There are many facets to managing an art career—beyond just making the work at hand. The stress of handling everything on your own can take a toll on the quality of your art and your well-being. On top of that, being a professional artist often requires a high degree of solitude. It is important to invest in a group of people who will support, nourish, stimulate, mentor and guide you to help put your best foot forward.
There are a precious few players in your dream-team who can make a world of a difference to your art. With them, you can be assured job satisfaction, avoid burn out, and continue on a path of a fulfilling career and personal life. Get yourself an art squad and make sure you have these players on the team:
The Motivational One
In the art world, it is easy to get repetitive with your work and the fear of rejection and unsteady work can be demoralizing. At such times it is important to surround yourself with people who are encouraging and believe in your work.
Fine art photographer Jenna Martin writes about her mother’s initial reservations about her job. However, on understanding the nuances of her daughter’s work, she became one of her biggest cheerleaders. We can look to some close friends or relationships for encouragement because even the most isolated artist sometimes needs their squad rallying around them when the chips are down.
The One Who Has Been There Before
Who better to lean in to support you than someone who has gone down the same road themselves? Reinventing the wheel every time can get unnecessarily exhausting. Reach out to artists in your field that you feel comfortable sharing your techniques, equipment tips and woes, and pick their brains on how they do things. There are art business coaches who seek to help you improve your experience as an artist and give you invaluable tips to expand your business.
The Business Savvy One
You probably didn’t go into a creative field to be a business owner—but, surprise!—as your artwork gained popularity, you found yourself in the position of having to figure out how to run a business. Don’t worry, you don’t need to go back to school and get an MBA. You should, however, add some business advisors to your artist support circle. Services that provide easy-to-use business management tools like Artwork Archive can go a long way in taking the pressure off you so you can focus on other tasks.
At Katapult we provide practical advice to professional artists on how to deal with challenges in their career. Do you need some help? Book your 30 minute coaching session here.
The Objective One
Sometimes, it’s necessary to get the hard truth. Friends and family tend to be biased and their views can be bound by not wanting to hurt your feelings or simply not comprehending the significance or intricacies of your artwork. It is necessary to be mentored, healthily critiqued and nudged in the right direction. Seeking out the right mentor who has nothing to gain or lose from giving you honest reviews is crucial and can largely determine the future success or disappointments in your work.
The Chill One (or Two)
As in every profession, if you run yourself into the ground with work, you won’t be efficient or happy. It is important to spend time with people who help us forget pressures and worries associated with work. They are people that you can relax and recharge your batteries with and they indirectly encourage us to put in our best in our work. To paraphrase Tim Ginn’s words to suit an artist’s profession—art, like life, is not a solo act.
The life of an artist is a huge collaboration, and we need to assemble a team around us filled with people who cheer for us in times of triumph and support us in times of strife.
Ready to take some of that business weight off your shoulders? Try Artwork Archive and receive 20% off your first year, courtesy of Katapult.