Many people waste their lives in jobs they hate, or those that fail to stimulate them or spark any kind of interest. They let their passions and talents fall away as they spend all of their time in an uninspiring job. Then, before they know it, they are approaching retirement, and haven’t done that thing they really loved for years and years.
An awful lot of people give up on their talents when they are barely more than children, because they don’t think they are good enough to make it, or because their parents encourage them to focus on “getting a real job”. However, times have changed. You no longer need to be Van Gogh to make a living as an artist. Nor do you need to be Annie Leibovitz to find work as a photographer. If you’ve got a talent, something that you feel passionate about, and that you are willing to work at, you can make money from your art. Here’s How.
First You Must Practice
If you haven’t done something for a while, or you’ve never taken it seriously before, you need to practice. Practice is how we get better at everything in life. To become a great writer, you must write and to become a great artist or photographer; you must learn what you’re best at, what works well, and what you enjoy. To do this, practice.
But, you shouldn’t just practice what you are good at. You must also challenge yourself. Try new styles and techniques, play around and have some fun while honing your skills. This also gives you a great chance to discover what it is you actually want to do. An interest in art doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be an artist. You may find you love graphic design for example.
Build a Portfolio
If you’ve got no professional experience, it’s essential that you build an impressive portfolio. As an artist of any kind, your portfolio is like your resume. It’s your chance to sell yourself and show off your skills. In many cases, it’s much more important than experience.
Try to include a large range of work, showing off everything that you can do. This will allow you to apply for work in different niches, just by making a few small adjustments to what you send. Just remember to update this regularly. The work you want to show off now might not look as great a few months or years down the line.
Now, it’s time to get your portfolio online. Do this as soon as you can. In today’s world, nearly anyone can build a professional website. Get your work online, start connecting with the right people on social media and you never know what might happen.
Another option is selling your artwork either on your own website, or via sites such as etsy.
Apply for Work
A website is great, but it’s no good just sitting around waiting for people to come to you. You need to go out there and find work for yourself. Register on freelance sites and start pitching for jobs to build some experience in the field. It’s important to recognize that with little experience you may not get the big jobs straight away. So, don’t be disappointed if you end up working for little pay for a while until you get your name out there. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply for more well-paid work. It’s always worth a try. Even if you don’t get the job, it’s a chance to make a good impression, which may get you thought of for something else in the future.
The internet isn’t the only place to find work. Apply for jobs with companies within your field of interest. If you are a keen designer, you could apply for design work with local companies and have some business cards and flyers printing to advertise your services.
Networking is an exceptionally useful tool when it comes to branching out into a new area and trying to build a new career. You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Well, it can be true. You’ve already followed the right people on social media, so start chatting with them. Building these relationships will help to get you noticed. When you apply for a job in real life, don’t just drop off your CV and portfolio, chat with people, ask questions. Make a fantastic first impression, stand out from the crowd and keep in touch. You never know what one of these connections could one day lead to.