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Are you like me trying to get paid doing what you love but can't seem to figure out how to become professional. Here is some advice from a website that I'm gonna try out.

Top 10 Steps to Developing Your Art Career
By Helen South, About.com Guide

1. Develop a Plan.
Identify achievable short-term and medium-term goals and create a timeline. Make them tangible: for example, have an exhibition with friends in 14 months, or create a small comic of your own by a certain date. Identify some steps along the way: times to produce works, contact galleries or job prospects, do framing, design invitations. Consider your strengths and weaknesses - what training or skills do you need to obtain your goal? How can you overcome obstacles?

2. Create an Artist's Statement.
An artist's statement needs to explain in a few brief statements who you are, and what your art is about. Don't try to be overly artsy - use simple, clear language. This can help you define your goals, and may need to be re-written from time to time as you develop. Try using questions to help you decide what to write: WHY do I draw? WHAT do I draw? WHERE do I get my ideas? WHO do I hope to touch with my images? Use the statement to maintain your focus and to help explain your work to others.

3. Create a Body of Work.
This might sound obvious, but often artists get too involved in the peripheral activities - going to galleries, reading about art, dressing the right way - and forget that being an artist is about creating art, preferably on a daily basis. Sketchbook ideas won't cut it either - start producing finished, frame-worthy pieces on good quality paper. If working digitally, find out the format of professional standard work in your field, and create to those specs.

4. Produce a Portfolio.
The portfolio is like a visual resume. It should contain your best work, representative of your style. It may display the development of key ideas, or your breadth of style, depending on the intended viewer. Choose moderately sized, finished works, mounting small ones on card for ease of handling. Use a commercial plastic sleeved folder, or have pieces loose in a card folder, both need a handle and must tie securely. Digital work should be organized on DVD-ROM in standard formats.

5. Create Slides of Drawings and Paintings.
Most exhibitions and competitions require submission by 35mm slides. It may be worthwhile to have a professional photographer make slides of your work, or you can do it yourself. Check entry forms for labelling requirements of events: this usually includes name of artist, title of work, dimensions and medium. Use a slide marker pen, not sticky labels. You'll need to have copies of slides - don't send originals, as they are often not returnable.

6. Document Your Work.
As well as slides for submission, keep a photographic record of all your work. This is especially important once you start selling pieces. Scan or photograph your drawings, and if keeping an archive on computer, back up to DVD/CD ROM. You can use these files to create CD-ROM or printed hard copy catalogues of your work, selectively organizing to suit the viewer: prospective portrait customers, craft galleries, contemporary dealers, and so on.

7. Know Your Market.
Before you can negotiate with dealers or galleries, you'll need to research your market. Different styles of work, originals, and prints will be in different price brackets and require appropriate marketing strategies. Use internet forums to find out about other artist's experiences. Be honest about your own abilities. Before signing up with any agent, dealer, publisher or gallery, read the fine print yourself, and get your financial or / and legal advisors to check any documentation.

8. Find a Gallery.
There is no point approaching a traditional, domestic art gallery if your work is bleeding-edge contemporary. Look for art like yours in commercial galleries, and find out which are likely to be interested in your work. The best way to do this is on foot - find them in the phone book then get out there and eyeball the gallery. Does it look like it is doing business? Is it a good location? Who are they representing?

9. Approach a Gallery or Publisher
One time-honored way of getting into a gallery is through recommendation by one of their artists. If you are lucky enough to know someone who shows with a good gallery, ask them to look at your work. Otherwise, you'll need to 'cold-call' the gallery and ask them to view your portfolio. Cartooning is difficult to break into, so you may need to find an agent, or pester publishers until they look at your work. Computer game companies, often publicise vacancies on their websites.

10. Consider Alternatives
Be pro-active. Take any opportunity to gain exposure. Select competitions which are suited to your style of work. Do unpaid work for charities, do your own desktop publishing, or collaborate with an amateur game designer or film-maker. Approach local businesses and cafes to display your art. Ask to be put on the mailing list of your favorite art galleries, as you can make valuable contacts at exhibition openings. Check magazines and newspapers for art competitions and shows.
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: air
  • Drinking: my own spit

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Calvinclyke
Calvin Clyke
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
Canada
Current Residence: Tur Ran Ta Can Naw Da
Favourite genre of music: anything with soul
Operating System: OS X
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Personal Quote: The stars are out of reach of our limiting thoughts
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:iconizzynoodles:
izzynoodles Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
hey there :wave:
Welcome to :iconwondernation:
Thanks for joining, I look forward to seeing more of your work
Reply
:iconandre-vaz:
Andre-VAZ Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for the fav' ! ;)
Reply
:iconcheshiregrins:
CheshireGrins Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
CALVINNNNNN! Its Kevin from Ajax sir..... awesome stuff here!
Reply
:iconcalvinclyke:
Calvinclyke Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
aww Thanks Kev. Can't say I come to this site every day...but it's good to see someone I know on it
Reply
:iconkuru4k:
Kuru4k Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010
hey man, you got amazing talent keep up the good work!
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks for the watch!
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:iconcalvinclyke:
Calvinclyke Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your inspiring man!
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:iconmmiu:
mmiu Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2009
hello again ^^
a mac user eh? nice :)))
Reply
:iconcalvinclyke:
Calvinclyke Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That I am.[link]
Thanks for stopping by.
Reply
:icontsimpson09:
TSimpson09 Featured By Owner May 22, 2009  Student General Artist
I love your artwork, absolutely amazing!!!
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