What to Focus On First as a Fine Artist

You know what the most common feeling new artists have as they try to build consistent income from their work?

It’s overwhelm.

And I totally get it. There are literally hundreds of things you could be focusing on and without the knowledge of experience, how do you decide where to put your focus? Here is what I think you should be focusing on as a fine artist so you can stop floundering and start making actual progress toward your art business goals.

First, take a step back and really assess your art and your art practice. Do you love what you make? Both the process and the results? I talk to so many artists who want to skip right to selling their work and they haven’t really even figured out what it is they want to make. I really suggest you get this figured out before you start selling your work for a few reasons.

1) Finding your voice and cultivating your own style

It is so much easier to sell work that you are proud of and is of professional quality. The way you talk about it and show it when you really love something you’ve made comes through and is really contagious. It is easier to attract an audience when you love what you make. It’s also easier to build recognition for your work when it has a recognizable style or color palette or technique that is uniquely yours.

Keeping in mind that we are all going to evolve as artists for the duration of our careers, focus on finding a style that you want to explore for a while and feel excited about. Once you start selling and marketing your art you have a lot less time in the studio for making. You need to get to a certain level of comfort with your art-making while you can still dedicate your time solely to making.

2) Get really good at photographing your work

You can do this with your phone as long as it's a newer model with a high quality camera and a basic photo editing app. You want to use natural light and put your work on a clean wall and line up all the edges of the work square so it doesn’t look warped or skewed. Then you can take it into a photo editing app to adjust the brightness and the colors to make it look as true to life as possible.

If you think about it, most people are going to see your art for the first time through a digital image, not in person. So that image needs to be amazing. Even the most beautiful piece of art will look sad and unappealing if photographed poorly. So give your art the best chance of being appreciated by photographing it beautifully.

3) Start sharing on Instagram

Before you tell me about how hard it is to get your work seen on social media these days, I’m going to tell you I don’t really care. Because I’m not one for building a business by amassing huge amounts of Instagram followers. I don’t have a huge following myself. That’s not how I built my business. But what I do know is that Instagram is the easiest place to build what amounts to a portfolio of your work.

It's certainly much easier than building and updating a website. And I don’t care if you only have 52 followers and get 7 likes on your posts. Use IG as a portfolio and practice sharing what you’re working on and talking about it. You’re just getting started. So start here. After this you can get started building your audience and I have a guide you can check out for free here.

All right. That’s it for today. I hope this helps you see where to focus if you’re just getting started. Thanks and have a great day!

All my best,


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