You might have a strong feeling that you want to work as an artist. Or that you want to sell your artwork. You might be doing that now. Are you where you want to be – or on the right path to get there?
Consider for a moment what it would literally look like when you were doing exactly what you want, fulfilling the dream that you now have as an artist. Where would you be living? What would you do every day? How would your art business work? What would your life be like?
Give some thought and time to envisioning how you would lead your life when you fulfilled those plans that you have. Write them down and go into detail. Would you have a home studio? Are you in the city, the countryside, living at the beach? Is your time filled with appointments and meeting collectors and attending events, or are you seeking more solitude, more time to work in the studio? Picture in your mind the environment you would create in that space, and the daily schedule you would have.
Getting a handle on what you really want, and being able to describe it, is an exercise that helps you develop a vision for your art business. Make it real for you, so that your vision of being an artist is not an incomplete or vague idea. There is room for your vision to change or expand in time, but you need a starting place with a solid idea behind it.
As an artist, you should design your business for the lifestyle you want to lead. Everyone’s situation is different, and there is no right or wrong answer. Creating a Vision Statement for your small business gives you a window to the future and a chance to get very clear on what you really want. You may be surprised that this changes as you think carefully about the details of your business as it develops.
How does your vision work with the rest of your life? You may have a spouse, children or aging parents to care for, a full or part-time job, and other interests and responsibilities that affect you. Those realities mean there are compromises to be made along the way. How many hours will you have to devote to your art business? How will you create a studio space separate from the rest of your daily life where you can thrive creatively? How will you balance all of the other parts of your life?
Be realistic. Starting a creative business is a marathon, not a sprint. It is beneficial to take the long view in deciding how you can start incorporating your business as an artist into your life. Will you quit your day job and go all in? Will you always keep another source of income that may not be art-related?
Writing a Vision Statement puts a destination in your mind. Without one, you cannot create a roadmap to get where you want to go. Your business planning must have a clear direction so that you can plan and track your progress. And, it gives you a focus so that you can avoid distractions along the way that get you sidetracked.
Having a vision for your art business allows you to purposefully take action along the road. This is empowering. It enables you to set short and long-term goals that lead towards that vision. Then, you can create a step-by-step plan that keeps you moving forward and checking items off your list as you get closer to where you want to eventually be in your small business.
One thing you can be sure of: if you aren’t working to fulfill the vision your have for your own business, you will end up working for someone else, helping them to fulfill the vision that they have for their business.
Ultimately, the vision that you have for yourself as an artist should reflect what truly makes you happy. Being in business as an artist should bring you pleasure, doing what you are passionate about. If not, you will give up, probably wondering what went wrong.
Becoming an entrepreneur and earning a living from your art is hard work, so you must be absolutely persistent and driven. It can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding, but it also involves devotion and consistent action. Decide if that is right for you. Or, if the vision of yourself as an artist involves taking a different path, you can create that for yourself. The most important thing is that it fits what you truly want, and that you will enjoy the journey.