PDA

View Full Version : Does anyone on WC make a living selling art ?


bytesniffer
01-22-2014, 01:27 PM
I painted a picture of a pond where i live.

I was wondering if anyone on this site actually makes a good living
painting and selling their paintings ?

In the past I would grow to hate them and throw them out or
if oil paint paint over sometimes. Don't like to give them away
people don't respect what they get for free and I would rather
be the one to get rid of them.

*Deirdre*
01-22-2014, 08:02 PM
You seem to have asked the same question in quite a few places...so do you want an answer to that or do you want just to show your picture? If the former, I will move this to Pastel Talk, if the latter I will leave it here...

jackiesimmonds
01-23-2014, 06:49 AM
To answer your question, i know that some here DO sell their paintings regularly. But wanting to do this, doesn't make it so.

I suspect the reason you must be asking this, is because you would like to be one of those who make a living selling their art.

BUT

If you hate your pics why on earth would anyone else like them and want to buy them?

You need to love what you do. Be proud of what you do. Then, if you are persistent, and lucky too, you may begin to find a demand.
If you are deadly serious, you need to find out all about how to go about selling, how to price your work, how to be professional about the whole business of being successful as a selling painter. It is not an easy road and wanting it, even a lot, brings no guarantees with it. Many really good artists cannot afford to give up their alternative day job because we are living in recessionary times and people cannot afford luxuries. Paintings are luxuries. You need to be realistic About your expectations.

Ruthie57
01-23-2014, 08:05 AM
I agree with Jackie. Selling art at all is hard enough in these times when money is tight. Making a living requires a LOT of work, producing a lot of good art and a LOT of luck I think!

bytesniffer
01-23-2014, 09:43 AM
I don't know any artists an the only one's I read about
are established artists. I am very curious about the
possibility of WC forum artists success in selling
what they love to do. I wanted a frank response like ruthie57
because I an leaning towards just going on doing what I like
and forget about selling anything.

I don't want to work myself to death trying to
build an art career now. I can't be the only one in this
position. So, artists who produce nice work
but, are really not running an art business
what do you do with your paintings ?

If I wasn't working full time I could produce several
oil or pastel paintings each week.
Jackie, I was quoting E.John robinson from a tutorial
I watched. Where he says no one sees his bad work. He burns
them and If you put your work in the closet for a month
then take it out and look at it ,you will see all the mistakes.
also, as I improved I dislike my previous work. I think this
happens to all all artists.

bytesniffer
01-23-2014, 09:48 AM
Yes Jackie, I would like to be one of those people
that could be successful in selling my art, but


You have to be really good.
you need to work hard on your art business
you need to produce books or video's tutorials
you need to have plein aire group outings
sell lithographs of you work
have galleries represent you etc.
doesn't this take twenty years to accomplish.

artsask
01-23-2014, 12:31 PM
I myself would like to paint more and sell artwork since I found out I have MS and why not do what I really love.
I have started with getting a web site (which I don't have up and running yet) I do have a face book page for my art as this is free. You need to be positive about your art work. We have an embroidery/sign business and I find the things that I like are the things that I can sell best. If you did up a few of your best paintings you could try taking them to an art gallery, try entering competitions is lots of people will see your work there and you could maybe set up at the local farmers market or fairs as the only way to get known is to get your work out there, best of luck, Trudi

water girl
01-23-2014, 12:51 PM
Trudi has brought up a good point. Try entering your work in local juried shows. It gets your work out in public view, and generally you can get some feedback from other artists or viewers. Local show give you the opportunity to sell as well. Just take baby steps and see what happens.

DAK723
01-23-2014, 04:16 PM
Yes Jackie, I would like to be one of those people
that could be successful in selling my art, but


You have to be really good.
you need to work hard on your art business
you need to produce books or video's tutorials
you need to have plein aire group outings
sell lithographs of you work
have galleries represent you etc.
doesn't this take twenty years to accomplish.
In my opinion, to be successful you probably need only 2 of the above:

You need to work hard on your art business.
Have galleries represent you.

