I may be going down the starving artist road

I may be going down the starving artist road

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This is a discussion on I may be going down the starving artist road within the Education & Career Talk forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; For most of my short life (20 year old INTP here), I thought that I would be best suited for ...

  1. #1

    I may be going down the starving artist road

    For most of my short life (20 year old INTP here), I thought that I would be best suited for the world of academia, stats, research, and analysis. Over the years though, I lost most interest and motivation for academics, which I blame on depression and subsequent anhedonia. I've been out of college for about half a year, and so I've tried gaining new interests and hobbies during all my free time. To my surprise, I discovered that painting and digital art can hold my interest and I'm fairly good at it. I still do have bits of enjoyment from researching and learning, but the art world is where I can see myself with a career and enjoying it for the long term. Now this is where I see the "Starving artist" stereotype as my future. I don't know where I should start to get a decent career from making art. I took this career test online and my top results were film director, media artist, and lyricist. All those options actually interest me, but I have no clue what to do other than creating my art, sharing with different people, and hoping I strike some luck and get "discovered" by some great company or something. If anyone here makes a living with their art, I would greatly appreciate some advice and tips.
    J X, WinterFox and Hurricane Matthew thanked this post.



  2. #2

    You could start out by designing advertisements, websites, logos etc. that people are more inclined to throw money at you for. I know my art teacher in architecture school started out this way, and he's now an artist, in addition to lecturing in university. Like him, you could maybe expand or move on to something else that to a greater degree satisfies your need for free expression. This may or may not require some higher education in fine arts or at least some serious practice, although I think a portfolio of works is more important than formal education and pieces of paper that can testify it though.

  3. #3

    Ditto, but for me it wasn't stats, it was Information Technology that I soon became sick of. I would settle for admin jobs just to fake myself into think it's still about computer technology. It's like I didn't go to college to get a job answering phones and typing documents anyone can do all day, why did I go to college, then?

    Now I work in a factory but also own my own business to try to get the best of both worlds.

    For me, I always felt I was destined to own my own business, especially with things never working out under anyone else, I do have the skills to own a business, just marketing it...well sucks So yep, starving artists!

    I'm currently making a living writing stories...I'm working on my first novel haven't published it yet, though.

    I also used to be a freelance IT Support that would pay for rent for a few months, but when my customers ran out, I had to get a job under somebody else since no one needed their computers fixed all the time.

    That's what I'm doing! Creating my stuff, sharing it with people and hoping I'll become discovered. That's exactly right.

    I would suggest learning some marketing skills. I'm kicking myself the one skill I actually need to make my own business run I suck at doing. Get to know other small businesses. Tell them about your business. See if you can leave a business card in their shop. Post flyers, mail listings and things like that.
    Ablysmal thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by thelostxin View Post

    That's what I'm doing! Creating my stuff, sharing it with people and hoping I'll become discovered. That's exactly right.

    I would suggest learning some marketing skills. I'm kicking myself the one skill I actually need to make my own business run I suck at doing. Get to know other small businesses. Tell them about your business. See if you can leave a business card in their shop. Post flyers, mail listings and things like that.
    Yeah, marketing skills are rough for me too. ^Really good advice. These are just some ideas:

    1. Get a blog or a website. Blogs tend to bring in more traffic, but if you don't want to maintain that, just a website where people can go look at your art. This is your home base. If you need a recommendation, let me know, I've tried a couple.

    2. Start a newsletter--I use mailchimp (it's really easy). Stick to sending it out at a schedule you can maintain, that can be monthly, weekly, quarterly, etc. You can ask your friends and family to be the first subscribers, then start building an email list. And promote your newsletter on social media and your website. From what I've read this is the most important. This is how you stay in touch with people who actually buy your art, and it's a little more personal (in comparison to social media).

    3. Social media--if it's your thing, use that. Post your work. If you want to post your process. Link back to your blog/website. If it's not really your thing, pick one and focus on promoting there. Tumblr is good for art (they have a great art community), or Twitter if you like the short and sweet things, Pinterest if you're visual. Tumblr can be a one stop shop for your blog/website and social presence.

    Here are a couple helpful websites: artbizblog/finearttips/skinnyartist/theabundantartist/redlemonclub/FASO
    Ablysmal thanked this post.

  6. #5

    I just started up a blog that explores how to build an audience for your blog. In essence, you should first figure out who your target customers are. Then you go to where they hang out whether it be forums, blogs, or different websites. The key here is to actually care and add value to the people in these places. Once you've established yourself and created true relationships with these people, it will be easier to show them your work. Ultimately you want to build a fan base that actually cares about you and your work and is eager to get your updates and purchase your art. Let me know if you want to learn more, I just wrote a blog post on this subject.
    Ablysmal thanked this post.

  7. #6

    I'm not an "artist" in the drawing/painting sense of the road, but I'm pursuing acting. Some advice that comes my own soul-searching: Figure out what part of it compels you most strongly, do that, find a way to monetize it, and if you have to supplement your income in the mean time, then do so.

    But don't compromise your interest in the art by becoming too focused on the money. You obviously need to make money somehow and you should pursue that aspect of it, but essentially, you want to figure out what it is the money is allowing you do - if the money is allowing you to do / leading you to something that fulfills you and such, then great!

    Just don't think that you have to follow a linear career path and never change your approach, basically. My greatest preoccupation upon graduating college was, "How am I going to make a lasting income?" I have since realized, upon discovering my interesting in acting, that I want an income but it is ancillary to my interests; I went from being preoccupied with having an income as the end itself, to having an income as a means to an end.

    Powerful difference for me there.
    FaveteLinguis and Ablysmal thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Ablysmal View Post
    I lost most interest and motivation for academics, which I blame on depression and subsequent anhedonia.
    I strongly advise against making any critical decisions while depressed and ahedonic. Seek appropriate treatment and then see how you are; you may change your mind. Why commit to something to which an undesirable mental state possibly had a hand in attracting you?
    Coburn and Ablysmal thanked this post.

  9. #8

    at least you have your art to make you less miserable. you see, with me, i'm going down the "just starving" road...
    Last edited by xisnotx; 06-12-2014 at 04:09 AM.


     

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