Going into the art business?

I love drawing and sketching even when I was young child but I had never thought about earning any money for my making art. I had always envisioned myself as being in computers either as an engineer or a software developer. Fast-forward to the present, I’m now a programmer by day but I still love drawing in my free time.

I actually love drawing so much that it makes me think about the possibility of earning a living solely from doing freelance art. In the short term, I seriously doubt that any money I can possibly earn from doing art can match the salary I get paid monthly from programming. So, if I do decide to concentrate on my art, I would certainly be taking a pay grade dive. It’s something that I can’t consider specially since I want to have a kid soon.

But maybe I can start by getting into the art business as a part-time thing. Maybe I can take on simple commissions at first. Maybe I should make a series of art pieces I can make prints out of and sell them at the local Sunday markets here in Melbourne or sell them at online sites like Etsy and eBay. Maybe I can compile a series of sketches and publish it via Lulu and call that an art book. Maybe I can go back to making comics and publish that via Lulu too.

I’ve already started doing some research into this commission work thing. I wanted to know what doing digital art commission work entails. I wanted to know how much other DA artists were asking for for their work. How much are people willing to pay for a certain level of art quality? I use these artists as a sort of a price guide. I wonder if anybody out there is interesting in commissioning me for some art.

Last weekend, I went to the Arts Centre Sunday Market at the city to check out what the artists there are offering and how much they are selling their stuff for. Again, I’m hoping that this would give me an idea of how to price my own pieces when the time comes (if it ever does) to sell my own. I even learned about Giclee prints while there. I need to look into that a bit further but it seems like a more expensive way to make prints.

At this stage though, I don’t really have a lot of finished work to sell as prints that people will want to buy. That means, I need to first make more high-resolution detailed and coloured pieces that might attract buyers before I can even think of earning money from prints.

With my limited free time, it seems like that doing art commissions might be the more feasible option. My only fear is that I have absolutely no clue how to do one. I mean, drawing the actual piece might be the easiest bit because that’s something I know how to do already. But I don’t know what to put into a contract that would be fair both to me and to my potential customer. How exactly should I deal with the customer? Do I draw drafts first for his/her approval? Do I allow him/her to change his mind after he/she approved the draft?

So many questions. Maybe I should just take the plunge and wing it all the way.

Published in: on February 6, 2008 at 11:34 pm  Comments (2)