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Half-Assed Success Template

by Adriana Artmeier

With millions and millions of artists, it is hard to actually make it these days or to just make a living of the thing that you love. The good thing is, that you don’t have to die anymore before turning your small art hobby into a successful art business. There are some things that I’ve collected from different artists, that I’ve learned over the last couple of years with my art business AND general sales jobs and some things I’ve researched online.



If you don’t believe in yourself and your work, how can you expect others to do that!? Of course, don’t be an arse but for example, telling a potential buyer the price would be one of those things where confidence is important. It should be a healthy relationship between confident indifference.

Most people don’t like talking about things like money and I am one of them, for sure, ESPECIALLY if I am selling artwork to friends or regular customers and at the start, a sentence like “Of course I can go lower!” after they’ve asked, “I don’t know about $50, would $40 be ok?”.

Since I started actually talking about topics like that openly and telling customers the price with confidence, nobody has asked me if I can lower the price. If you give off that vibe of not being comfortable with talking about money or generally seem a bit insecure about your work, people WILL take advantage of you, surprisingly a lot of people that you know and love will do that as well.

Once you have a price in your head and calculated everything, DON’T changes it and let them know how much it is. If they say that it is too much for them AT THE MOMENT, then you can always offer after-pay (if you’ve got it on your website), payment plans, separate invoices that you send through, and and and. There are a lot of options if the customer can’t pay everything in one go and that is no problem at all BUT if people try to negotiate with you because they just wanna see if they can get it as cheap as possible (I mean you can always try and convince them otherwise with explaining to them WHY you price that much but I wouldn’t waste my time), let them go. These are not the customers that will stay and be collectors or regular customers.



Go to more openings, engage with other artists in your area or worldwide online through Instagram or maybe organise a group show and post callouts, whatever you can think of. Connections are very important in the art scene.

I would use this less for business growth and more for personal growth, to learn something and to find some artists that you can maybe collab and be friends with. Other artists inspire me SO SO much and it doesn’t matter at what stage the artist might be in their career, there is always something to learn from them. I regularly talk to some of my followers through Instagram from all over the world that ask me questions about either, how to grow your social media, how to get started, where I get my prints from, what I use, ALL OF THAT, or when I have any questions about anything there is always someone I can ask and learn from or even if I just need an opinion.

These communities are super important and comforting because most of us are going through the same struggles and to help out or to just know that you’re not alone in this mad art world, which can be quite stressful, is very comforting and motivating

If you’re reading this here on Mava, you’re OBVIOUSLY doing something right already in that direction.



Success is not going to come from nothing.

Get your work out there and post it EVERYWHERE, apply to galleries and markets and don’t give up if they reject you. That can always happen. Facebook groups, Instagram art sharing pages, even if you just ask a pizza shop if you can leave your business cards there, DO whatever you can to get your name out there and CREATE every day. Even if it is just a small sketch that you can fit in on the train on the way back from work, try to do something every single day!

A great example is Avanthi, who is currently working on 100 days of art where she creates a piece of work every single day. Challenges like this one of “Inctober” are perfect for things like that.



We already talked about “how to deal with criticism” in the last blog but to not get a bad name in the art industry, be positive about peoples art and handle criticism well. Don't let things get to you or at least don't show it and blow it up out of proportion when you're emotional. Calm down and THEN respond.

Even if it is with a gallery, be always professional and positive when dealing with a gallery if you think you’d still like to work with them in the future or if you think they might have an influence on how other galleries might perceive you.

When it comes to talking about other peoples art, there is just so much toxic talk and energy in the art world for NO reason. If you don’t like that piece of abstract art just don’t say anything about it. I had to learn that as well and still learning not to roll my eyes when I see a taped pineapple or a glass full of wee on a block of marble on sale for $50.000. Of course, you can voice your opinion but I would do it very BROAD and general.

Basically, just don’t be an arse.



If you sell prints, stickers, T-shirts or anything else with your artwork printed on it from other suppliers, make sure to check the products out beforehand, order it yourself, get samples and check the quality thoroughly and price them accordingly.

Most people wouldn’t be happy if they’d know that their artist that they’ve been buying prints from for $100 is getting them from Officeworks in a bulk order. If you price your prints for that much money, make sure they’re worth it. Museum-grade etching rag paper can go for that much and more depending on the size and of course also your popularity but if I see another Officeworks A3 print for $140 I am going to start eating my printer.

You need to make sure that you cover the cost of the product that you’re buying, packaging (if they send it to you first and you’re sending it out of your place), shipping (unless it’s separate), the time you’ve spent on designing the sticker, shirt, cup, whatever it might be & any other variants that play a role in creating this product that you’re selling.

Another quite important factor is to tell the customer EXACTLY what they’re buying, which brings me to the next point.



Tell the customer what they’re buying. Size, materials, if it is framed, not framed, varnished, not varnished, 100% cotton, only 65% cotton, whatever it might be, be transparent about what you’re selling.

If you have a website, things like that get quite easy because you can just have it in the description of your product but even if it is just in an SMS or email, make sure the customer doesn’t have any reason to complain.

Another thing that is very important and I would say, also falls under the point of transparency and honesty is, taking good photos of your artwork. Editing is completely fine with artworks, I have to do it a lot because the camera NEVER captures exactly what it looks like and either oversaturates the work or does the complete opposite. What you should never do though is make the artwork look “way better” or just different. Yes, it might look better on social media or your website but you don’t want your customer to then receive your artwork, look at it and be like “What in the holy nuggets is this??”

Make sure that they know exactly what they’re getting with no or almost to no room for failure.



Tell people who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Of course, not everyone has this super long emotional story but everyone has SOMETHING that they write about them or their business that might get your customers to trust you a bit more or to just know and see where you’re coming from.

Look up random successful businesses and read in their "about" or "our story" section and get a rough idea of what you should write and add it to your bio on your website because every big business has a success story.

That is all for today folks but If you have questions or anything else you would like to hear in a later blog, let me know.


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