Making a living off your art can be a tedious and often frustrating process. Because there is so much competition out there, creatives typically have to hustle every day to get their creations seen, and even then there’s no guarantee that they’ll be discovered by people who can take their career to the next level. The key is to utilize the right resources, especially online. 

Social media platforms are great for sharing work, but it’s also important to make sure you’re networking and making the most of artist communities since these can help you find grants, free tools, and inspiration. Follow these tips from entertainment agency DCR to start down a professional creative path and have your work discovered.

Form a Plan for the Coming Year

It’s important to think about what your goals are as an artist. Do you want to open your own art gallery or studio? Start an ecommerce business that allows you to sell your artwork or merchandise? Become a freelance illustrator? Becoming an entrepreneur and forming a business plan will allow you to set some goals in writing and prepare for the coming year. You’ll need to make financial projections for funding, figure out a business structure, and consider how and where you’ll sell your products.

Learn How to Market Yourself

If you choose to start an art-based business, you’ll have a marketing strategy in place when you write your business plan. But whether you start a business or not, you’ll need to know how to market yourself and your art, so it’s a good idea to learn how to get your name out there. Build a website that utilizes SEO tactics, start a mailing list, and start a blog or vlog that shows people how you work and what you do. Print up postcards that feature your artwork, and consider creating merchandise that features your work so you can advertise yourself.

Give your website and social media pages some pizazz with a new banner. You can create personalized banners for any platform with an online banner maker. Simply customize a banner template by adding your own text and images. 

You can also work with an entertainment agency like DCR. They can help you to create a functional marketing plan complete with social media, web design, video editing, and more. 

Network, Network, Network

Whether you want to start your own business or just get your work in front of as many people as possible, it’s crucial to network as much as you can. Look for local art collectives you might be able to join or create one of your own. Supporting your local art community is a great way to get involved and make connections. 

You can also look online for art opportunities and creative platforms that will introduce your work to a wider audience. Create business cards that you can hand out when meeting new people, and make it a point to support and share others’ art rather than focusing solely on your own needs. 

Do note, if you find yourself sending examples of your work or promotional materials back and forth between artists, freelancers, and business owners, you may want to create PDFs instead of using specific file types. PDFs are great because they capture your document and design and freeze it in that format. There are no adjustments during sending, and most people have a PDF reader. A free PDF editor could help you to convert your documents and provide feedback during this process without disturbing the formatting. You can highlight, add text, or even include virtual sticky notes to communicate any changes or feedback throughout the process.

Join the Competition

Networking is also a great way to find out about competitions and artist grants, and these are wonderful for growing your audience with individuals who can boost your career. After all, high-profile competition judges and grant writers typically have lots of connections and followers on social media and are often considered influencers. If your work catches the eye of someone in such a position, it’s possible that you’ll garner a lot of attention. It can be scary to put your work in front of so many critical eyes but keep in mind that your competitors will be doing the same, so it’s important for you to put your art out there as well. Curate your options to make sure you’re entering the right competitions for your skill set.

Getting noticed as a creative individual can take a little time, but you can speed things up by getting organized, doing your research, and creating a solid plan for the coming months. Remember to network with other artists, both online and in-person, and support their work as much as possible. And connect with a quality entertainment agency like DCR to jumpstart your marketing efforts, too.