The above link will take you to a nice little blog post about the business of being an artist, something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about lately. We don’t live in a world where an artist gets gallery representation and calls it done. An artist, represented or not, must also be an entrepreneur–which involves all kinds of knowledge that a typical BFA education never goes near.
That does not mean that the skills one learns as an artist are not applicable to other situations. Creativity, personal drive, and passion count as much in the studio as out of it (maybe even a little more, being a somewhat scarcer quality, whatever people’s resumes say). The question is, how do you learn to market yourself as an artist without forgetting who you are? Marketing is about selling a product. While it might be convenient to package your creative output (and, by extension, yourself) as a product to fit into marketing techniques, it’s important to remember that you (and hopefully your art) are more than just a brand.
I’ve been perusing Gwen Seemel’s blog, Face Making, where she has written plenty about being in the business of making art. While she is a painter, much of what she says applies to printmaking too (…and then there’s publishing; but let’s not go there just now). Bonus: if you are a Francophile, her blog is bilingual.