Friday, 25 April 2014

Are you the Local Artist?

Are you the Local Artist?
When I began my pursuit of a career in art, I used the internet as a tool to share my art with the rest of the world. It was only after a few weeks into my journey as an artist that I thought:
Does my local community even know that I am an artist?
Perhaps this is where I should have started sharing my art, making small ripples around my local town, spreading to bigger ripples and travel miles to neighbouring towns and cities.
The only way some people in my local town had heard of me was from word of mouth. But words do not convey my art. So I made flyers with eye-catching imagery; an outline of my artistic style and intentions; links to my websites, galleries and blog; my address and contact information. I designed the flyers myself but printed them with Vistaprint for a reasonable price.
Front of Flyer
I usually see many flyers in shops and supermarkets, but I want people to take the time to read my flyer and create an interest in my art. So I thought of all the businesses that have the customer wait for their services, places where you read a paper or magazine like dentists, take aways, restaurants, hair dressers, barbers, laundrettes etc.
Back of Flyer
After doing this, people in my local area are constantly commenting and congratulating me on my art. I intend to send out another batch of flyers closer to the Christmas season when people need ideas for gifts to loved ones.
The internet is possibly the greatest tool for selling your art but you should also spread your art around your local area too, it might be take more effort than online marketing, but it is definitely worth it.
Don't Quit your Day Job
Right now, the economic climate for the majority of artist looks particularly bleak. With the financial instabilities of most artistic careers - with low earnings,  if any at all - we need a day job to get by for living costs and funding for our job as an artist. A day job means spending the majority of our hours working as opposed to making art, which can sometimes negatively effect the final product of the art. It can take a long time to juggle both the day job, which brings the money in, and your passion as an artist, which is still waiting for it's lucky break. It just takes some time getting used to it.
At the minute I am trying to find a job, to give me funds for studying a degree in art; to obtain a certificate in teaching; to become an art teacher; to build a harmonious combination of a day job as an art teacher and an artist in my free time. Yea, I'm thinking way ahead into the future but I feel this is what I have to do, to live a healthy life as an artist with a day job that I will enjoy.
I felt this was the only was way I can see myself getting by in the future, some of you have a job unrelated to art, purely for the money, which you may or may not like. I think it is interesting to see what sorts of jobs other artists have in order to get by.
So my questions for you are:
- What are your thoughts on the struggles an artist can face throughout their career?
- What is your current day job?
I asked this question on Fine Art America, here are some of the job replies:
Benn Van: I'm a senior architectural draughtsmen, and won't quit my job.I enjoy it too much.
Peter Piatt: This is my day and night Job. I set my own hours, bookings, prices, and set my coffee pot for 6:00 am. But this life is not for everyone. (especially for those who have a real life and family).
Jeff Kolker: accountant..CPA. Not easy..I am my job, as I have my own accounting firm....
Marlene Burns: this is also my day job, never worked in anything but the art field, for 40 years now. struggles exist in however you find yourself as an artist. the key is how you face them.
Liora Hess: Day job is quality assurance in the medical field. Even if I were selling enough work, I would have to keep the day job because of the insurance.

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