I don’t want to be a dream killer.
What I want to do is to help you take your dream of being a thriving artist and place into reality.
That means I want you to stop hoping to be an artist who thrives and start planning to be one.
Planning starts with defining a specific goal, a SMARTER* goal, then outlining a plan to achieve it.
My initial SMARTER goal was to sell over $100,000 of my art within my first year as a full time artist in 2005.
But I didn’t just pluck that number out of thin air.
I looked at what I had accomplished in the previous year.
In 2004 I worked full-time for eight months and I took four months off just to paint.
In 2004 I sold $25,426 of my art. You can see my 2004 Schedule C above.
I estimated that if I became a full-time artist I could sell over $100,000 of my art.
I based my estimate on real and relevant data.
To put this in perspective, my 2004 art sales of $25,426 to $103,246 in 2005 represents a 306% increase.
A 306% increase is art sales is significant but clearly not impossible.
However, I’m concerned when an artist tell me that she has sold $500 worth of art over the last year and now she wants to sell $100,000 worth of art in the coming year, yet she does not:
- have a plan
- know her unique value proposition
- know her target market
- have much or any training in all eight realms of building a creative enterprise.
Again, I don’t want to be a dream killer but selling $500 of your art to $100,000 of your art represents a 1990% increase.
Clearly she’s not creating a goal that is SMART for her. She’s copying my goal and its not relevant to her circumstances.
Let’s keep this real. Stop hoping and start planning to be a successful artist.
Your goal is only SMART if you believe that you can accomplishment it.
If you don’t believe that you can accomplish your goal, you won’t act upon it and you will undermine your self-confidence.
Then you’re going to have trouble committing to goals in the future.
So make an honest assessment of where you stand today with your art sales and where you would like to be and by when.
If you’re not happy with the amount of art you’re selling now you are obviously going to need to make some changes.
You’ll need to acquire new skills, expertise, support, and encouragement. That’s what I had to do and so have the artists I’ve worked with.
Doing the same things but expecting a different result is the product of hoping instead of planning.
Building a fine art enterprise is not a fantasy. I’ve been helping artist sell their art without selling out for over a decade.
The practical reality is that these artists work hard; they’re focused, dedicated, and passionate.
And they screw up. But they don’t give up.
So look at where you are today. Ground yourself in the here and the now. Own it.
Be honest and don’t betray your future success by indulging in fantasy.
Stop hoping and start planning.
Move your dream into reality.
Claim where you would like to be six months from now, a year from now, whatever time frame pops into your head.
Write it down. Commit.
Then start identifying how you’re going to get there and who will help you.
Know this. You will not succeed alone. No one does.
Hint: People who profess that they can help you build a business, or sell your art online, but who’ve never actually made art and made a good living from selling their art, just can’t help you.
Even if they have made art that they are proud of and made a good living it doesn’t guarantee that they know how to teach you to do the same.
Despite their particular expertise, popularity, or good intentions.
What is your SMARTER goal?
R-revise if necessary