The business of being an artist today

Updated: Apr 3

I am writing this blog from the viewpoint of a person that has no formal training as an artist. As a signwriter, I found brush control, colour mixing, composition and design the tools I needed to eventually become a full-time artist. I was able to also take the knowledge I had built up on running a business to help me to build my art business.

After many years of painting, changing and developing to find a style the point comes when you feel love for your work, the enjoyment of making the paintings is like nothing you've felt before. This is when you know you can truly go forward and focus on the business of your art.

Not only do we need to create our art we have to become entrepreneurs. Learning to use the software options available to keep control of the different aspects of our businesses but trying to keep our overheads down. YouTube and Google searches are there to help you learn and research all you need to know.


Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to keep an eye on cash flow. Creating a formulated spreadsheet that records how much you spend on materials and advertising for example makes sure you budget well. It is so important to know your figures your growth relies on being in control of your income and spending.


Making a brand that suits your personality that encompasses your reason for making art is where to start. Your design will form continuity and recognition where ever you place it.

The software I have used for many years to design the branding, flyers and marketing materials is Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop I have tried to find free alternatives but nothing is as powerful or fluent as these programs. I use them for editing the images for my website and submissions to exhibitions these programs are usually open on my computer ready for me to use for so many things.