Proven Habits of Successful Artists

by Carolyn Edlund

Are you looking to take your art business to the next level? Incorporate these habits into your daily practice and watch your business grow.



Doing business successfully isn’t an accident. It’s often the result of regular habits that together work to earn the artist publicity, acclaim and the support of collectors. Here are some practices we see that are common for artists who have built solid businesses:


Success in the art business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, dedication, and perseverance. Successful artists understand this and stay committed to their craft for the long haul.

A Business Mindset

While creating art is a deeply personal and creative endeavor, for entrepreneurial artists it is also a business. They take the time to understand their customer and know why they buy. They take time to plan their marketing, understand how to price correctly, and know how to close a sale.


Successful artists are always working to enhance and upgrade their professional reputation. This involves consistently producing high-quality work, engaging with their audience, and participating in exhibitions and events. A well-written CV not only adds credibility to an artist in business, it establishes the popularity and desirability of their work.

Active Promotion

Successful artists don’t rely on galleries or others to promote their work. Instead, they take an active role as the CEO of their own business. That may involve social media, email marketing, advertising, press outreach, or personal networking. Even those artists who delegate marketing tasks understand their core message and make decisions to move their business forward.

Community Engagement

Being part of the arts community is crucial for success. Successful artists are active in multiple art associations, building connections, and giving back to the community.


Business can be tough. The market may fluctuate. Rejection is a common occurrence. Successful artists are resilient, recovering quickly from setbacks and staying focused on their goals.

Support Network

Behind every successful artist is a strong support network. Whether it’s family, friends, or mentors, having people who encourage and believe in your artistic endeavors is invaluable.

An Evolving Body of Work

Successful artists understand the importance of having a strong portfolio. They consistently create new and exciting work, which is released to their waiting audience. It’s also important to put together collateral to showcase new art to galleries, collectors, and enthusiasts.

Effective Time Management

Managing the various tasks involved in running an art business can be challenging. Successful artists prioritize their time effectively, focusing on tasks that contribute to their artistic growth and business success.

Continuous Improvement

Successful artists never rest on their laurels. They are constantly seeking to improve their skills and promote their art. Whether it’s through workshops, classes, or self-directed practice, they are always pushing themselves to grow.

Emotional Balance

Artists who are successful in business accept what is without getting too high or too low. There will always be ups and downs to navigate, and change is inevitable. They stay the course with an eye set firmly set on long-term goals rather than short-term events.

How many of these habits do you practice? Take a moment to reflect on those areas where you excel and also where you could improve. Consider how adopting these practices could help you overcome some of the challenges you are facing in your own creative business.



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