Running a Successful Business as an Artist

Updated: Jan 8, 2019


Get exposure through social media

Sell online locally

Create a dedicated website

Try to sneak your way into art galleries

Be aware of galleries policies 

Focus on Instagram and Hashtags 

Beware of your tax obligation  

Get exposure through social media. 

As a basic you should be on Facebook and Instagram, not your personal account but accounts dedicated and focused on art and more specifically your own art. You will need to be regular. Work on the rule of at least one post a day. Not everything you post needs to be specifically your own art it's good to put up important news about art or anything interesting about art. Treat it like a hub of art but do not forget it should be mostly focused on you.  

Sell online locally.  

www.Trademe.co.nz is your first stop for selling your art online but there are other options  

https://www.sellmyart.co.nz/ is a new platform for people to buy and sell art. Not incredibly popular right now  

There are other local options available. For the sake of keeping this article to a moderate length we have not included all options available but a simple google search will show you all available choices.  

Go big and sign up to international sites.  

Below is the main site you can sign up to. Signing up to all of them may become difficult and will require a small investment but if you're willing to put in the effort, it is well worth it. 

Artsy – requires a studio partnership & subscription fee. great for those who already have exposure. 

Artplode – if your looking to sell your art at a higher premium this is the place for you. 

Artfinder - a large platform with a lot of independent artists with little restriction. 

Pinterest – works more like social media great for exposure and gathering followers. 

Create a dedicated website. 

Having your own website will show a great deal of professionalism and will give you a plat form just to show off your own work. A website is a must have for any artist. If you need a website at a great affordable price, we recommend www.bizhatch.co.nz

Try to sneak your way into art galleries. 

Go to galleries, go to their events and sign up to their mailing list. While you are at their events try to get to know everyone and build a relationship with the event holders. This will give you connections and could advance your career. 

Be aware of galleries policies.  

Before you approach any gallery make sure you know their policies and know their commission terms. Remember the gallery will showcase your work the exposure you get will be worth more than the money you will pay them. 

Focus on Instagram and Hashtags. 

Instagram is a platform where you are rewarded for visually appealing content. As a artist it is great for you. However, there is a lot of noise out there. How can you possibly make a mark? Hashtags are key, without them you won't get far. Learn hashtagging as soon as you can. Thankfully we have done some research and have come up with hashtags you can use right away to get you started. Remember that Instagram allows for a total of 30 tags. Do not be shy to use all 30 tags. Everyone else does it. 

#art #drawing #artist #sketch #design #photography #artwork #inktober #love #illustration #painting #draw #photo #music #instaart #artistsoninstagram #life #arte #architecture #instagood #sketchbook #picture #graphicdesign #dream #arts #contemporaryart #graphic #live #bhfyp 

Beware of your tax obligation  

Once you start selling your work. You have essentially become a small business and you need to make sure you are reporting to the IRD. It is extremely important to have an accountant to advise you every step of the way. 

Make sure you are claiming all the expenses you can, for example claiming a home office (if you do any work from home) Expenses are the main way to reduce your tax. Ideally you will have an accountant who has worked with other artists before to help you along. 

Unfortunately help like that from an experienced accountant can be very expensive however at 93 accounting we offer full year unlimited business and tax support, financial forecasting and completion of reporting to the IRD (income tax & GST) for just $20 per week. Best of all we have worked with several other independent artists across New Zealand. Click here to contact us for a non-obligation meeting. 

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