Can art become an actual profession? You know you can earn extra money on the side, but is it safe to leave your office job and become fully committed to turning your artistic skills into a profession? Now, more than ever, it’s possible to achieve that goal.
What is modern art, anyway? MoMA has a nice definition of it:
Challenging the notion that art must realistically depict the world, some artists experimented with the expressive use of color, non-traditional materials, and new techniques and mediums. One of these was photography, whose invention in the 1830s introduced a new method for depicting and reinterpreting the world.
Realistic depiction of the world – that’s a simplified definition of modern art. Photography, clothes, jewelry, graffiti, movies, paintings, sculpture… the category is too broad. And, it offers great opportunities for making money. Photography, in particular, is a much needed skill in the world of Internet.
From Skills to Profession: How an Artsy Person Can Thrive in This World
Gone are the days when being a professional photographer meant having a full-time job for a newspaper or a travel magazine. Now, everyone with proper photography skills can turn their talent into a profession. Let’s see how you can do that… in 5 steps!
1. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Before you go and leave your office job because you saw a friend photographer making a lot of money out of their skills, you should be aware of something: the competition in the world of art is HUGE. If you’re good enough, you’ll make career progress. If not, you can still keep it as a hobby, but you have to become much better in your chosen artistic skill if you want to make money with it.
Since you can’t reach absolute perfection in any art, let’s alter the cliché statement: “practice makes you almost perfect.” If, for example, you plan to focus on photography, you should start by studying your surroundings. Every single day is different. The air has a different vibe and the sunset has colors you haven’t seen before. You’ll notice different shadows and smiles around you. Try to capture the reality with different techniques and you’ll understand how you can depict real-life objects through your unique photography style.
2. Start a Website
If you plan to turn your art skill into a profession, you’ll probably want to move past stock photography and Etsy. You’ll need a website that will present you as a unique artist. It will basically serve as your virtual resume. You’ll provide contact information, so clients can contact you with offers on specific projects.
Don’t forget: a website needs great content if you want it to attract visitors. You’ll need to include a blog and implement SEO strategies that will help you rank higher on search engines. If you don’t know how to do that or you have no time for writing content, you can always hire an online writing and editing service like AustralianWritings. Work together with the writers to craft content that depicts your skills and work in the most captivating way..
3. Target Events
Stock photography is an industry that anyone can become part of. If you’re good and persistent enough, it will bring you money on a regular basis. Should you stop there? Of course not! You should always bring your skills to the field. Weddings, seminars, baby showers, and other types of events are a big deal for photographers, makeup artists, and clothes designers. If you belong to any of these categories, you should definitely start targeting events in your area.
You can promote this kind of work at your website. The word-of-mouth marketing is the most important kind of advertising. When you do a great job at one event, people will start recommending you further. With time, this will turn into an interesting, viable career.
4. Set Your Prices
When you start working as a professional photographer or you pick any other profession related to artistic skills, do you know who your first customers will be? Friends and family. You’ll feel it’s inappropriate to charge them for your services, but that’s not the right approach. If you’re a professional, you can’t work for free. At first, you’ll be mostly focused on gaining experience, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t charge for your work. You can start with a lower price and increase it further on. That’s the secret ingredient for growing a business from your skills: the price you set.
How do you set the price, exactly? Do a research! What’s the average price for services in your industry? You’ll do just well if you stick to that average at first. As you invest more in equipment and you improve your skills, you’ll appropriately adjust the price.
5. Get a Studio
You’ll have to be very committed if you want to get to this step. Starting a highly professional photography studio costs a lot of money. However, it also gives you an opportunity to shoot for fashion shows, magazines, and clients who want studio photography sessions.
A freelance photographer can probably do well with minimal equipment and no studio, but this step is necessary if we’re talking about true career progress.
You can start small, but don’t keep your vision within the limits of small. Keep growing as an artist, and your business will grow, too. Hopefully, the brief guide above will set you on the right track.