I run into a lot of artists that want to sell their artwork, or to turn their artwork into a business. I am all for the idea of sharing creativity. I am not, however, one of those coaches that will tell every artist that I run into to turn their art into profit. Sometimes a hobby should just stay a hobby.
Entrepreneurship is an art in it of itself. To be able to turn art into a business, one has to be good at both their creative artwork and at running a business. Some artists simply don’t have the patience, work ethic, or capital required to turn their art into a business. Some artists have all those things, but don’t have the talent to sell artwork that is marketable. In some cases, the artwork in questions lacks scalability, and therefore may make a decent income, but not necessarily enough to retire on.
When friends and family tell you that you should sell your artwork, sometimes we mistake this type of praise as social proof that our artwork might be of value to the art buying market. In some cases, this maybe true, but just because your friends and family like your art, it doesn’t mean the market will. If you have received such praise, however, you should feel some comfort in knowing that you have support from family and friends. Not all artists have that; so don’t take that for granted.
Teaching someone how to turn art into profit is the easy part. But I don’t start there. I start with the “Why”. Why do they want to turn their art into a business? Why don’t they just keep their art as a hobby? From there I have a much better idea of where to take their artwork. So before you go off to form a LLC, or get a booth at the next art festival, ask yourself, “Why?” I am all for entrepreneurial artists, but not if it’s for the wrong reasons.