Friday, January 1, 2016

Tips For Professional Artists - 10 Easy Tasks to Grow your Art Business

Ten Easy Tasks to Grow your Art Business in the New Year

By Annie Strack ©
(Originally published in Art Calendar Magazine, December 2007)

There are some standard business chores that must be done after the end of the year, like calculating a profit and loss statement and filing those pesky tax returns.  In addition, I like to add a few other simpler tasks to my end of the year chore list.  These simple tasks provide useful planning for the year, and help to maintain focus on career growth.    
Annie Strack painting in the Cedarburg Plein Air competition. 

  1. Look at your list of career goals, and check off the ones that you met for the year.  Did you accomplish all of your annual goals for the year?  If not, look at the goals you didn’t meet, and think about the various reasons why they weren’t accomplished.  Where these goals too lofty for this point in your career, or did you not give yourself enough time to accomplish tasks, or did you schedule too many goals at once?  Adjust your goals for the next year, setting goals that you can attain, and add new goals if needed.  Fine tune and tweak your career plan so that your goals are arranged in schedule that you are confident you can attain.   

  1.  Count the number of artworks you created during the last year.  If you find that you did not finish as many as you wanted, think back to events and try to determine why.  Was it a lack of time?  Could it have been outside distractions, or perhaps lack of studio space?  Determine what changes you need to make to your environment or routine in order to increase your productivity.    

  1. Count the actual number of artworks you sold in the year, not just the total dollar amount.  Is this number consistent with previous years?  How does it compare to the number of works you created during the year?  If sales dramatically increased or decreased, examine the possible reasons why, and determine what changes need to be made to maintain or improve sales.  If your sales ratio was too low, think of ways to improve it for next year.  If your sales ratio was extremely high and you sold most or all of what you created, explore new possibilities for increasing profitability or expanding production.    

  1. Plan the direction you want your art to take this year.  Perhaps plan a new series, or think about ways to improve your current line.  Whether you’ve been thinking about narrowing your focus to concentrate on niche markets, or expanding your line to reach broader audiences, the start of a new year is a good time plan a course of action and implement those changes you’ve been putting off. 

  1. Examine your prices.  When was the last time you raised your prices?  The beginning of the year is the best time to evaluate whether your pricing schedule is working or not.  Now is the time to look over last year’s income and expenses, and determine if your prices are within a range that will enable you to show a profit.  Also, make sure you can adhere to your pricing schedule in a consistent manner, and that any price deviations are adequately justified.   

  1. Buy a new appointment calendar, and pencil in all the shows, festivals, workshops, meetings, and other significant dates for the year.  Mark all those entry deadlines down in your calendar now, so that you won’t forget about any important events or miss valuable opportunities later.     

  1. Update your resume’.  When was the last time you did this?  For most working artists, the resume needs to updated at least once a year, adding shows, exhibits, awards, publications, and other honors that were achieved during the year. 

  1. Update your mailing list.  This is a good time to go through all your old invoices, receipt books, and piles of business cards from the previous year, and add the names and information to your mailing list and data base.  At the same time, go through your list and purge out any outdated or old information.  Don’t forget to go through your email address book and tidy that up, as well. 

  1. Update your promo materials.  Now that you’ve polished up your resume, revised your mailing list, and planned your calendar for the year, you have no excuses left to keep you from redesigning your old promo materials.  Create some new business cards and color brochures, print revised price lists, and maybe even order color postcards with your upcoming exhibit schedule. 

  1. Outline your marketing plan for the year.  Now that you’ve finished updating and organizing your information, you can pull all of these materials together to create a more efficient strategy for marketing your business.  

Individually, these simple tasks don’t take too much time to do and you can easily complete one or more a day.  You’ll not only feel more energized by your accomplishments, you’ll also give yourself a jump start to a more successful year. 


Annie Strack earned Signature Membership from 12 artist societies and she’s an Official Authorized Artist for the U.S. Coast Guard. Her art has received hundreds of awards and hangs in collections worldwide. She’s a popular juror for art competitions, and is a much sought after lecturer and workshop instructor. Annie draws experience from her former career in corporate management to build a successful art career, and she shares her knowledge of business and marketing in her articles for Professional Artist magazine.

posted by Annie Strack @ 10:43 AM   1 Comments


At January 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM , Anonymous Swati said...

This post is really helpful Annie:) Exactly what I need today!


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All images and content copyright Annie Strack 2018 Although I occasionally receive compensation for some posts, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.