What defines an artist? The basic definition is an artist is one who creates art. Within that basic definition is a world of complexity. There is the general hobbyist who paints in their time off and on vacations and enjoys a small recognition in their group of friends. There is the individual who considers themselves a dauber, someone who doesn’t feel he or she has talent, but who enjoys the act of creation. These people have a deep appreciation for art and generally end up being collectors themselves. And, of course, there is the professional artist who receives compensation for his or her artwork.
Before proceeding further, it is necessary for us to define “art.” Art, for the purposes of this article, will be defined as a physical, virtual, or experiential manifestation of a creative individual. The phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” has been around since the 3rd century B.C.,1 and it doesn’t matter if the work of art is a painting, a sculpture, a collage, ceramics, architecture, graffiti, metal work, mosaics, tapestry, photography or interactive installations–art is the product of the creativity of an artist.
Grants, galleries and gatherings
One of the most popular questions asked by artists is “How do I make a living with my art?” There are many ways. For thousands of years, one of the best ways to make a living has been to create work for a patron, or work for a commission on a specified project. And while an artist may feel this limits his or her personal creativity or expression, let us not forget that the Sistine Chapel was a commission by Michelangelo from Pope Julius II.
Art shows, craft fairs and street festivals are a good way for an individual who is just getting started to get their feet wet in the art trade. An artist can find out what is most intriguing about their work with potential clients and what, perhaps, they should shy away from. To find a fair or festival, check with your local chamber of commerce.
There are many resources out there for artists who wish to receive remuneration from their art. In addition to displaying the work through art galleries, working with a dealer, or posting artwork on a website to sell privately, there are other opportunities. The National Endowment for the Arts has many grant programs available, along with other organizations that are listed below in the “Grants” section.
Online artist resources for creatives
POBA is the first-ever “virtual cultural arts center” to celebrate the enduring and transformative power of creativity by featuring works of exceptional 20th and 21st century artists who have died without recognition of the full measure of their talents or creative legacies.
National Art Education Association – Students of all ages benefit from comprehensive, balanced, and sequential learning in the visual arts, led and taught by qualified teachers who are certified in art education.
Incredible @rt Department – Offers a variety of services including online lessons.
Artists Network University – Many online courses geared towards the profession or serious amateur artist.
Foundation Center – a center to find funding for individuals or organizations
Artist resources on POBA
Artistic Valuation – Why and how art should be professionally valued.
Artistic Preservation – The importance and process of preserving artwork for future generations
Online Galleries – What is an online art gallery and how an artist can locate them.
Additional artist resources
Artist Help Network – A free information service designed to help artists take control of their careers. The network assists artists in locating information, resources, guidance, and advice on a comprehensive range of career-related topics. The network focuses primarily on subjects of interest to fine artists.
American Art Appraisers – Offers a listing of Art Appraisers by state and city. Also gives background information on how to select an art appraiser.
Art Net Links – A listing of links with a vast variety of resources
Need help managing a creative legacy or looking for other artist resources?
Handling an artist’s works or an inherited collection can be a big task. Each collection is different and benefits from good guidance, proper care, and expert valuation. Contact a POBA Concierge representative if you need help with valuing and promoting an artist’s work or legacy.
Find more tips about art care from estate lawyers, gallerists, archivists, and other POBA experts. Check back often for updates, too!
Contact a POBA Concierge representative if you need help with online and/or physical storage, archiving, cataloging, appraising and more to preserve, protect, and promote a creative legacy.
Apply to display a creative legacy on POBA if you manage or represent a deceased artist’s works.
Questions? Contact us.
2 Augusto Arbizo, director and partner at New York’s 11R gallery