The pandemic has been tough for those in the art world. Performance artists are possibly the worst hit, what with canceled shows. Even if some establishments have opened up, seating has been minimal. Although the unemployment rate among non-performance artists had been lower than that of performance artists, when people hunkered down to cut their budgets with the unpredictable economy, art had been the first to go.
So your sources are drying up, and yet you need to pay your mortgage. You also have to pay electricity and water bills, which might have gone up as you were cooped up at home most of the time.
With the economy still slow in recovering, the need for artwork might not be high in people’s priority. You can find some side hustles, but we know your main work is still your art. So here are a few things you should consider to help with your finances.
Don’t be too exclusive.
Sure, you want to pursue your unique style and medium, but it doesn’t mean you have to restrict your work. When your works are not in demand right now, restricting your visibility or production will not increase your worth. It will make you poorer.
Pick up on some trends from time to time. It will also show your versatility as an artist. It’s not a matter of pride but rather of practicality.
Learn to diversify.
In relation to making your works more visible and accessible, you can also explore new ways to get in touch with possible clientele. Some performance artists have opened online courses to give dance lessons and acting seminars.
If you’ve been painting most of your life, you might want to look at digital art that can be marketed across the globe. There are already various apps that allow you to paint as if you’re doing it with a palette and on a canvass. It doesn’t mean you need to leave your paints completely, but you have to adapt if you want to earn. The demand for today is more in the digital field. You need additional technical knowledge to apply your skills for this demand.
Learn how to network.
People who work in the arts often have images to live up to. There is this common idea of artists as reclusive, solitary, and socially reserved. But it’s just an image you don’t have to maintain. That’s how Hollywood and sensational media have illustrated people in the world of art.
It’s even reinforced by the life story of artists like Van Gogh, Pollack, Picasso, and the notorious Salvador Dali. But you know not all artists are like these legends. More importantly, not all artists have patronage like them. Unfortunately, like all other humans, above all, you need to pay bills too.
Even if you’re a great artist, someone who is good at dealing with people can outsell you. That’s what dealers are often hired for. But if you can’t afford one yet, you have to work on it. Once people get to know you, you don’t have to seek them out. Art dealers will be the ones to come to you. But you have to start somewhere.
Although it feels awkward, as the artist, you are also the best to market your work. You know your inspirations and stories. Some artists seem to get it into their heads that they should leave the interpretation to their viewers. While it could be true, you could at least provide a good context to interest the audience.
When the times are tough, the only way to get out of it is to be tougher. Think of this situation as a temporary inconvenience. You are not selling out on the thing that you love most. This situation is only strengthening your art, pushing your versatility and your growth as an artist.