“Get Paid?” – by Ellary Branden

Next da Vinci question: How can I get paid for what I love? Hmmm, good question. When you are an artist, its not good enough to create, and they will come, much less buy. This is the biggest bugger question that I have been dealing with right now. Lets just get the economy card out of the way first thing. Im not falling for that excuse. There are plenty of people who have plenty of money, and a good quantity of them buy art. Its all about getting into the right venue, and the right market. It is who you know and whether or not you have the cahonies to go for it in spite of what your checking account says. By that I mean in art, as in most businesses, it takes money to make money. Being an artist is expensive when you are promoting yourself properly. There are various dues and fees, art materials you must buy, advertising (yes, I said advertising), shipping costs, travel expenses, etc…. Oh yeah, if you are to do it properly, that is whats involved. And at the same time you must keep a roof over your head, food in your stomach, keep transportation (big enough to cart things around), and all the other necessities of life. And they are bare bone necessities. No dinners out, movies, lattes, new clothes, or any other fun things in life. It should be good enough for the artist to art. If you are not happy with that scenario, then forget about being successful as an artist. Admittedly, there are flukes of nature, like the paint thrower who is “discovered”, or the artist that just happens to be in the right place, at the right time, meeting the right people, or then there’s the person who is set financially already. That person will have to be particularly hungry to be an artist, because the biggest motivator is gone, making money to survive.

So to get back to the question, what do I have to do to get paid for what I love? All of the above and more things I was too lazy to mention, because there is more. I havent even touched on the emotional aspect of it all. And as you know by now, Im bi poler with depression and anxiety, so its double hard for me to fight the good fight. In my wildest dreams, I would say I want a patron, who believes in me and supports me in my baby steps to success, or a mentor who opens all needed doors for me. Wouldnt that be wonderful!
Oh, and I forgot, it doesnt matter much as to whether you are a good artist. Great artists are a dime a dozen. And there are plenty of artists who became successful by just throwing paint at a canvas, or leaving it blank. And yeah, that truly chaffes my ass (my mothers favorite expression). But life is indeed seemingly unfair. You can control it to a large degree, but its still a crap shoot. Life is what we make it.

– Written by Artist Ellary Branden

Artist Ellary Branden Bloghttp://gardenerparkart.blogspot.com/

Artist Ellary Branden on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ellaryb

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2 thoughts on “How To Make A Living As An Artist by Ellary Branden”

  1. I absolutely love this! It really thrilled me to the bone to know that someone else gets it! I recently wrote an article for a local magazine (bartering for advertising space) about just this. If I may quote…

    “It has been so hard and so scary and fantastic all at the same time! I work all the time! With the painting come Marketing and research and website updates! It is endless! I sleep 4-5 hrs a night and work 7 days a week. I make mistakes, I run out of money and stock. I plan exhibitions and run between networking meetings. I forget to eat and I drink too much coffee. I neglect my housework and entertain friends over an easel. I spend hours online and paint till my eyes hurt at 3am……… and I love every second of it!

    I never expected it to be easy, but I am completely and absolutely satisfied! At the end of a long painting session when I can take that damp canvas and put it up on my display wall and sit back and look at it; the unpaid phone bill or the paint in my hair just doesn’t matter anymore. It is all worth it!”

    Thank you! I may not be sane…but I’m not alone….!

  2. Stay hungry, stay resourceful… that’s been my creedo for years. You’re bang on about finding your market though… the greatest art in front of the wring crowd on in the wrong environment is a dead loss. It’s a tough gig as an artist working in the medium of video particularly, with pressure from conventional circles to make limited edition work while living in an age where perfect digital reproduction is so simple. Had to be a socialist, artist and make a buck without compromise, isn’t it?

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