Since I am fortunate enough to be supporting myself as an artist, I am often asked for advice. Here is a list of things I do, not in any special order, but they all help me stay profitable and create a life I enjoy.
(1) Have a Variety of Revenue Streams: Its more stressful to have all my money come from only one source. If I relied solely on painting sales it might put pressure on me to compromise my art. Instead I have money coming from teaching, book royalties, commissions and speaking engagements.
(2) Stay Open for Possibilities: My portfolio is small and portable. I carry it with me everywhere I go. I use the on-line publishing sites to create an inexpensive and dispensible book.
(3) Continually seek New Venues: I am always on the lookout for good galleries, dealers, and agents who are interested in selling my work.
(4) Do the Best I Can: I strive to make the best work I can. Not only with my painting, but all aspects of my business, such as website, writings, my portfolio, showing up on time for appointments, following through with commitments, etc.
(5) Get Advice From Experts: I like to work with specialists involving areas I need help. On occasion I like to hire a coach to keep me clear, focused and expand my current business ideas. Recently I enjoyed a session with art coach Renée Phillips, Here is a link for more info on her coaching: http://www.manhattanarts.com/ReneePhillips/consult.htm
(6) Stay in Touch with My Dealers: I keep in touch with those on my “team”, people who help sell my work. I like to visit, or at least call or email periodically.
(7) Have a Vision: I recently gained a lot from reading “The Answer” by John Asssaraf, who encourages readers to create a vision. Here is a link for his book: http://www.amazon.com/Answer-Business-Achieve-Financial-Extraordinary/dp/1416561994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225075356&sr=1-1
(8) Stay Positive: This is more work than it sounds. It takes a lot of effort to keep from whining, complaining, getting stressed and being negative. But once I created a habit of positive thinking it gave me an enormous amount of energy, confidence and power.
(9) Meditate: This helps me to stay positive and have a strong focus.
(10) Eliminate TV: By not watching television I am able to get plenty of time to make art and take care of the business end. It is also the best way to stay positive.
(11) Be in Control of My Money: I read Suze Orman’s book “Women and Money”, and followed her plan exactly. I also started putting 10% of all I earn into an emergency account. Here is a link for her book: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Women+and+MOney&x=10&y=17