This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration BradHallArt.com


How to make your art commercial

If you're interested in making money doing your artwork, or making a living doing it, you will have to add learning about business and sales to learning about doing artwork. If you're in college right now, you may not see a business class included with your art major, but, really, you will need to learn it to make your art commercial.

I started doing freelance when I was about 19. I had no idea how to do it, I just knew that it would be great if I could never work for minimum wage again, and if I could make money doing what I love. And luckily, I did. And the luckiest thing that happened to me was to get motivational speaker +JOEL WELDON as a client. If you've ever been to one of his sales seminars, yes, those are my cartoons. I still have Joel as a client.


Here is how to start making your art commercial

• Sell your art. My first *sales* were in high school. If someone liked a drawing, I would see if they would be willing to swap something for it. One of my best *sales* was to some guy in high school who threatened to beat me up over some misunderstanding. Instead I drew a cartoon of him and we became friends. Now that's getting a good value! And I did cartoons for the school yearbook for two years, in exchange for all of the art materials I needed. That meant expensive illustration board, etc. No, I didn't get a *profit* from doing it, but it was wonderful to be working with a budget. If you've ever bought art materials, you know how expensive they can be. Nice to have it being paid for by someone other than me!

• Learn basic business practices. People are very fussy about spending money, as they should be. Learn how to do a quote, how to write an invoice. Learn how to handle a customer who thinks that your price is too high, etc. Sales is part of what commercial art is all about. If you don't know this stuff, someone is going to feel cheated, and that someone might be you.

When I started teaching at The Art Institute of Phoenix, I was surprised to learn how many people study a particular major and then never do it. I never doubted for a moment that I would be a commercial artist, and I made it my life, and my livelihood.

You can do this!