people can sometimes be mean!  Art is all about opinion and since everyone’s so different, they won’t all like your work. Don’t let this get to you though. Remember that you ARE talented, you WILL make this business work for you, and there are people that will appreciate your artwork.

3.    Are you ready to be a business owner?

Once you become a full-time artist, it’s not just about having fun anymore. We’re not saying that you’ll no longer have fun creating art but we do know that you must take your business seriously like an actual business owner would. This means getting focused and having real business hours in place!

4.    Are you willing to quit your job?

When starting a business, the most common thing that holds people back is fear of leaving their current full-time job. We can totally understand that! It’s scary going from a comfy reliable income to your own business where you don’t know what will happen. You hear about all the failed businesses and you realize that it won’t come easy. Most likely you won’t be making the big bucks right away but as with anything, you’ll learn as you go and improve as you make those mistakes. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many different options to make money as an artist and you don’t necessarily have to leave your full-time job to do so. You can be a part-time artist who uses another job to pay bills or you can be an artist who makes the occasional sale. If quitting your full-time job is just too scary right now, start with one of these other options.

5.    Do you have long term goals and a vision set for yourself?

Starting your own art business isn’t something that you just wake up one day and decide to begin. This takes a lot of thought and consideration. Can you picture your future life as a full-time artist? What does that look like? What do you hope to accomplish in the future? What does your day to day life look like? Don’t just think about the next year. What does the future look like for you?

6.    Are you ready to work on your art every day?

Would you only show up to your current full-time job when you felt like it? Of course not! You must treat your business the same way. You can’t just work on the days you feel creative. You must be consistently working every single day!

7.    Are you ready to invest in growing your business?

There are some additional things that go into starting your own business that you need to be aware of. It goes way beyond just creating your artwork. Consider investing in a business coach, trade shows, business courses, your personal time, and more.

8.    Do you have time in your schedule to work on your business?

Until you grow your business, getting started will take up a large portion of your time. It’s important to get your priorities in line to see if this is something you can handle on top of everything else. What are you willing to eliminate from your day (TV watching and Facebook?) to allow more time to grow your business? What are you NOT willing to give up (time with family)? Sit down and start to plan out what each day would look like if you were to take your art full-time. Would you have enough time to do the things most important to you?

9.    Are you willing to create what people want?

Once you start creating artwork to make a profit, you’ll have to consider what your buyers want. You can still add in your own personality and signature techniques. You can also still create whatever ideas pop into your head. But you’ll have to learn to put your client’s needs and wants first which can be a difficult mindset switch.

10.    Do you have a positive mindset?

As we always say if you think you will fail, you will fail. If you believe in yourself, you’ll make it. It’s all about your mindset! Starting your own business in the art field is a huge task to take on. With any business, you’ll have your ups and your downs. To prevent yourself from completely giving up when things get difficult, keep a positive mindset. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to work on you daily. Take at least 10 minutes every day to read a personal development book. This is a great way to get you pumped up for the day.

We recommend printing this blog out and taking a moment to sit down and really go over these questions. By answering them honestly, you should be able to determine if being a full-time artist is the right path for you. Of course the journey will be a difficult one. Nothing worth fighting for comes easy. But making the choice to change what’s not working in your life is easier than being stuck and unhappy. Remember that you are in charge here. Your happiness is 100% up to you to create. If you feel that starting your own art business is the way to go, we believe in you all the way!

Tell us, are you a full-time artist? Would you ever consider it?

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