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An Artist's Life

Robin Wethe Altman

The Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach helped me with a scholarship to Principia College. My Art professor in college was James Green who studied with the California Regionalists in the 40s. I've learned how to market my artwork. I love the freedom of diversity.

This blog is about the thoughts and feelings that I have related to creating the art that I do. I share my process, problems, inspirations and victories. I am a professional artist in Southern California and my partner is a professional electric violinist. We are in our 50's and are loving life!

Thoughts on How to Make a Living As An Artist

  • A Day at the Beach

    A Day at the Beach

    Original Watercolor 12" x 16" by Robin Wethe Altman

I have had the most success through my personal sales at art shows where the artist sells their own work. This way I have a connection to my clients that I wouldn't have through a gallery. Galleries are nice, but you can't count on them. If you are in a gallery and sell your own work as well, avoid selling your work for less than the gallery does no matter how tempting it is.

1. Have a mailing list!!! Get people who even stop and look for a few minutes to sign it.

2. Get "Constant Contact" a newsletter that goes to your clients once a month. Write your thoughts and show them your latest work. Have a purpose to your art and communicate that purpose. People who need what you are sharing will want to have what you are giving.

3. Have a Facebook Page with your art and thoughts displayed.

4. I personally believe in having originals and prints so that everyone can afford what I do.

5. Try to focus on the positive no matter what so that you send good vibes to people when they are viewing your art. Your purpose is first to make a connection with the people whether they buy your work or not. You paint because you care about yourself AND you care others and that has to show in the way you look them in the eyes. If you have a lack of care for yourself or others, re-examine your life and fix that ASAP.

6. Make your connection be about them as well as you, show them you care. If you don't have an an aura of enthusiasm about your life, not many people are going to want your art. And no.. you can't fake that, so make sure you are happy. Be grateful for every moment, not just the "good stuff" but what you call "bad" too, because BOTH of these elements are good in that they teach you more about what it is you really want as you go forward in your tasting of life. If you have to have another job, so be it.. Love that while you are there, love the people, be a healing influence and do the best job you can. Then go home and paint for two hours! We have so much to be grateful for. As you keep this vibration high or in that direction, more and more possibilities show up. Let your heart tell you which ones to take. Take the ones that lift you.

7. And lastly, success is a JOURNEY not a destination. You'll have to keep in the "sweet spot" of gratitude and progress to feel consistently happy. You won't always do that and that is ok. It is possible to stay consistantly happy, or close to it. The more you are in tune with yourself, with your heart the better you can daily NAVIGATE your choices and ensure the results you want.

8. Ok.. I'll say one more thing. You don't need substances to maintain your joy. We all have a natural fountain of joy that we forget about once we think it comes from any "thing". Our emotions and thoughts are like a firehose, full of potential for damage or joy. Learn how to use them. Where you focus them will determine your results. There's more.. but this is good for starters! 

More posts from An Artist's Life

"A Painting for Connie"
  • December 20, 2011

I recently finished a commission for a woman in my writing class. Connie is a person who is overflows with enthusiasm for people and life. She bubbles over when she is excited about a ...

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Harbor Sunset
  • May 16, 2011

Definition of PERIL 1: exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost. and this is the definition of the word "joy: a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or ...

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Oh Happy Day
  • February 11, 2011

As a younger artist I envisoned myself in prestigious galleries, accepting awards from people "on high". I soon lost patience with that. I found that what I love most is to create exactly ...

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Robin Wethe Altman, a Self Portrait
  • February 21, 2011

As an artist, I've been in about 15 different galleries and I can say that some experiences have been better than others. This was a response I had to several other suggestions on the ...

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