Being a starving artist is a common cliché in the art industry. Artists are known to struggle with financial instability and lack of recognition, but this does not mean that it is impossible to make a living off of your passion. This article provides tips and advice on how to succeed as a starving artist.

Success Stories

Success stories of artists who have turned their passion into a full-time job are numerous and inspiring. Many of them have used their talent and hard work to build a business that generates a steady income. One such artist is Stephane Strouk, who is a self-taught artist that turned his love for painting into a full-time job. He started by showcasing his work at local exhibitions and galleries, where he was eventually spotted by an art dealer who offered to represent him. Today, Stephane is a successful artist who sells his art at high-end galleries and exhibitions across the world.

For aspiring artists looking to turn their passion into a full-time job, it is essential to develop a business mindset. This means identifying your target market, understanding your competition, and creating a solid plan to reach your goals. One important tip is to always remain persistent and never give up on your dreams.

Showcasing Artwork

One of the biggest challenges for starving artists is finding the right platform to showcase their artwork. Art galleries and exhibits are great places to show off your work, but it can be challenging to get noticed. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase the visibility of your artwork.

To start, research the best art galleries and exhibits in your area and study their submission guidelines carefully. Make sure you understand what types of artwork they are looking for and follow their specific requirements when submitting your work. Attending art events and speaking with curators can also help you establish a connection and increase your chances of getting showcased.

Another way to showcase your artwork is by creating your own online art shop. In addition to showcasing your work, an online art shop provides a platform to sell your artwork directly to buyers. It is important to choose the right platform when creating your own online art shop. Some popular options include WooCommerce, Shopify, and Etsy. Make sure to use high-quality images of your artwork and write detailed descriptions that highlight the unique aspects of each piece.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the benefits of social media. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook provide a free space to showcase your art and interact with potential clients. Make sure to carefully consider your target audience and branding strategy before creating social media accounts. Engaging with followers and using relevant hashtags can help increase your visibility and attract new clients.

Starting an Online Art Shop

An online art shop is a great way to showcase and sell your artwork. Compared to traditional galleries and exhibits, an online art shop offers artists greater control and flexibility in terms of pricing and marketing. When starting your online art shop, it is important to create a professional look and feel that reflects your brand. This means using quality images, descriptive titles and highlighting the features of each piece.

To maximize the exposure of your online art shop, consider promoting your work through social media ads, sponsored content, and word-of-mouth. Explore as many options as possible, including online art marketplaces like Artfinder or Saatchi Art, to increase your visibility and reach more potential buyers.

Art Fairs and Expos

Art fairs and expos can provide valuable opportunities for starving artists to showcase their portfolio, network with other artists, and connect with potential clients. To maximize your impact at these events, it helps to have a strong portfolio that showcases your best artwork. Preparing promotional materials such as business cards and flyers can also help with marketing and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Networking with other artists and attending lectures and workshops can also be beneficial to your career. Use the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences. Collaborating with other artists can also lead to future opportunities and expand your reach in the art industry.

Branding for Starving Artists

Branding is an essential component of success in the art industry. Creating a unique and consistent brand identity can help increase your visibility, build credibility, and drive sales. A strong brand identity involves understanding your target audience and developing a voice that speaks to them.

This means creating a visual identity that is consistent across all marketing channels and using a tonality that resonates with your audience. Consistency in your branding and messaging creates a sense of familiarity, making you more recognizable in your industry.

Social Media for Starving Artists

Social media platforms provide a cost-effective way to reach potential clients and showcase your artwork. However, it is important to develop a strategic plan before using social media for marketing. This means creating a clear marketing funnel that guides potential clients from awareness to conversion.

To increase your visibility and engagement on social media, consider using sponsored ads and creating shareable content. Platforms like Instagram offer numerous features that can be leveraged to promote your artwork, including hashtags, stories, and promotional posts.

Overcoming Challenges

Financial instability and lack of recognition are common challenges faced by starving artists. However, it is possible to overcome these challenges through perseverance, resilience, and creativity. One effective strategy is to diversify your income streams by offering workshops or selling prints of your artwork. Don’t be afraid to take on side jobs or freelance work to supplement your income.

It is also essential to build a support system of other artists and industry professionals, who can provide guidance and support throughout your career. Use networking opportunities, such as art fairs and exhibitions, to connect with other artists and learn from their experiences.


The life of a starving artist is not an easy one, but with hard work and persistence, it is possible to turn your passion into a successful career. Whether you decide to showcase your artwork at galleries, start an online art shop, or explore social media marketing, remember to be consistent and dedicated to your craft. With the right mindset and strategies, there is always hope for a successful career in the art industry.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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