Sunday, 20 January 2013

What kind of artist are you and where do you want to be?

Thanks to Experts Academy's Brendon Buchard I have decided to be a lot more positive about my successes and most importantly share any tips for success so that newer artists can avoid making some of the same mistakes I have!

I am a particular type of artist. I think I am a bit of a difficult type. But there must be others like me about.  I have always loathed the money and business side of art, because if it is business, it feels a hell of a lot less like true 'art'.  And I am not a graphic designer so that rules out an easy income straight away.

I have also got the added awkwardness and frustration with my personal circumstances making it difficult to network and exhibit as much as I would really like to do in London. This will be something I will tackle in the next year and beyond.

However, the goal is to be able to survive and bring up my family solely from my income as an artist.  Just because art is my vocation I don't see why I should be penniless until after death.  I have always intended to achieve a decent salary like other professionals.  I think it should be a subject for another blog, but for so many artists like me, art is not where their main income comes from.  They've all been lying to us!  Although I have been working for years I feel like I am at the start of a new journey to reach a decent salary figure and stay true to my 'difficult' integrity as an artist.  Do come with me on my journey.

There are so many different types of artist. And I hold no resentment towards you if you are different to me.  Your path is perfectly valid but I want to take a different route.  I do not want to spend my life painting pretty pictures or local scenes that I can sell at a local gallery even if that leads to building up a good reputation.

I also have many artisan friends who make beautiful handmade pieces but not all can command the price for the huge amount of time that is involved in the making process and although these are amazing and valid again it is not a route I wish to take.

For the last few years I have had higher expenses than I have had income and that has to change.  I know I will have to continue to work hard but I want it to become easier eventually. I also don't want to pressure to create a piece of work just so I can pay the bills that month. I want a sustainable income and I want to make that from what I love doing, which is making art.  I want a lot don't I?

I want to think really big, I want to take a route that leads me to be nominated for the Turner Prize in a few years time!  Yes that feels a bit weird saying it but it is true, that is what I want! Why is it difficult to say what I want?  Probably because somewhere along the line someone else has made me feel not worthy. Well I'm not going to listen to those people anymore!

So what do I want to do: I want to paint pictures. I may want to do things in other mediums. I may want to be commissioned for larger cultural works. But I will want it to be Art that is true to me and not something that has had to tick boxes to get the right funding.

One of the successful things that I have achieved so far in my art career is a crowd funding project that I created and I hit my target.  This gave me a huge amount of confidence that I really can achieve whatever I want if I can appeal to my fans and the wider community.  I haven't yet attempted more conventional funding routes but I think crowd funding meant I could really concentrate on what I wanted and didn't have to compromise too much.

I am planning my next crowd funding campaign now, which will be in two parts.  But please check out my next blog which will be about the success of my first crowd funding campaign.

So if you are an artist that gets my point of view, or is struggling in similar circumstances, and you are looking for a more unconventional route to success please do follow me on Facebook or join my mailing list on my website,

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