I can not speak from experience as I am not a full time artist, but from what I have heard and read from those that have succeeded in the arts, the process is usually a gradual one. Perhaps a few sales one year, a few more the next, perhaps adding a gallery or two that represents you in another year or two, and then - if you are lucky and aggressive in your self-promotion (perhaps the most important attribute you need) - then you may ultimately make enough money in sales so that you can support yourself. There is no timetable and it may never happen as there are too many variables and you depend on the whims of other people!
I am leaning towards just going on doing what I like
and forget about selling anything.
I would recommend painting what you enjoy with the goal of becoming as good an artist you can be. If you have art clubs in your area, joining one might give you the opportunity to show your work - and possibly sell some - without much effort on the business end. There is absolutely no reason you need to choose between doing what you like and trying to sell. You can certainly do both and see how it goes.

Don

Ruthie57
01-23-2014, 05:00 PM
What Don said hits the mark. If you love creating art, do it, keep practising and learning. When showing opportunities arise take them.....Hope to sell but don't expect it. It is a long road and any short cuts will arise by luck....unless you are into the aggressive marketing technique. If you're good enough at that you'll sell, but you have to be REALLY good at it!
Me, I've worked on my art many hours a week for the past few years. Do I sell? Yes, occasionally. Do a make a living from it? No way!

*Deirdre*
01-23-2014, 05:07 PM
Time to move this thread to Talk, as there is no discussion about the painting posted!

JustinM
01-24-2014, 08:19 PM
Some very good advice given already. I especially like Jackie's notes and Don's points.

I spent many years working (and making a living) as an illustrator, doing primarily magazine work. It was a very comfortable living but I felt like I only painted what other people wanted me to paint. In fact, it was worse than just having to paint a dog when an article called for a dog, but you would have to paint a specific kind of dog, in a specific kind of pose, with a specific kind of background etc. etc. One day, i just wanted to paint a cat, you know? :)

So i stopped taking on illustrations (i still do a couple a year but very very infrequently) and fell back on my art school minor: graphic design. I make a comfortable living as a designer but when I go home for the day I am still passionate enough to work on my fine art most evenings. Painting whatever the heck I want. :)

I dont make enough to quit the day job but every year its a bit more, so maybe one day.

The OP asked "wont that take 20 years" and I suppose it might. Who knows. As long as you are enjoying doing what you are, who cares? The nice thing is that as my works begin to sell for more money, my inventory of past works go up in price too. A painting I had for sale for $400 a few years ago (and never sold) just sold for $650 because thats what i charge for that size of work now.

Enjoy the journey though, otherwise, whats the point?

bytesniffer
01-25-2014, 01:41 PM
JustinM

I agree with your statements. Not to confuse anyone.
I was only stating this would take me twenty years to
accomplish and establish an art business. Younger people can spend the time
but I will be 86. out of time..


but yes I do enjoy painting and that's my reward
there will be no financial reward I guess.
Someone has already cut his ear off to get famous
I need to cut something else off ? LOL:lol: :lol:

bytesniffer
01-25-2014, 01:43 PM
Oh yes I do agree with the moderator. No one has
said anything about the painting I posted.
I will have to take pictures of my next painting (WIP)

jackiesimmonds
01-26-2014, 06:20 AM
nobody commented probably because you did not ask for c&c, and the title of your post asks a specific question.

DAK723
01-26-2014, 09:34 AM
Oh yes I do agree with the moderator. No one has
said anything about the painting I posted.
I will have to take pictures of my next painting (WIP)

The painting you posted is very well done. The pic is a bit small, but it definitely seems like it is very sell-able!

but yes I do enjoy painting and that's my reward
there will be no financial reward I guess.

There can be financial reward without reaching a point where you make a living selling art. I think that is where the vast majority (probably about 99%!) of artists are! As I mentioned earlier, if you live in a city or town that has an art club, those clubs usually organize shows where paintings are exhibited and sold. Many places have some sort of summer festivals where people sell arts and crafts. Sometime small businesses will partner with an artist and allow you to hang and sell in their place of business. Who knows, you may end up selling a few!

