Updated: Aug 1, 2021
Well, my fellow artist-friends, if you're asking yourself this question, then you've already won half the battle. You know you need to be more business-minded. You're just not sure how to go about it.
This is a question I have wrestled with a lot in my adult life. Ideally, I'd like to hole myself up somewhere in the woods (with indoor plumbing. I love showers.), in a place where it is always late spring and smells like fresh earth and the start of new life, and just create. Constantly.
If you're asking yourself right now if I'm secretly a hobbit at heart, the answer is yes. And, it isn't a secret.
Anyway, the main issue with this is that creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum. Art is created as a response to the artist's environment and experiences. And, in turn, art then creates (we hope, anyway) a response in its viewer.
"Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum. Art is created as a response to the artist's environment and experiences. And, in turn, the art then creates a response in its viewer. "
The way to keep your work fresh is to explore new environments and have new experiences. AND, the way to get your work in front of viewers to elicit a response, is to be social and get your work out there. That's where business sense comes in.
I've been extremely fortunate in landing a career by day and having the opportunity to work with wonderful mentors and marketers that have helped me to develop some necessary business skills. However, because not everyone has had the same experiences that I have, I'll share with you where I've focused the majority of my time and energy over the last few years to get where I am today.
1. Focus on developing your technical skills
I started with the basics. I've always loved to draw and create, but when I graduated from college in 2010, I went through a really long dry spell. I drew every once in a while, but mostly I was just trying to navigate early adult life and figure out what kind of life I wanted to carve out for myself. I was going through some tough transitions. And, in hindsight, I think I can attribute some mild depression to the fact that I wasn't creating as much as I needed to be.
In late 2015, early 2016, I watched Jake Parker's video "Design 100 Somethings" on YoutTube.
And I made the commitment to drawing a 100 badass babes. Well, I didn't succeed in drawing 100 badass babes, but I did succeed in drawing every day. Drawing every day meant that my drawing skills got much better very quickly. And, it changed my outlook on life quite a bit.