If your selling art without a written business plan, you are hobbyist.
Here’s the Wikipedia definition of the word hobby:
“A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one’s leisure time.
Examples of hobbies include collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education.
Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge, and experience.
Generally speaking, the person who engages in an activity for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional.”
Sound familiar? It is descriptive of most artists’ general approach to business.
If you are selling art without a business plan, you are pursuing a hobby, not a business. Therefore you do not have a viable plan to earn a stable living.
Let’s put this another way. Despite what we have been told, an artist does not have a “career.”
If artists had careers, we would have jobs.
If artists had jobs, we would receive regular paychecks.
If artists received regular paychecks, we would have bosses.
So, you as an artist, who sells their work, has a business.
Still not sure? The IRS is. When you sell your art, according to the tax code, you operating a business.
If you have a business, and you want it to be successful, you had better have a written “art business plan” and a marketing plan so that there is no confusion about how you are going to make money.
If you are reading Artists Who THRIVE, I assume that you have no confusion about making art but you may be looking for information about making money with your art.
Just like a doctor, a chef, or a car mechanic, every entrepreneur must balance their business with their production. So balancing both realms is not a new idea and it is far from impossible.
Entrepreneurs balance each left brain and right brain realm everyday.
So it is a choice. Be an artist who is a hobbyist or be an entrepreneur.
And dramatically increase your chances of success by maintaining a written business and marketing plan.
There is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist, an amateur, unless you really want to make money with your art.