Much of the trouble in art sales and in artists’ finances in general comes from misusing the word “should.” You “should” say “yes” to every offer. You “should” do your best not to make waves. You “should” keep your boundaries flexible. But it could be that all these “shoulds” are keeping you from the art sales and wealth you should enjoy.

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Art sales and the topic of finances

If the topic of finances terrifies you, remind yourself of this: you can have wealth, and you deserve wealth through your art sales. Before you open your bills or online accounts, make up an amount that’s

in your account. Say thank you for all that is perfect and wonderful in your life. Say thank you for the tiniest progress you have made. Then proceed with your finances. Shift your energy.

On this topic of finances, it is also important to set limits. Many people are so fuelled by the desire for money or the need to please everyone that they say yes to every opportunity, for better or worse. If this is you, and you are tired of this, take a risk. Start saying no. Say no to clients who drain you and who want to take up all of your time with little results for you. Say no to gallery directors who want you to do all the work for an exhibition. Ask more for your services and, likewise, pay more to receive better services as well.

Hiring help for your office or studio can be complicated, but up front communication around expectations, desired outcomes, wages and estimates can reduce risk and make the experience less cumbersome. Artists often err on the side of creating a comfortable connection. It is more important to express your true expectations. Boundaries are essential at the start of any project, from public art to marketing projects and web design. And if confusion around scope occurs during a project, stop and say, “I need to be clear here. I had thought you were going to include this service in the estimate – did I get that wrong?” Clarity is important and will make the experience of hiring or collaborating with someone more comfortable overall.

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