Selling Your Art – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 71
March 1, 2023
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
It takes time to figure out what you love so much that you need to create it. The only way to do that is to dive into your own personal inquiry. It can take 20 years, or it can take a couple of years, depending on how you approach this. The questions you ask, the instruction and mentorship you receive, and even the books you read can shape your artistic journey. This is why I teach! I want to help artists move into a space where they really love and are excited about their work. Join me as I share some insight into selling your art, everything that should happen first, and tips for running and growing your art business.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Three questions to improve your artwork [2:20]
- The importance of momentum and clarity in art-making [7:16]
- Understanding the psychology of art and the power of purpose [11:22]
- How difference attracts an audience [17:54]
- How to grow your art business [24:36]
- Getting and staying connected to what you love [29:26]
Keep going and growing
Selling your work is one of the most exhilarating experiences as an artist. It’s hard to ignore because it can feel like this big confirmation that you’ve arrived. Artists often equate sold work with good work. And to a certain extent, that is true. It’s incredible to sell a painting, and you want to celebrate that. But you don’t want to celebrate it too much and adopt it as a part of your legitimacy. On the other hand, you don’t want to make not selling your work mean that your art isn’t good either. Neither of those thoughts are helpful. Instead, you have to keep going and keep growing. Notice what you love in your work and what you love in other people’s work, and do more of that. Chase it down until your art is filled with strength and clarity.
Every artist feels stuck at some point. How long we stay stuck is a matter of how we approach our growth. As I mentioned earlier, the questions we ask ourselves matter. When working with artists in a rut, there are three questions I like to ask to get the ball rolling again. The first is, what do you like about your art? There’s usually one small thing that we can point to and say, “Hey, I don’t hate that”. It might be a sliver of a corner of the canvas, but it’s there.
Once you identify what you like, the next question is, how can you make the part you like more noticeable? I tend to expand that part and make it bigger. Because when it’s bigger, it becomes clearer, and that clarity is really what we’re after. Finally, ask yourself how you can optimize your art? For me, this looks like introducing the opposite of what I love. If I’m really drawn to beautifully saturated colors, I’ll add dark unsaturated colors for contrast. These questions lead us to create something more potent than a piece of art that was simply made and set aside without inquiry.
Finding our way as we go
Mediocre art will steal your energy. That’s really the danger of diving into selling too soon. It’s not the selling itself, it’s the loss of momentum that happens when you take your focus off of your development in lieu of momentary commercial success. When we do this, we run the risk of not learning how to make the thing that we’re here to make in this life. If you stay on this journey of personal inquiry and self-discovery, you are going to create something that the world doesn’t know it needs yet. But you have to keep the ball rolling down the field! Slow, steady progress that invites us to look back in order to gain direction is the sequence for finding our way. Listen to this episode for more insight on selling your art!
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.