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  Are you a fabulous painter, a brilliant sculptor, or an exceptional sketcher?  Maybe you’re one or all of these things, but you’ve resigned to not pursuing these passions commercially because you think it’s not possible to earn anything significant from the business of art.
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While it’s true that the visual arts can present difficult challenges for those who make a business out of it, there’s always a chance that you could stand out from the mass of struggling folks and excel at it. Maybe all you need is just some good business sense and an eye for where the market for your work is at. Here, we’ll get through the process of setting up an art studio that does make money.

What’s an Art Studio?

An art studio is a space in where an artist creates and keeps his work; it could also serve as a storefront for his work from where he or she sells the work they’ve created. It’s worth pointing out that artists can sell their works elsewhere. They can exhibit these items at other art galleries, art fairs, and even online.

Ideal Steps to Setting Up an Art Studio in Nigeria

  1. Be Good at What You Do
The artworld is extremely competitive, so you have to be certain that you’re good at making brilliant art. This isn’t about beating yourself up with painful self-examinations. It’s more about sharpening your skills and being at the top of your game- refined enough to stand out and impress the public. The next step would be to get recognized by those closest to you for being a good artist. What this does is create a base of support you can trust, people who know how good you are at what you do. The artists’ path can be tough, so you’ll need their encouragement and reassurance as you go along the way.
  1. Get a Supporting Job
Ironically, you have to get a job to support another one, but this is the route that almost all successful artists have taken at the start of their careers. You’ll want to do this for two reasons:
  • Build up a financial reserve that you can draw up to help with setting up and learning the art skills you need.
  • Connect with people who might prove to be valuable contacts for your art business.

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Given these two purposes, you would want to pursue a day job in an art-related field, such as design, which lets you know how business works and gives you easier access to leading figures at industry meetups.
  1. Do Gigs for Influential Persons at Discounted Rates
You may also reach out to people in your network of family and friends, colleagues at work, and contacts you meet at networking forums who may want you to do some artwork for them. You may do this at discounted rates, or offer your services for free. This lets you kick things off already, while you’re still working your day job.
  1. Build a Presence Online
Social media lets you build a following for your art. Create art and share it on social media regularly. Encourage your followers to re-share your posts as well. With a large audience online, you’re already building a basis for launching officially in the ‘real’ world.
  1. Set up Your Art Studio
At some point, you’ll have to set up your studio or begin your business formally. How you choose to go about this is up to you. You should set up when you’re sure that you have the funds to rent a space and pay for initial expenses there.
  1. Start Selling
Perhaps we could say “continue selling” because we’re assuming that you would already be selling artwork before moving into a physical studio.  Ideally, you should have a fairly steady client base at this point. The flow of work, if it’s adequate, will help to allay fears of incurring losses as you go along. Featured Image Source: Zikoko
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This article was first published on 11th September 2020 and updated on September 12th, 2020 at 12:40 am


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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