Finding success in your art business is like creating a recipe from scratch.

It takes a blend of vision, passion, chaos, discipline, confidence, resilience, communication, and packaging to make your own unique formula.

Determining the proportions of the ingredients requires a willingness to experiment by trial and error.

Confidence and resilience help you learn from your failures.

Discipline makes you an amateur or a pro.

Your network includes people willing to “taste” your not-so-successful recipes from time to time, while they can also inspire ways to balance your ingredients for the next time around.

Start with a mix of vision and passion

Take inspiration from color, light, material, and concepts around you to formulate your vision with your passion.

These ingredients establish the base to your art career. Your ability to execute a project is rooted in your ability to blend these two items. When vision and passion are strong and well-blended, your flavors will come through.

Add in a mess

Artists, admit it, we love creating a mess. We know that from chaos comes something new—and we love sharing our new revelations.

Managing this controlled chaos is not just about the physical messiness of a studio. It takes a careful awareness to balance the combined physical, emotional, and financial costs of making art.

Without the right blend of supplies, facilities, and time, these ingredients can spiral out of control, resulting in burnout and another artwork in the trashcan. 

You have to love making sense of this mess.

(And, cut a little of the chaos out by using your Artwork Archive account to keep things organized.)

Stir in with discipline

Pay attention to the way you add discipline. If handled incorrectly, discipline can take a recipe from outstanding to tasteless in no time flat.

Discipline defines the difference between an amateur artist and a professional.

Those with devoted discipline are those who try, fail, and try again. It also takes dedication to the business aspects of your art practice. Set aside an hour a week to document your work, update your current inventory, follow up with clients and maintain your records.

Having a strong idea of how to split up your week helps make this discipline easier to follow suggests Chicago artist, Jordan Scott.

“I split the week up in terms of 70/30. The 70% is the actual making of the work and the 30% is the getting of supplies, communicating with galleries and updating Artwork Archive … the 'back office' stuff."

Add 8 to 80 parts confidence

Flavor to taste.

Keep in mind that not enough confidence weakens the flavor and impact of this recipe, but too much can be a punch in the face.

Like vanilla extract, confidence tastes better when it is pure and not an imitation. Think about where you gather your confidence and use that as a jumping off point.

Another way to think about your confidence is to think about it as if you are adding caffeine to your recipe. Caffeine can come in a variety of strains and from a number of origins. Don’t be afraid to test out new strains from time to time.

Combine communication and resilience

The distinctive flavor of your recipe comes together with communication and resilience. At this stage, your art career starts to take shape. You are now ready to think about what your audience wants to experience.

Communication helps you know what people enjoy about your recipe.

Try scheduling communication ahead of time so you never miss an appointment or connection with galleries and collectors.

Resilience helps you compare your original vision and passion with feedback from your audience. With the right mix of confidence, you’ll know which ingredients and feedback mix well and which do not.

When communication and resilience are balanced, your customers will return for more. If they don't, you can turn back to resilience to start from scratch all over again.

Let time to simmer

Your artwork needs time to cook. While keeping a watchful eye on the heat, take a step back to see how it’s all coming together.

As you let your pieces simmer, think about how you handled each ingredient. Did you schedule communication before you were up against a deadline?

Avoid constantly living in survival mode with Artwork Archive’s new reminder system.

This new feature helps you easily coordinate times to reach out to your gallery (or galleries) to learn which pieces are selling the best. Or, you can set a reminder to send out emails to previous clients when you have new work available. 

Use this knowledge and power to mix in your recipe with each new batch of artwork.

Put on the final touches

The work isn't over at this final stage. You’re now responsible for making the portions and presentation. How will they consume your recipe?

Add your branding by thinking about how you want to serve your art to customers.

The final package should reflect everything you’ve put into the recipe and you as an artist. Present yourself professionally by taking high-quality photos, uploading your work to your public portfolio, and printing professional PDF reports to give your gallery. 

Like many recipes, success takes time, effort and a lot of trial and error. It also requires a hungry audience.

With a willing network of first-tasters, you can find a combination that works for you and keeps customers coming back again and again.

Never apologize for a mess, but deliver thoughtful packaging after you make a sale. Start with Artwork Archive’s inventory tools to follow through like a pro.