If you would like to increase your income in 2015, you must take charge of your art business.
You have to stop waiting for things to happen and start putting all of the pieces into place, so that the good stuff can settle in.
Liz Crain, Clay Dollars. Dollar bills, clay slip, underglazes and underglaze pencils, electric oxidation, 2.5 x 6 x .25 inches. Used with permission.
Money doesn’t just appear when you need it. You have to work for it. [Tweet this.]
In my experience, one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of making more money is to create a plan: an income-boosting plan.
Where Is The Money Coming From?
In order to boost your income, you first have to know what it is, historically, and where it came from.
For the purposes
I’ve asked about what it means to be “too commercial” before, but this article in Hyperallergic had me thinking about it again. It discusses a limited-edition $2,500 book by Annie Leibovitz for Taschen and the Wu-Tang Clan’s plan to sell access to a pricey album for 1-time-only listening.
I recently wrote about the importance of embracing an abundant mindset in your marketing. Now let’s look at some ways that you can start feeling more abundant that will help you break out of that frugal mindset. How do others treat you? How do you treat yourself? How do you treat others?
I’ll just come right out and say it: I am tired of watching artists and arts organizations live on leftover scraps. In my 23 years of working with fine art, I have witnessed repeatedly how frugal the arts are. Not to the patrons with the big bank accounts, but to the artists, without whom their passionate interest would not exist. Frugal isn’t bad by itself. In fact, frugal can be good. But frugal becomes detrimental when it feeds the idea that we are not worthy of more.
An anonymous artist sent me an email with these stats. The painting she is sending to a juried art exhibition sells for $1200. Other fees involved – which don’t include material, labor, or office time – are:
Decide now that you will make more money in 2013. You with me so far? Okay, so how are you going to do it? Let’s think through this. It’s never a bad idea to make more money, but your idea has more of a chance to become reality if you create a plan.
On my Facebook page, I asked people what their day jobs were to help supplement their art income. We have a farmer, medical professionals, engineers, personal trainers, full-time moms, and many other colorful positions. Tell us what you do.
A. Alabi Akinloye, Female #1. Pastel on board, 24 x 18 inches. ©The Artist
Last week we were reviewing income sources for the past 3-4 years in order to set new income goals for 2011.
After you have your goals, it’s time to figure out how the money will come in. This was the next step (the 7th step) I took for myself in the process, and here’s how I did it.
Time to create another spreadsheet!
Record all of your areas of income in the left column. Across the top, you’ll list the months, January through December.
Under the corresponding months, you’ll note your major events: exhibits, festivals, sales, trade shows, and so forth. This gives you a visual as to where most of your activity will be happening.
Based on previous performance and new goals, divvy up
You have a grasp on how much money you’d like to make, but you have no idea how it’s going to happen.
I have an ambitious income goal for the year.
With my number in mind, I woke up in a panic moment early (too early) one morning last week.
I was alarmed because I realized that I had no plan to reach that number.
The first step I took was to ground myself in reality. I encourage you to do the same by following the process I went through.
1. Decide on your income goal. It’s not the number that’s important, but that you create a plan to attain it.
2. Create a space to focus. Shut down email, Facebook, and Twitter and clear your calendar for the day. Really. This is all you’re going to
Art suffers the moment other people start paying for it. The more you need money, the more people will tell you what to do. The less control you will have. The more bullshit you will have to swallow. The less joy it will bring.—Hugh MacLeod in Ignore Everybody (page 64)
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