HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS AN ARTIST

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‘HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS AN ARTIST’ was the title of my first book.

It’s about ways to succeed in the professional art business and was published in 2005.

How to make a living as an artist

The book was aimed at amateur, or part-time artists, and art students, who wanted to explore the possibilities of selling enough of their art to let them break free from the humdrum shackles of ordinary life.

As a full time professional artist I based the book on my own experience, which at that time had been about forty-years.

It was inspired by the reaction I had from giving a series of talks and seminars at Fine Art Trade Guild events.

The FATG is an international trade organization with artist, art dealer, publisher, and gallery members. I had served on the Board as a Chairperson of the Printers and Publishers Committee for a few years, and the Guild had asked me to share my methods and insights on various occasions.

 

'How to Make a Living as an Artist' by Colin Ruffell
‘How to Make a Living as an Artist’ by Colin Ruffell

The book is now currently in its fourth revised edition re-named as ‘Art Biz Secrets part one’.

Art Biz Secrets part one by Colin Ruffell
Art Biz Secrets
part one
by Colin Ruffell

 

And I have recently released a follow up called … ‘Art Biz Secrets part two’.

The new book is aimed at artists who want to be more business-like in their art practice. So it’s focus is about marketing and successful selling and becoming more established.

Art Biz Secrets part two by Colin Ruffell
Art Biz Secrets
part two
by Colin Ruffell

THE SELF PUBLISHING REVOLUTION.

In ‘Art Biz Secrets part two’ I write about the quite amazing developments that have occurred over the last couple of decades in the art world. The rise of opportunities for artists to publish prints of their artwork really has changed everything. Artists can now print the highest quality prints on demand, and publish them online, and sell them to a worldwide audience. Plus they can now choose to do it alone, or in groups, which avoids the restraints of having to use established galleries or gatekeeper publishers.

The difference in book publishing over the 12 year interim since I first published ‘How to Make a Living as an Artist’ is also quite startling. Nowadays an author can write and easily publish a book without going through the long tedious process of finding gatekeeper agents who in turn will find printer publishers. And it is all due to technology. Amazon now sell more books through the Kindle app than other paper and ink books.

THE BENEFITS.

The online Kindle publishing revolution has many benefits to authors and readers alike.

For readers the benefits are mind blowing. The difference in price is quite extraordinary. My books are for sale at $2.99 in the US or £1.99 in the UK. Click here to see.

Plus the modern Kindle reader can get an instant download in just one click on Amazon. And even better there are zillions of books about so many niche subjects that would not have been viable for the paper and ink market. It is now possible to search for a very specific topic in the non-fiction sections without needing to travel to specialist bookshops and scouring dusty shelves. Reading on Kindle means that you can store and read on your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer very quickly.

For authors the whole publishing process is also much faster. After writing, proofing, and preparing the digital file, the author can submit to Kindle and have their writing on sale within hours instead of months or years. The demise of gatekeepers has meant that we don’t ever again need to suffer 120 rejections before finding a publisher.

Authors now get a much better percentage of the sale turnover as well. And Amazon provide for a world-wide market of billions of people. So we can expect to supply a very specific and special audience and still get enough total return to justify the long process of creating the books.

I am now experiencing the benefits of Kindle publishing as both a reader and an author. And for some years I have enjoyed being able to paint, print and publish my images. There are obvious parallels between publishing on Kindle and printing art. Making the most of new innovation is what my latest book is all about, amongst other things.

So if you happen to be an artist, or know an artist, that wants to move from expensive hobby to part or full-time selling artist, then hello!

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Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived. He qualified from two Art Colleges in painting, design and printmaking, and the Open University in psychology and aesthetics, plus he has a reasonably clean driving license. He has founded, led or organised the following; Spectrum Studios, Artists in Action, Bayswater Road Artists Association, 9-Plus Artists Group, Buckingham Fine Art Ltd., Brighton Artists Workshop, European Fine Art Ltd., The Fine Art Trade Guild, The Fiveways Artists Group, and Crabfish Ltd.

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