Category Archives for "Art as a business"

Build a business like you build your art — Art a Business

Inside to out planning PTLARTS


Now unlike many amazing characters on the internet, I am not able to offer you a quick win. The issue for me has been searching for a place in my heart that is aligned to working online with my artwork.

So it is interesting that most people decide in a few seconds whether they want to continue to stay on an image whilst browsing on the internet. There are some great guys on the screen who shock you into watching them and then convince you that there answer to your problem is in their domain and if you hang in there you will get some of it.

The reason there are not hundreds of artists trying to do that is I guess it just doesn’t fit. I notice even with my own paintings that it can take quite sometime before I really like them. I will be pleased that I have completed them but it takes time to build a relationship.

To a degree, this must be the same for most visual artists in the fine art arena.

Long term relationships build trust

So what do we do about this dilemna? I am coming to the conclusion that you do what I am doing now. Make attempts to build the relationships that will enable a growing number of people to see your work on a regular basis. Consequently, I am hoping that you will be one of those new friends that will be able to see my work more than once and appreciate it and maybe show someone else.

So this of course only one part of the business model. Let’s have a look at a summary of what I have been talking about in the videos up until this one.

So I have made this sheet to reflect the way I approach the beginning of a painting in my process of working.

I start from the middle of the canvas. So I have put Why in the middle of the canvas. This is few words to get me started.

Why – I do recommend checking out Simon Sinek on YT for his talk through the why on a business level. I put why in the middle because at times we can forget this. My why is that I want to do three things consistently in everything I do with my art practice


So Reveal your Brand or the artist within you. For your business brand is a great way to start because we all understand what that might mean. For an artist, it is useful always to generate new ideas. This could be a broad range of work to appeal to a wide audience.

We can reveal the talents we didn’t know we had. Maybe on video for example
Reveal our weak areas so that work can be done to become able to tackle new things

Let’s create value for ourselves and others.

Of course, take these points if you find them useful and expand on them. This will begin to open some doors in your heart.

inspire yourself- This may be different for each one of us. I enjoy watching inspirational videos and instructional ones too. I find it much easier to take it all in. Hence I do a blog and a video. It becomes important to allow our potential clients to have different ways of connecting with us

Inspire others – Online this can be content where you share your work and process

Create value for others — Content and selling them your work !!


Social media — Build up an understanding of how the platforms can work for you. Think BRAND and let your personality begin to shape your online presence. It is amazingly powerful when you come across someone who is willing to share their lives without banging on about taking your money.

Start to talk about your plans to those around you. Be surprised at yourself

1-2-1- connection with working artists.

So this is my first stab at showing you where I am going with this. I feel more confident in allowing time to get this show on the road. As an artist who has a desire to be at the centre of my workflow, this is a great option to use the incredible resource that we have right in front of us.

These are exciting times indeed


Art and Wellcare – Art a Business

Making Paintings improves my wellness

The advantages of making paintings have obviously improved my wellness. I had been pushing myself to exist in the economic growth environment and be one of the box-ticking members of society for a number of years.

During this time and on reflection, struggles were challenged. Many of these have been beneficial to the development of aspects of my character but not necessarily much use to my general health. This manifested as a heart attack that happened on Christmas day, 2013.

Here was a final call to action. Over the years a number of events occurred that most cognisant beings would have recognised as a loud call. My programming was what some might describe as a protestant work ethic. Others may discuss them as a clear case of denial.

Breakdown to Heart Failure

Ten years before the heart failure I had a breakdown. I was sitting staring at my computer in an office; frozen and pale. A work colleague came into my room took one look at me and suggested that I went home. I got in my car and burst into uncontrollable floods of tears. I hadn’t really slept properly for many years and my body was not producing the necessary chemicals to help me do this.

I was off work for quite a few months and decided that I should quit my job and do something different. I have three children who were at this point 6,8, and 10 years old. I made perfunctory explorations into more valuable means of supporting them. Then I went back to work on a part-time basis, still with the determination to change.

Quite quickly part of my consciousness decided that the job wasn’t that bad and after all, I knew how to get by. I then went back to full-time with the decision not to do any extra work. OH, that goal had a huge hole in the net. Before long I had a job with twice as much responsibility as the one that had put me in the situation to start with.


So clock forward 7 years and I had a seizure. Long story short nothing was diagnosed. I kept having minor episodes but this denial response continued.

Fortunately for me, two years later heart failure stopped me working. Even then my employers tried to get me back for a year. I had many times where I nearly did just that!!!! Amazing how strong this programming is.

At the same time, I started to draw and then paint. Amazingly I started to sell paintings. A light went on and I realised that if I applied myself at some point I could have a great life based on my artwork.

Time to Help Others

I set up a small business and to my credit, the first two years saw a small profit with no impact on my domestic costs. That was quite an achievement.

Last year I thought it would be cool to get online with my story and see what developed. So here I am with a new website that I have built

I am on the second iteration of a free online course that shares some of my ideas on how to paint. Through this process, I am beginning to feel that not only can I help people paint but I may also have the tools and personality to help people get their creative endeavours up and running.

At the same time, I hope to introduce people to the possibility of changing this wiring preferably at a quicker rate than it has taken me.


