Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 13 August 2018

Art and Business

The question I am asking today is "do art and business go together?" And the answer is "absolutely", but how can we make it work for us, and have balance in our life too.

Diversity in my art practise - Homewares and greeting cards printed with my photography, leaf prints on scarves, prints and greeting cards, paper flower making.

If you are a working, professional artist you probably spend the majority of your time on your art, but you need to work on the business side of your art practise too. If we want to survive as an artist we need to make some money to pay the bills. Many artists juggle their time between doing their art and working a full or part time job in order to survive. 

You need to ask yourself what do you want from your art. Is it a passion that you have to do regardless of the returns, or are you trying to live off your earnings. It wasn't until I retired that I could spend more time on my art, and I still don't make a full time income from it. But it is something I enjoy, and it makes me enough that if I want to buy something for my photography, like a new lens or camera, I use the money I've earned from my business.

On the weekend I went to a workshop, 'Art and Business', conducted by artist Andrew Frazer, who is the founder and creative director of the Bunbury street art project Six Two Three Zero. I had been to a couple of Andrew's hand lettering workshops in the past and I knew he was a very enthusiastic presenter.  So I looked forward to meeting up with him again.

Here are a few points that came out of the workshop that, if you are an artist, you might want to consider. Of course there are the more practical aspects of insurance, record keeping, accounting, tax, business registration numbers, etc etc, which I am not going to go into here.

** There is always someone out there doing something better than you. Celebrate your individual craft and don't give up! Create something unique and take a risk.
Experimenting with leaf-prints on paper

** Balance your time. Don't forget those around you while you are pursuing your dreams. Your family are an important part of your life, and so spend quality time with them.

** Be focused when you are working on your craft. Being focused will lead to productivity. 

** Schedule regular breaks and give yourself time to breathe, reflect and refresh. Go for a walk!

** The customer is valuable, but they might not know how to connect with you. Take a risk and put yourself out there. (I entered one of my leaf-prints in an art competition in May, and unexpectedly won the "emerging artist award")

** Look everywhere for inspiration, not just within your field of art.

** Always carry a notebook or sketch book or camera to put down ideas and inspiration. 

** Your portfolio or website or blog is a visual representation of your work. Make it as professional and the best that you can. You might have diversity in your work, but you need a thread that binds it all together. Keep your CV on file, and update it regularly. Document your work.

** Which artists do you admire? What were they doing 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago? Just looking at their current work can be disheartening. At one time they were just starting out too, just like you.

** See the bigger picture. Seek out people who have a similar ethos to you. Develop partnerships and relationships.  Don't see these people as competition. Find opportunities to work with other artists. 

** If a project doesn't seem to be a good fit for you, it is ok to say no, and refer them to someone who you think might be able to do the job better. (I have done this a couple of times).

** What are galleries and agents offering? Is it worth the commission they will take from your sales? What is the evidence of the benefits of exhibiting with them?  An agent can generate/source work for you at a cost.

** Don't say yes to every 'work for free' offer in return for 'exposure' that comes your way. Only commit to those projects you are passionate about. Limit the number you do. You cannot pay your rent with 'exposure'.

** Get out and make connections with potential clients. Be on the look out for projects. Connect with businesses you like. Showing your work in context is valuable. 
I exhibited at an art trail early this year, and it was a very valuable day for me, both from sales and exposure. 
**  Be open to opportunities when they come along and spread your potential opportunities. Link into tenders.

** Expand your business and diversify - workshops, artist talks, posters, prints, greeting cards, TShirts, homewares. (I do this through Red Bubble). Diversifying will help make your business sustainable.

**  If a project is not working, walk away and come back later. Don't self-sabotage yourself. Just because you are having a bad day doesn't mean your whole life is going to be like this.

** Don't overshare and don't be a slave to social media.  Go in, look, comment, and then get out of there!Yes, you need to connect with your followers, but be careful of how much time you spend on social media, as it is sucking up productive time.
** Pricing is difficult, find a balance. Time is difficult to charge, but don't undercut yourself, and don't go cheap on materials you purchase. 

** Everyone is busy, so do follow up on quotes you have given. Don't overspend on marketing, schedule your time, support local and build relationships.  

