Why Artists Fail in Business

Are you frustrated in your attempts to make your passion for art into a viable business venture? Check this list to see if you are sabotaging yourself.




  1. Not having a vision. If you haven’t got goals and direction for your business, you can’t create a roadmap to get there. That means you will be treading water until you decide what you really want to create with your art business.
  2. Working in isolation. Artists who don’t interact with a community are far more likely to fail than those who surround themselves with a network of other creatives. This network helps provide feedback, resources, opportunities and emotional support.
  3. Inconsistent body of work. Doing a little of this and a little of that won’t get your work taken seriously, and it won’t allow you to go deeply enough to create a real signature style of work. Focus on your main interest, and build a portfolio that has the “wow factor.”
  4. Poor presentation. Are your photographs outstanding? If not, you are losing out. You work hard at creating your art. Honor it by having professional photos taken for the jury and for marketing purposes.
  5. Not understanding how to price. This is a big problem for many artists, who find out too late that they are actually losing money, not earning it. Get clear on the formula to price your work correctly, so that you are making a profit.
  6. Not targeting the right audience. Who is your customer? If you don’t know, how can you reach out to them with your marketing efforts? Creating an ideal customer profile takes work and research. Once you know your audience, you can reach out to them through the right channels and with the right message.
  7. Lack of persistence. Yes, it takes a lot of hard work over time to get traction with your creative business. It can be frustrating, but don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes, but stay the course and build upon your successes.


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