You’re an artist, and that in its nature is a pretty personal experience. It is your perspective that shapes the content, and it is your vision that makes the work unique. Whether you are a graphic designer, videographer, or landscape artist, you do what you do because you are a creative person with an individual ability.
However, for an artist trying to get more out of their talents than simple personal discovery (such as money or exposure), it is important for him (or her) to recognize the things that they can’t and shouldn’t do on their own. Luckily, most of the people that can help are well within reach.
No matter what your end goal is, if your method doesn’t involve the public somehow then your status will never change. The world needs to learn who you are and become familiar with your work, or at least have it stuck under their noses at some point. You could hire a publicist, but depending on what level you’re at, it might be a bit too pricey. Your best option is to work with someone who’s enthusiastic about what you have to offer and is good with people. Most important is to talk to people and get your name out there; they can learn the PR ropes as they go along.
The internet is your most valuable asset as an artist wishing to showcase or sell your product. An effective website is vital for providing customers ease and the ability to view or purchase your work. Data storage and server space is also a must, depending on how much business you’re accruing. You can usually get a good price on a managed cloud hosting deal, which takes a lot of responsibility off you. Just having someone you trust to keep your files organized and backed up on a cloud or hard drive will provide a huge improvement to your workflow.
Accounts and Tracking
If you haven’t guessed it already, you’re implementing the fundamentals of a business. You might want to resist it, but there is no way you can be successful if you choose to ignore common sense. Perhaps the most important step you can make towards it is keeping track of where your money goes (money from sold pieces or services, cost of supplies or domain/server space, etc.). Creating a budget and goals will keep things focused and organized, and it will keep you from overspending. Get some outside help; you don’t necessarily need an accountant, just someone who is good with numbers and has enough knowledge and business sense to keep you on track. It’s also a good idea to monitor demographics, usage, and other metrics to improve your image.
As unfortunate as it is, legal issues are almost inevitable for companies this day and age. If you become successful in any art industry, you’re sadly setting yourself up for risk of plagiarism accusations, copyright claims, and the like. It’s important to have some sound legal advice at your fingertips and, at times, a good lawyer. There are many people (aka law students) who are able to give counsel for cheap or free, but it’s usually not a good idea to skimp in this department. Seek out someone who specializes in the field you work in.
If you choose to take no other advice in this article, as an artist this last tip is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you’re designing a web page, writing a screenplay, or producing a music video: you cannot look at your work objectively on your own. You are too close to it, it is impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to see it and critique it as if through the eyes of others. The advice of others, any others, is invaluable to you. Ultimately, it really does matter how people perceive your work. Consider every critique you get, and you will undoubtedly reach the best your product can be.
Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. Theo also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment.