I began my art career in 1998 in Omaha, Nebraska. I did very well there financially as well as spiritually as a full time artist.
I had shows on a continual basis and sales went quite well for me. But when I moved to a rural area in Oklahoma about two years ago, I found that art enthusiasm is practically nonexistent. To find a place to show art here is next to impossible, even in alternative venues such as bookstores, restaurants, libraries, etc. Since I have lived in Oklahoma most shows that I could possibly attend were too far to travel to and with the expense of fuel that has risen to major highs it has made traveling on a regular basis almost impossible. If you should ship art to the destination, the cost is almost unbearable to comprehend. After awhile I found my only resource to sell or show my art was on the internet. But you still have to deal with shipping costs, even though that normally is absorbed by the buyer.
Even though my sales have picked up some on the internet, it still is not up to par as it was when I had real time art shows. I also miss the fact of not having that people connection that you get when you have a live art show. I enjoy the art openings, being able to have someone look at your art, seeing their expressions and hearing their comments is a high in itself. You lose that entire thrill with the internet. Even though at times on the internet people are able to comment on your work you still can’t see their faces or catch their live reactions to your art. It may sound like I am complaining but I am not, I just miss the art atmosphere of the bigger cities. When I had shows getting that one-to-one personal reaction always gave me inspiration and ideas of what I could possibly do as my next project. Not that I don’t get inspired now or know what my next project might be, it is just different possibly because I don’t know what the public wants as much as I did before.
Before I began my art career, I had been in all kinds of management and sales even owning my own businesses, but I find that the art business has to be one of the hardest to sell to the public. You can make a decent living with your art on the internet, but at times it may be a struggle just like any other business. If you stay at it and work hard it turns out to be worthwhile. But I will not give up on getting live art shows and gallery representation, though I realize that may not be a reachable goal at this time. All I do, as you should do as an artist that wishes to promote and sell your art, is never give up finding new avenues to accomplish these feats. Have faith and prosper!