Don

jackiesimmonds
01-27-2014, 11:50 AM
ok lecture coming up. I have been reading your posts quite carefully and feel you need these words:

What one needs in this business is a POSITIVE ATTITUDE. I know someone older than you who began to paint and within a pretty short time, was selling her work. She oozed confidence. To be brutal...your attitude needs a bit of work if you wish to sell your wor. This is what you have said:

"In the past I would grow to hate them and throw them out or
if oil paint paint over sometimes" and you say you expect "no financial reward"

but how will you know if anyone would like to buy your work when haven't tried as yet? and actually, it may take FAR less than the twenty years you claim it would take - what gave you that idea anyway?. If you went, say, to a friendly local cafe and organised to put on an exhibition there in one year's time, that would give you something to work towards, and if you framed your work nicely, priced it right, and organised plenty of invitations, I am pretty confident you would sell some of your work. Perhaps all - you never know! The painting you showed us is nicely painted, certainly good enough to find a home on someone's wall - depends where you show it and how much you demand for it, that's all.

If you go around saying how much you often hate your work, and how it would take you twenty years to be good enough to sell............people will believe you, and come to the conclusion - logically - that your work is not very good.

Instead, why not change to saying "well, I reckon I am ready to show my work now.........so I have planned this show, and you will be getting invitations nearer the time, I do hope you will come and support me." And NEVER say anything negative about your work ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!

if you only sell a few, it will be a start - and even then you must not say to yourself that the unsold pics must have been awful because nobody wanted them...it is just that the right buyers did not come thro the door...you must tell yourself that from little acorns, big oak trees grow.

People believe what you tell them. Tell them you are rubbish, they will believe you. Tell them you love what you do, and are proud of your work, and they will believe that. It is all about your attitude.

robertsloan2
01-27-2014, 09:46 PM
Your work's already good enough you could sell a few pieces and at least get to where you're paying for your supplies. The point of selling it at all is a low mark in my experience.

I made my living on art in the 90s and it was fun. It was a good way of life. I couldn't keep it up for physical reasons of disability but it was the best day job I ever had from being a writer. To this day if I'm short, I could always go do a commission. One subject done well enough a non artist likes it and that's enough for people to put real money in your hand.

The point of earning a good living comparable to other skilled work does take getting more professional. But lots of people sell a bit of art now and then and still get the bonus of extra money and something for all your time and skill.

Much better than just binning it or working over it until you're 'good enough' for your own standards. I'd rather see them go to a good home. When someone buys art it's because they love it, it gets personal and means a lot to them. It goes way beyond technical problems the artist sees later on - the thing that made it their favorite is real and enduring.

So I'd say just do it and see where you fall on it. Price to others selling similar works in similar mediums in the same venue, don't make price the deciding factor low or high. Price is subjective but once someone wants a painting, they do, it's that specific and personal.

MChesleyJohnson
01-28-2014, 10:14 AM
Making a living at painting is not much different from making a living at any job as a self-employed person: Work hard, believe in yourself, stay positive -- and above all, learn and study from others.

keepingpure
01-28-2014, 06:35 PM
If I could make enough so I'm not pulling money out of my personal pocket for my art supplies, I'd be perfectly happy! :-)

DAK723
01-28-2014, 07:42 PM
If I could make enough so I'm not pulling money out of my personal pocket for my art supplies, I'd be perfectly happy! :-)

I'm sure many of us agree with that philosophy! :clap:

Don

mudfish
01-28-2014, 09:10 PM
You can make enough in prize money at local shows and guild shows to pay for your supplies. There are many shows specifically for seniors. Find your local artist guild and join it - even the smallest places have one, and they announce all this info at meetings and give you a free demo/class along with it every month. Many galleries no longer rep artists - you pay them for wall space. So if you have the money, there are many galleries open to you.

Yannse
01-31-2014, 12:18 AM
Ruth, I was thinking you can make live with your art, because you are so good! I am planning to go college take second turn education for job this year. Now I got the idea , no fine art class, no illustrator class,job is job, do art after work.