An artist is a person who creates, practices or demonstrates art by imitating a vision formed within his/her mind. Successful artists are able to express their art through visual, auditory or performance for others to see.
Art is a form of communication used by an artist to move onlookers to a different world and inspire them. The art creation process requires a lot of searching and introspection. Artists’ feelings about people and the world around them seep into their art. Memories and personal emotions from the artists’ past help give their art a perspective.
An artist finding it hard to make ends meet is a cliché. Parents are scared of letting their kids pursue art as a full-time profession. Hence, parents take it as a moral responsibility to avoid their kids from taking up art.
Being an artist is a serious business, literally. Creating good art means that you are able to connect with the emotions of people. Art for its creator is both personal and universal at the same time.
A successful (wealthy) artist does not just create a good piece of art, it needs to make business sense too. Entrepreneurial artists broadly follow the four basic principles of marketing, i.e. product, price, place and promotion. They know that their art is a marketable product. Like a good marketer, they need to price it appropriately and identify the target market segment and potential buyers.
Being ‘self-indulgent’ is a virtue for artists. At the same time, their creation needs to appeal to the observer and potential buyers alike. Going out to the market with not enough followers of their work greatly affects the artists’ long-term sustainability. They need to think about the end-user while crafting the art.
Artists are sensitive to their surroundings as they absorb the word around them. They use tools like paint, artwork or gesture to express their art. They have the ability to help people find their voices and express concerns through art projects. These things are good from an art perspective, but the harsh reality is, art has its own ‘marketplace’. Besides discovering the price for their artwork in the marketplace, the artists also have to face competition.
Vincent Van Gogh had his paintings full of life and color. He loved what he did and had a great passion for it. However, he was not appreciated for his genius and died in poverty. He never knew what an influence he was to become. He did not know how to market his skill.
On the other hand, we have Damien Hirst who has a net worth of more than $385 million dollars. He has the eye of an entrepreneur and the hands of an artist. He focuses his art themes around topics that sell well, one example being ‘death’.
Artists have a dual responsibility to know what they want to make and know why a client will buy their art. Successful artists have a plan to promote their work as follows:
- Reaching out to the target customer segment
- Get their art the attention it deserves
- Promote their art with relevant words, content marketing
- Present themselves as icons of change and build a cult of their own
- Touch the lives of individuals