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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pricing Your Art...Skill, Time, and Other Creative Endeavors


A few weeks back, I had the fortuitous opportunity to meet a fellow artist on a train ride leaving from New Jersey for New York. We waxed lyrical for a good while about our respective fields—for her it was digital art installations, and for me, theatre. Besides the creative side of things, each of us was equally curious about the business side of each other’s field. Her response to my question was basically, “I have no idea how to market or sell my work. Who is going to pay for it?”

To which I shot back, “It is totally possible to get paid to do what you love to do as an artist. I’m living proof”

And I thought to myself, I would love to teach artists (theatre, sales, dentistry) how to market and sell themselves and their work. Being a master in your field and yet struggling financially ain’t sexy, it’s painful (and pain isn’t a prerequisite for world-class art). Starving is not at all enticing and as an artist, you shouldn’t have to choose between eating and practicing your craft. 

So, in lieu of a class (in development for 2017), here’s part one of a brief overview on how to starve less and create more, while getting paid for it.

  1. Before you think of income, you must think of the outcome. What kind of feelings or results would you like to see from your audience as a result of your voice and your art entering the world? What you want to see happen and what actually happens can be two different things, but at least you’ll have a results oriented idea to (partially) guide you through this process.
  2. Build it before you need it. Most folks try to build an audience as soon as their project is finished and ready (in their estimation) to be released into the world. Find and build an audience before you need it. Feed them. Give to them. Give them a chance to reciprocate your kindness when it’s time for you to share the gift of your art. It’s generally easier to ask of someone who either knows you, trusts you, or knows someone who trusts you. 

I’m going to leave you here to ruminate over those ideas. And I’ll return in a week to build on the concept

Any questions, holler at me HERE. I’d be happy to help. 


-J