Saturday, January 9, 2016

Being Diverse and Consistent in Your Art Business

I do not think I could have every imagined art being so complicated way back when I was studying at the university. One of the biggest problems with the degree training that I received as an artist was the complete lack of preparation by my university to prepare me for the art world in terms of the business aspect of art. However, I have had the good fortune to land a good teaching job while I practice my art, and I have developed to skills for independent research to learn how to make art in a way that I can set myself on a successful path, or at least a path that gives me a chance for success. 

Take, for example, the simple picture above. It is a picture that is simple, yet has a degree of complexity in enough of a way to capture some of the imagination and what it is about, etc. Yet, without the right tools operating behind any picture, it will never go anywhere and it will never reach anyone. This painting, even though I consider it one of my more successful pieces of the last few years, still sits in my portfolio. Why, because I have chosen to let it sit. That is ok. Some pieces will sit in your portfolio while others fly out of your portfolio like they are going out of style. There are two factors I consider extremely important in trying to get your art out there and making any art business successful. 

The first word is diversity. A diverse approach to art and your art business can only make you stronger. It makes you appeal to a wider audience, and it gives you more tools to operate with, it gives the viewer more to look at, and of course it can give the customer more to talk about. Diversity is key to making you successful. It makes you relevant, and it keeps you relevant. In such a vast world as that of art, it is a struggle to stay relevant, so diversity is a great ally. I also like diversity as a business owner, because it gives my customers a variety of things, ideas, and services to choose from. Customers like variety. If you are a shoe salesman and all you have are rows and rows of black boots for sale, I think you customer base is going to be a little sparse. It is the same concept here. Diversify your approach and you will find greater success. I do this for myself and I do this for my customers. 

The other word is consistency. Consistency means reliability. Reliability is also stability. These are very valuable in the business world, because customers want someone they can rely. Maybe it is about meeting a production date. Maybe it is about consistent customer service. If you operate consistently at a high level in both your art and the management of your business, you will get repeat customers, and those are the best kinds of customers. Also, consistency of effort and trusting a consistent plan will help you get through tough times and find the financial success. It is not about boom or bust, it is about a steady and consistent effort. You owe to yourself and your customers. I owe it to myself and my customers. Consistency cannot be undervalued in business or art. Sometimes this common sense things are missing from many artists' tool boxes because we operate on such an emotional and peaks and valley type of operating system. But, if you can get these two concepts worked into your overall routine for business and/or art, you will find a higher degree of customer satisfaction and success.

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