How To Make Your Living as an Artist, Even if You Didn’t Inherit a Trust Fund or Marry for Money

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: SE 210

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Your mother told you to get a real job, but you want to make it as a painter, potter, guitarist, or mime. Success is only partly based on your talent and hard work. And the big surprise is how much time you will spend not doing your art. Planning, marketing, research, meeting with customers, and dealing with budgets, insurance, taxes, and contracts eat into playing and production.


  • Introduction: Is It Possible To Be A Full-time Artist?
  • The Key Idea: You Will Have To Learn How To Run A Business
  • Why The Business Is Not For Everyone
  • Building Your Professional Team: You Can’t Succeed Alone
  • The Discipline Of The Art Business: Focus And Persistence
  • What Skills Sets Do You Need To Succeed?
  • Fine Arts Versus Commercial Arts: Are You Going To Sell Out?


  • Create a realistic plan that evaluates time, money, and quality issues.
  • Interview successful artists for their business wisdom.
  • Evaluate the market: Is there enough paying business for you to succeed?

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