3 Steps On How Creatives Can Avoid Becoming Starving Artists

Unfortunately, many in the creative professions have the stigma of the “starving artist”. It’s because the market is sometimes unpredictable, even if you do acquire regular customers. Worse, the trends in creative industries have been changing rapidly, so whether they like it or not, artists must constantly move to better their abilities.

If you are one of them, that means you will be locked in a downturn if you do not adapt. To help you out, here are some smart steps on how to thrive financially and establish a successful artistic career while escaping the trap of financial insecurity and the all-too-recurring theme of the starving artist.

What is a starving artist?

The concept of starving artists sparked throughout history centuries ago and has been around for millennia. The term “starving artist” stems from the late 18th and early 19th century Romanticist Henri Murger, who wrote in Scènes de la Vie de Bohème about four starving artists. The artists lived on a shoestring budget, either due to a lack of business or because their whole income is dedicated to art endeavours.

Despite their desire for achievement, the difficulty of access and barriers to entry in fields such as the visual arts, film industry, and theatre caused them to become bankrupt. These artists often focus more on “breaking through” in their chosen industry than entrepreneurial principles.

We recognise that persons who have just begun their professional careers in the arts must create something to showcase what they are working on. Spending hours creating the best art by hand, however not all agency companies are able to accommodate many artists and approve their artworks. As a result, many artists are willing to accept pay that are much below adequate, or, even worse, are paid ‘as sincerely as possible.’

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Start by budgeting

As an artist, you may be content enough in your life to choose to be impoverished voluntarily if it means pursuing the kind of art you want, regardless of your future possibilities for financial reward or widespread recognition.

But you need to consider your financial situation. When starting an art business, you must keep track of your income and costs, create a realistic budget, and, most importantly, prioritise your spending.

Do a bit of budgeting to keep track of your art supplies, studio rent, and marketing. We recommend that you keep project spending and personal requirements separate.

Also, you must have long-term savings and investments. Prepare to set aside a percentage of your earnings for emergencies and long-term goals. This will help you if you are just starting your art. Also, consider consulting with quick money lenders if you need a bit of extra money to ensure that you have enough of a budget to pursue your chosen career.

Market your artwork and keep an eye on the broader picture

Successful artists managed to be as such because they focused on personal branding while creating an art career. They shape their brand identity into a strong and unified one that clearly communicates their artistic vision to their target audience. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Build a good portfolio

The paintings you’ve shown, the books you’ve authored, and the sculptures you’ve created in collaboration with businesses and clients are all assets for you. These assets must be documented using digital copies and, in most cases, a website. Begin curating your internet presence to successfully showcase your work.

  1. Take advantage of social media and online channels

You may have discovered that your favourite novelist is more active on social media than on their website. Yes, they are monitoring the most recent market of their own. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok can attract potential consumers and engage them in areas where they are intimately familiar with your artwork.

  1. Make use of marketplaces
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If your artistic work is in the form of finished goods that can be bought and sold directly, it’s time to utilize the online marketplace. The good news is that it’s become simpler to see sales results and gauge the interest in your work.

In line with this, you should be a calculating and critical entrepreneur to make smarter judgements based on your data later on. Remember, to no longer be a starving artist, you have to be more than an artist. 

  1. See the big picture

When it comes to selling your art product and overall art product, don’t be scared to fail. But keep in mind that ‘art doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be meaningful.’ Meaningful for you would be meaningful for your devoted supporters,

Or maybe you’re the type who may be anxious about being labelled as a “mainstream” artist and therefore hesitant to market yourself. Thankfully, in this day and age, it’s become possible to be financially successful while avoiding the mainstream. 

Continue to study and grow

Consistency is essential for success. So, for all artists, or even all professionals, persistence is important. Even a talented painter needs to stay updated about the latest painting techniques, art business strategies, and digital art tools. 

So, there is nothing wrong with the fact that artists are taking online workshops to improve their visibility, and it actually opens up opportunities for them to incorporate new concepts into their art.

Conclusion

Every artist has felt the terror of becoming a starving artist. That’s why those in creative professions must take a more balanced and practical approach. And this is the right time to get started with it.