Art is a Business That Needs To Be Learnt

Art is a Business That Needs To Be Learnt

Art has different definitions, and there’s a myriad of them. However, one of the most underrated expressions is the business side of art. First, it must be stated that artists are entrepreneurs, and as such, they must take their work as a business like any other.

Often, the most emphasized part of art seldom includes the business aspect. Instead, the attention is usually focused on aesthetics and the message the artist conveys through the art. Of course, it is absolutely right to do so. However, monetizing art for artists cannot be overlooked or underestimated. 

This article will discuss how art is a business that artists must learn. It should also be viewed as a business by observers so that artists will be able to deal properly. When art is put up for sale, it must be properly valued, whether they be painting reproductions, replica art, or oil painting reproductions. Read on to find out more about the business of art.

History of Art Dealing

It may not be known who the first person was to act as an artist’s agent or to purchase a work of art to resell it for a profit later. Still, by the time Western art made that significant advancement during the Italian Renaissance, vendors were already acting as middlemen between collectors and artists.

Trying to make a living solely from selling art was not regarded as wise for a large portion of the history of art dealing. Lazare Duvaux, a renowned French “luxury merchant” (Marchand-Mercier) of the eighteenth century, provided his fashionable and affluent patrons with magnificent furniture, jewelry, pottery, and sculpture.

Even by many of its merchants, art was frequently still seen as being similar to a house accessory far into the 19th century. As a result, it was typically marketed as a supplementary item in stores selling toys, furniture, and mirrors. 

For instance, Boston craftsman John Doggett, one of the first retailers in American history, established his store in 1810 to sell both pictures and frames. Williams and Everett, the name of their store that would later become one of the most significant art galleries in America, was not his initial business idea. Even now, this diversification strategy is used. Many art galleries still mix art and design-related items in their collections.

The number of famous art galleries rose dramatically over the 20th century, and a description of each would make this short history anything but. The 20th century also witnessed the growth of galleries founded by dealers who were just as well-known in the art world as many artists they displayed, if not even more so.

Art dealership has gotten more lucrative as the decades have gone by, and it’s an impressive development.

First Steps To Starting an Art Business

Starting an art business is a good idea; however, like any other proper business, it is a skill that must be learned before you choose to venture into it. The steps outlined below will guide you on how to deal with art effectively. For example, you may choose to sell oil painting reproductions or create replica art as an artist. You can also choose to e a middleman or art vendor; a great example of an online middleman is 1st Art Gallery.

You should check out the guidelines below.

Plan Out Everything

Many people are unaware that they are launching their own art businesses when they choose to work as professional artists or art dealers. However, the statement is accurate. You are trading artwork for money with others (collectors) who value it.

Like any new company, you can lay out all the fundamentals with a business plan. Although it may sound official, it need not be scary. Start outlining your plans for your new, creative job on paper or laptop.

Define Your Art Practice

What’s your goal? What do you mean by success? What mid- and long-term objectives will you need to accomplish these?

Be explicit and loyal to what you desire from a career in the arts. The fact that each artist will have a unique response is acceptable.

By defining and envisioning your art career this way, you will be better able to recognize the steps needed to expand your art business and lessen the feeling of being a “deer in headlights” that comes with undertaking a significant project.

Bear in Mind that Not All Customers are Equal

Next, decide who your ideal client is. You’ll often hear this marketing phrase since it’s so crucial, but that’s just because it’s so common. You’ll begin to comprehend how to sell your works more effectively to make money when you identify your ideal consumer (the one most likely to purchase your artwork).

Avoid being careless! These responses will be the foundation for your marketing approach, from your buyer outreach methods to your communication style.

Email newsletters, social media, art fairs, galleries, and blogging are just a few of the many methods you may use to advertise your artwork, but not all of them may be where your target audience is looking. Choose a marketing approach that works with your art business based on the characteristics of your target customer, and include these outlets in your business plan.

Don’t Be Financially Ignorant

Even though discussing finances can make anyone anxious, it is necessary for a successful business plan. You may prepare for how you will support your livelihood when you remove the uncertainty from your financial condition. Additionally, you’ll be able to establish specific goals for how much money you’ll need to make and save to cover your expenses.

When operating your art business, including expenses like studio space rental and materials, make a list of everything you can think of. Then create a separate list of your personal costs, including date evenings, groceries, and housing payments. As your company strategy develops, you can always return and add more.

You’ll need to devise a plan for how you’ll pay for everything when your business is still in the beginning stages after you’ve made your itemized list. For example, it might come from savings, joint income, an artist grant, crowdfunding, selling a certain number of pieces, a part-time job, etc.

Price Your Work For Profit

One of the most challenging things for artists to figure out is pricing. Likewise, making a profit might take time to determine. But isn’t that what it means to be a working artist? Do you make a living off of your art?

There is a persistent misconception that artists must be “starving”. Simply said, that is untrue. Your success depends entirely on your approach to running your art business, which includes how much you charge for your creations.

Know your costs, and ensure that they are covered in the price of your artwork. Let the price of your work be consistent around a range, and ensure to offer your artwork at multiple price points, and you’re on your way to making much profit.


Learning the business side of art will help to ensure that you are successful, at least financially. As you imbibe the practical steps outlined briefly above, you can be sure that you’ll be set on the way to a successful art business. 

About the author

Harshita Sevaldasani

I'm a tech, finance, marketing and stock market enthusiast who has a flair for writing. I spend most of my time reading and researching different topics and keeping myself updated with current affairs. I am recognized for writing insightful articles and blogs, and I've been featured on 200+ news websites. I'm currently working on 6+ blogs as an author and over the years, I've fallen for my profession.

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