Home Books How to Make a Living as an Artist

How to Make a Living as an Artist

This book is written by one of the worlds best known full time professional artists who has succeeded in making his full time living for decades. Colin Ruffell was voted by world-wide members to head The Fine Art Trade Guild as ‘Master’ in 2008.


How to Make a Living as an Artist by Colin Ruffell

First published in 2005, now in 4th edition.

Early edition available here

Details of the new edition can be seen here.

Colin Ruffell F.R.S.A.

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.

Colin Ruffell F.R.S.A.
Colin Ruffell F.R.S.A.

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.

Exhibitions in;

England, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Germany, Holland, U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Venezuela, and Australia, plus works in private and corporate collections worldwide.

Published by;

The Art Group, Edinburgh Arts, London Contemporary Art, Ecosse Fine Art, Canadian Art Prints, Winn Devon, Hibell Japan, ArtSmile, and Crabfish Ltd., and on ArtPublish.

He likes cooking, drinking, eating, playing with his grandchildren, and talking about the archeo-psychic ego state or biological determinism, and he also goes bird watching. He has been a pioneer of changing techniques for artists. In the early sixties he was one of the first British art-students to use the then revolutionary medium of artists acrylic paint, and he has been a consistent advocate ever since. In the nineties he spotted the potential of giclee printmaking, and the Internet as exhibition space. His enthusiasm led The Fine Art Trade Guild to choose him firstly as a Court Member and then as Chair of The Guilds Printers and Publishers Committee, and in 2008 worldwide members of the Guild elected him to be ‘The Master of The Guild’, where he is involved in setting worldwide standards for the fine art industry.

His pictures are varied. He paints in many styles. Some images are childlike and amusing, others are traditional landscapes and cityscapes, and yet more are complex modernist abstract relationships of colour, texture and shape. He claims that he paints in explosive bursts, necessarily punctuated by long spells of getting ready or recovery from the last effort.


Small, medium, or big art…

Big art, middle size art, or small art? This blog is about the benefits and problems that painters have when they choose...


One of the reasons that I was interested in becoming an artist when I was just a teenage schoolboy was that artists...


WEDNESDAY’S JOB – part 1 … by Rachel Brown Administration – love it or hate it – it’s got to...

Sale or Return issues

SALE OR RETURN ISSUES. Recently I received an email order from one of the art galleries that has been showing and selling...

Sketches or photographs as reference

Sketches or photographs as reference.... I paint cityscapes, among other things, and I want to base my paintings on real views. So in my studio...