Ally Cat Photography
Can you live from your art?

I want to address the most dreaded question out there for aspiring artists, and that is: Is it possible to live from art?
Yes, yes it is, and many are doing it, BUT the story doesn't end here. The real question really comes down to "whether I can live from art."

Now, from my heart, I want to encourage you to follow your desires, but this kind of advice can be very misleading.

To successfully live from art, you need to find a way to make money from it. In many cases, this means to sell it. And to sell anything, you need sales and marketing skills.

I personally never sold anything because I'm talented. I had to develop sales skills. And I had to find a way to talk about my work in a way that's intriguing to others.

In my experience with working with artists, stating that if you follow your dream, the money will come is the worst disservice you can do to a sensitive artistic soul. Successful art careers happen, but they also require some flexibility, meaning that sometimes you need to do some uncomfortable business stuff too. The biggest problem I see in artists is their unwillingness to do business. I understand that. I went through that phase, and it took me quite some time to overcome it. But you will not sell art (or pretty much anything else) if you're inflexible.

Having an art business is an art itself. You have to create it, create your message, branding, offers, and many other things that make or break a business. For a business to work, all of these parts have to be in place. The best thing is, it can be fun, and it can open new layers of creativity.

You will inevitably have to do some things (you think) you don't want to do. And you will inevitably encounter those who don't appreciate what you do. But you'll develop resilience in time. And no, rejection will not break you if you treat it as a temporary discomfort.

The fun and ease come from your attitude. If you declare it's hard, chances are 100% that it will be hard.

The key is to be open, try new approaches, experiment, and follow your inspiration (which a what artistic souls do by default). To live from your gifts is a quest. You will encounter both opportunities and monsters before you reach your destination. The only question is how much you want the adventure. Do you want to be a hero of your story? Or you're going to settle thinking it's not possible (which is far easier to do)?

The possibility exists. But it's up to you to make it happen.

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