I work with many creative service professionals and some of them struggle to find the connection between art and making a living. But it CAN be done if you’re willing to get, well, creative.
Often it takes having a blend of income streams, including offering a high-demand service like wedding photography and graphic design. The trick is to find the overlap between your skills and passions, and what others value.
Check out these resources for practical support and inspiration for artists making a living.
[On this page, I am featuring local artists who helped me create this list. Click on the image for more about the artist.]
Local Resources and Groups for Western Massachusetts
- Assets for Artists (in Massachusetts) – helping artist-entrepreneurs; has extensive listings of resources
- Artisans of Western Mass
- Fostering Art & Culture in Franklin County
- Northampton Arts Council
- Valley Arts Newsletter – shows, calls for artists, get the word out, etc.
- Designers Meetups in Western Mass.
- Western Mass Illustrators Guild
- Massachusetts Creative Industries Resources Guide
Where’s the Money?
- Funding/grants for individual artists
- Mira’s List (grants, residencies, funding, resources…)
- 15 Great Places to Sell Your Design Work Online
- Crowdfunding online for artists
- Patreon: a simple tool to be a patron of the arts
- Unconventional Guide to Art & Money – downloadable “workshop” for purchase
- The Right-Brain Business Plan
- Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market
- Art Biz Coach/ Alyson Stanfield – support groups, workshops, coaching, resources
- Caroll Michels – career coach, artist advocate, and author
- Graphic Artists Guild
- Planet Sark
- TEDTalk video: Elizabeth Gilbert: A new way to think about creativity
Books on the Business of Art
- I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion by Alyson Stanfield
- Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business by Kari Chapin
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
- How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist by Caroll Michels
- Making Ideas Happen, by Scott Belsky
- The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron – practically the Bible for nurturing the artist in you
- Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
- Creating Change with Doug Foresta – fostering creativity in all forms
- Creative Living with Jamie – great interviews with artists and other creative folks and how they’re making it work
Inspiring Blogs for Making It Happen
- How to Create an Online Photography Portfolio (with potential to sell directly online)
- Portfolio services: Flickr, SmugMug, Parade, Carbonmade, Behance ProSite
- Behance – a popular network for creative professionals to post a portfolio and get found