And in the meantime, keep the pot of inspiration brewing.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you are an artist, I hope you have found something valuable in these little hints. Is there something you do that has worked well for your art business? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Eco-prints on paper
All Seasons
Mosaic Monday 
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here -


  1. Such a lot of good advice there, Jill, which is sure to propel your business even further. I'm quite taken by those leggings but unfortunately my figure isn't svelte enough!

    1. Life Images by Jill14 August 2018 at 13:13

      Thanks Maggie. About the leggings, I buy 2 sizes large and wear a long top over the top.

  2. Wonderful advice. The workshop sounds like it was worth the time and fun!

    1. Life Images by JIll14 August 2018 at 13:14

      It certainly gave me a few ideas to move forward

  3. There are lots of sensible tips here. I love your leaf prints. In the past, I've had an Etsy shop, but find marketing so difficult. I'm happy teaching. When I retire I would like to do more artwork, but probably not for sale.

    1. Life Images by Jill14 August 2018 at 13:17

      I think the marketing is the hardest thing. And thank
      you, printing with leaves is absorbing and fascinating. You don't know what you will end up with.

  4. This is wonderful information. My son is an artist and he would much rather paint than work on the marketing side of his job. I love seeing some of your ideas...those pillows are absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Life Images by Jill14 August 2018 at 13:18

      Yes, I think marketing and accounting is on the other side of our brain from being creative! And thank you for your comment about the pillows. You can buy through Red Bubble. Lots of designs!

  5. Jesh - All Seasons14 August 2018 at 07:43

    Hello Jill,
    That's a great post how to get an art business going, Jill:) Especially the comment that "there's always someone better than you!" and finding and making use of your niche is a great advise.!
    I was fortunate I could do painting on the side while having a job.
    Thank you Jill for sharing your experience in this as a photographer with All Seasons! Enjoy your week! Jesh

    1. Life Images by Jill14 August 2018 at 13:20

      I think in my working life my brain was too tied up with working, children and aging parents to be creative. I'm so glad I've come back to it now.

  6. Art is entwined in everything, from what we wear, to what we do, to what we see in nature all around us. It was lovely to stop here and see your creativity in words and deeds displayed. Thanks for sharing your world. :)

    1. Life Images by Jill14 August 2018 at 13:21

      Thank you for stopping by. It was lovely to "meet" you and see your creativity too over on your blog today.

  7. Hello Jill, great tips and advice. You are talented, the pillows are pretty. I love the leggings too. I wish you well with your business. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

    1. Thank you Eileen. The pillows and leggings and all sorts of things are available on Red Bubble. Just click on my link :)

  8. Jill, Thanks for passing along those helpful tips. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  9. Lovely photos and art work and wonderful helpful ideas ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  10. You got a lot of good advice. Love the photos.

  11. Jill - I am not a working woman any more, but I still gleaned some kernels of wisdom from this that I can use in my retirement. Thanks!

    1. excellent! I'm glad you can use some of the hints. I am "supposed" to be retired, but my retirement has taken me in new and exciting directions!

  12. Lovely capture . Please tell something about my capture on my blog.

  13. WednesdayAroundTheWorld - it’s always a pleasure.

  14. Fabulous tips, as an indie writer, I am my business. Yes, I much prefer the creative side, but the fact is I can't continue to create unless the business is looked after. When I was doing some freelance work, the one that annoyed me the most was the idea that you'd invest your time and energy for a by-line. There's a time when that is ok, but then a line needs to be placed in that piece of sand.

  15. I'm a big fan of your artwork Jill. You are extremely talented. I must agree that you do need to stop comparing yourself to others and develop your own individual style. I wish I had more time to pursue my arty crafty side. Maybe when I'm fully retired! #TeamLovinLife

  16. Beautiful artwork I love the eco art. Have bookmarked your page for future reference.
    stopping by from the LovinLife linkup.

  17. This is great stuff. Love it! I had a client once who wanted to turn her photos into products. This post would have been so helpful for her. That was years ago and she's since retired and is traveling the world. But I should bookmark this in any case. Those flower cushions are incredible!

  18. Seeing a child holding a book, lost to the world around them, is a sight to see oh the places they'll go. I loved to read about the Famous Five and their adventures too, and have some 1950's vintage copies ticked away on a shelf still. I do hope that you'll share the list with the MM crowd this week, the link is now open.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.