If the artist wants to get paid, there needs to be some alignment between their creativity and what people are willing to pay for. If you want to generate income from your art, then pay attention to what people are buying in your field. What’s in demand?
If you want to be financially successful in any field, not just art, then sales are very important. Without sales, there’s no income, and without income, it’s hard to sustain yourself as an artist. If you can maintain strong sales, then even if you screw up almost everything else, you’re still going to have a sustainable art practice. Strong sales are very forgiving of mistakes. Weak sales aren’t.
Fortunately, selling needn’t be pushy or manipulative. If you create work that aligns with what people want, then selling is largely a matter of letting people know that you have something that will please them. If, on the other hand, you have to do a lot of convincing to get people to open their wallets, then the problem is likely the art itself.
Selling is often treated as a discipline unto itself, but for a serious artist, selling is an integral part of the creative process. Selling begins with the question, Who would most appreciate this? Ideally this question should be asked before you start a new creative project. Determine who will buy your work and why. Who’s the buyer? Does such a person actually exist? How do you know?
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