Making Your Art Your Living – 3 Tips

Ernest Hemingway Writing

Hemingway: Listen. There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done […]
Young writer: But reading all the good writers might discourage you.
Hemingway: Then you ought to be discouraged.

Creating art requires the fullest extent of one’s abilities. It should consume one’s life, and excellent artists cannot afford to keep it a hobby. For this, one must learn how to profit from their art and incorporate it completely into their lifestyle. This goes for painters, sculptors, writers, musicians… Here are a few guidelines that can help:

1.) Don’t treat your art like a business, but take it as seriously as a business. 9-5’ers can get up early, get to work on time, and work diligently for hours on end for 5 days a week. Incorporate this much diligence and discipline into your art. Routine helps.

2.) Aim high. I don’t recommend comparing yourself to your peers, but I do recommend having heroes and sources of inspiration. Don’t rest until you feel you have surpassed your heroes at their own game. Artists cannot afford to be anything less than exceptional.

3.) Your identity will drive your art’s value. You are the commodity if your art is excellent. You created it, therefore YOU are the profit center. Your art is indicative of your abilities, and that makes you valuable. Selling your art, while one element of success, comes second to you as the creator.


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