Navigating between being an artist and a business

Navigating between being an artist and a business

The past few months were a struggle for me artistically as I couldn't find the balance between being an artist and a business. As I was struggling financially, my headspace became far more business focused, I wanted to make art that would sell, that would do well on social media, and that would pay my rent. And although, during this time I did make some pieces I like, they to me, felt almost soulless, and the process of making them became insipid as my intentions were all wrong. And unsurprisingly this lack of interest did end up reflecting in my work, and the amount I worked.

The piece above I made during this time, and don't get me wrong, its a successful painting, it looks nice, however it holds no meaning to me, and as an artist that is important. 

I focused on paintings I believed would sell, and that people liked to try and sell my work, and guess what, it didn't work. Because I was so unenthusiastic about my art, I was less motivated and towards the last few months of last year I barely sold a single painting.

I started 2023 with the intention of focusing on art I enjoyed making, I wanted to experiment and work on things I was really passionate about and held lots of meaning to me. I also worked out some goals, separated into a list of business goals and art goals. 

So far over the past few weeks my sales have increased by 300%, my motivation has increased by even more than that, and my mental health has also improved. 

And today, I made a piece I really loved. I needed to create some smaller and more affordable pieces to reach my business goals, but before I made the piece, I sat down, did some sketchbook work and thought about what I want this piece to say, what will I mean and how will I present that. 

The only part of this piece that was determined by finances is the size of it. Everything else is what I wanted to express. So using words I wanted to explore the feeling of potentially losing someone close to you, and although it may be okay, there's a chance it won't, and that's scary. This is something that's been floating around in my head a-lot recently so I really wanted to express that in art as its a way of slightly relieving those feelings and turning it into something beautiful.

So this is how my 2023 is going thus far, I hope things continue in such a wonderful way, and Im so grateful to those who follow my journey. Do what you love, as being happy is the only valuable measure of success.

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