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The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

(T4T) Tips for Tuesday - 10 Artists Share - How to Be a Professional Artist

 Ever since I've been a little kid, I've had a love of art and especially drawing. I would've gone to art school if a family member hadn't intervened and said "you know, artists tend to struggle financially" or something to that effect when I was at a very impressionable age. In an instant a dream died.

I mention all that to say - that family member didn't know what they were talking about - here are some artists who are making a living doing their art full-time and their tips on how you (if artistically inclined) can too:

Walter Herrmann

Find out more about Mr. Herrmann at:

Mechanized Organic

"prepare for sacrifice!!!"

Geoff McFetridge

Find out more about Mr. McFetridge at


"Don't wait for a perfect time. Don't wait for a better studio space, or more time, or to take a month off to start making something. It is better to do a doodle every day than put off making a masterpiece for years."

 Alan Reeve 

Find out more about Mr. Reeve at:


"Devote all the time you can to making art. The more time you put into your art, the more you learn, the better it becomes. Strive to be the best at what you create. If your work is the best, people will want it."

Andrea "Dre" Fox

Find out more about about Ms. Fox at :

I can't let it go (because it won't let go of me)

"The best tip I could give artists that want to pursue their art as a full time "job" is to treat it like it is a job. Dedicate a space for work only... Go to that space every day at regular times just like you would if you were leaving the house to go to an outside job. Develop a network of other artists that act as your peer "support group" that you would likely have at a job. That way you have like minded individuals that you can bounce ideas off of, collaborate on projects with, and vent to. Sometimes routine and schedule do put a crimp in a creative process, and it's OK to occasionally blow off your regular routine and spend 3 hours watching Ab Fab and eating popcorn with one of your also creatively stymied friends, but as a general rule, if you treat it like it's a job that you have to actually go to, the chances of rampant procrastination lessen significantly. "


Daric Gill

Find out more about Mr. Gill at:

Absolute: Radiance

 " 1). Make as much work as you say you do. Or make as much work as you say you would like to make. 2). Full-time artists work full-time hours. Most likely more. That means not just a few hrs when you feel like it. 3). Study pricing how-tos. Know your work's value. 4). Grow continually. Make a list of the top 10 questions you DON'T want to be asked about your work. Those are the loopholes that you are purposely avoiding. Find their answers instead of hiding from them. 5.) Learn how to talk about your work. Don't hide behind, "It's too personal". If you've agreed to discuss it visually, you've agreed to talk about it verbally. 6.) If you're local to a gallery, visit it first before pitching your work to them. 7.) Rejection is part of the job. Learn how to handle it gracefully and use it as a positive motivator. 8.) Know when to be confident not boastful and when to be modest but not retreating."


W. Ralph Walters

Find out more about Mr. Walters at:

Our Lady of Guadalupe
"Promote your work. I know so many artists - good artists - that are far more likely to push folks to watch a TV show or movie or book they like than ask people to look at their work. It's okay to like your work. To be successful, you have to like your own work. So talk about it! Share it with people, like you might go on about a movie or book or band you like. If you're part of a group art show, pimp that art show. If your work comes up in conversation, make sure you have business cards with an address to a portfolio site you can pass out. Let people know what you do, and watch opportunities start sprouting up."

Jeremy Deller

Find out more about Mr. Deller at:

Bless This Acid House

You can find more of Mr. Deller's work at his site above but, In addition to his piece above I really enjoyed this short youtube clip where he talks about failure:

"Be really good at it and try not to copy other artists too much"

Dale Ziemianski

Find out more about Mr. Ziemianski at

Supergirl - Dale Ziemianski

  "Go to every Craigslist Creative Gigs in every city in the world - every forum where people post art jobs (Like Deviant Art, Polycount Forum, etc) and pipe them all through an RSS feed (like Netvibes or Feedly) and check it every day - even if you already have work, because if you get more work than you can handle you can then start to raise your prices. Also - streamline your workflow. Every second you save gives you a raise. is the best replacement for (the soon-to-be-defunct) Google Reader. It streams all the various RSS feeds chronologically despite their source and can be viewed just as well on a mobile phone - so whenever you're away from your desk and bored you can fill that time looking for work and messaging the jobs to your email address to research once you get home,."


Derek Stewart 

Find out more about Mr. Stewart at:

Mermaid - By Derek Stewart

"[Don't] be too rigid in your working methods. This is something I struggle with, but I'm finding that different projects can often have a different process of coming into being even within the same artform or medium. Some drawings require laborious planning to execute while others may seem to appear spontaneously. Some stories require a beat by beat outline and some find themselves on the page. I think a lot of people are too preoccupied with either finding or sticking to their way of doing things when in reality any way you do a given thing that gets it done becomes your way.... [So]If you are struggling with something, try approaching it differently. For most artists, all of our creations are different animals and maybe they should all be respected and treated as such."


Tona Pearson 

Find out more about Ms. Pearson at:

 "...You need to decide pretty quickly whether or not you are making art for yourself (because it makes you happy) or for other people (to sell art). I think that many of us fell into a "But I wanna create stuff that I WANT to create, and people should just buy it" rut, when really, you have to go out and sell yourself, and your stuff in ways that you probably aren't going to expect. If you want to make money full time as an artist, you have to be willing to make art for other people, and not just yourself."



  1. Good read :-) Thanks for posting this.

  2. Thanks for sharing Mr. Ziemianski!

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