The Money Relationship – Art a Business

Changeable Country Watercolour

Reveal, Inspire and Connect

Over the last few articles, I have shared some of my thoughts on the subjects of revealing the artist within you. Also aspects of inspiring yourself and those around you as well as a discussion on what is relating to art and business.

Now I want to move to be more focussed on Building an Art Business. All of the advice is based on my journey so far. I am in the early stages of this journey and my intent is to inspire you to get out there. Already in the limited time that I have been challenging myself amazing changes in my outlook and general health and energy levels has taken place. Continue reading

Art and Relating part2 – Art A Business

More on Relating

Another spin around my studio in Brighton UK. It is a great town well now a small city. It is on the south coast of England about an hour directly below London.

There is a great spirit here that helps me, particularly in the creative process. Lots of people doing stuff that is out there and a definite buzz that I love. Actually, I prefer to be here than anywhere else. Continue reading

What makes us happy in life? – Art a Business

Minimal watercolour

When it comes to our well-being, other people matter.

Evidence shows that good relationships – with family, friends and our wider communities – are important for our mental wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing means feeling good about ourselves and the world around us and functioning well.

Building stronger, wider social connections can help us feel happier and more secure, and give us a greater sense of purpose. Continue reading

Inspire Others – Art a Business

EPSON scanner image

Inspire – Does it Help?

Often, the word inspire is included in posts, blogs and podcasts as it is inherently positive. Maybe, like many terms used in the age of self-improvement, it has become a little tired. Like all overused expressions, the full consequences of it has become confused.

With copious attempts to help us buy into someones proven method; is it possible that we feel inadequate when we have not inspired anymore.

Time to buy yet another course to enable us to regain this inspiration. Have I become jaded with the advent of exploitation or similar endemic human behaviours.

We are all Human – After all

There is no point getting away from the fact that we are all human beings. Talking of making art some may say that they are unable to create as they no longer feel inspired.

Not being inspired is one’s own responsibility and it may be possible that taking the action to make some art will change this negative tendency linked with inspiration.

As a thought perhaps if there was no inspiration in the first place then nothing would happen? After all much of our human activity is a creative act.

Back to making paintings, as it is my present occupation. To be successful in the completion of a satisfactory piece of work embracing all of my human frailty is part of the finished product.

I would like to say that when I have done this a few times the battle becomes much easier. Strangely the battle just becomes all the more familiar.

We can Create and Change

Inspiration comes and goes like the wind but human existence is an amazing plethora of emotion and all of it is wonderful. I am being careful not to label this as an inspiration.

If you want to be inspired painting pictures is an effective way to experience it. However, you will experience many other things on the journey

-Patrick Turner-Lee

Price you Artwork — Art a Business

So my first question is how valuable is your time. It is interesting, , isn’t it? Many of us go to work for years and get paid an hourly wage. This can vary and we can lose sight of the time, our life, that is employed in earning someone else a lot more money than we are getting.

Some artists say that they can’t make a piece of work unless they are inspired. I will look at this in some articles later on but on the pricing artwork angle, I would say make art and then get inspired. Put the horse before the cart.

There are so many things that I can do towards growing an art practice that are NOT about making paintings but enable me to approach my work with more confidence. So the approach of waiting to be inspired is not one that I aspire too.

I want to look at 3 points today about pricing artwork.


It is common for the size of a piece of work to dictate the price. As you probably know this is not always a true reflection of the work involved in making the work. Small pieces can take months to complete, whereas large ones can be a lot simpler to create.

In most cases, the materials do not have to play a great part in the overall final fee but sometimes they will be an important factor.

Sometimes, of course, it is difficult to put a price on the time you spent doing something. I tried for a while keeping a note of how long it takes to make a painting. As I am sure you all know this varies. What has improved is my understanding when to say okay that’s it move on.

Invariably I have sold two different paintings for the same price when I am well aware that one took me a lot longer than the other.

This is our secret, however. Equally the client or customer usually will have no idea how long it has taken. They have connected with it that is the most important thing.

In reality though if you have genuinely put 100hrs into a piece of work then that is worth a lot of money.

Now it must be time to think about making some work that takes less time. This will be your medium or low-cost items.

I have recently started to make Watercolour paintings and plan to sell them at the lower end of my price scale. All the time you do these assets is building in your portfolio.

Also involved in all considerations is the flight path of your business of selling your own paintings.

Revenue Streams

I have recently started to make Watercolour paintings and plan to sell them at the lower end of my price scale. All the time you do these assets is building in your portfolio.

Ideally, you want to start thinking of different revenue streams here are some of my planned revenue streams.

Gift cards — Some of my images are ideal some not
Postcards — Useful free offer as well for hardcopy ads

Watercolours — Originals and prints with mounts and frames if required (learn how to do you own it is doable)

Prints — Of all paintings some as Giclee limited edition

Portraits — Already done like Hendrix etc..
Portraits Commission — More cost of course
Landscapes — Already don
Landscapes Commissions

Tee shirts — sold some with Hendrix and Miles Davis already also good advertising

Other merchandise etc……

There we go something to think about. It is exciting when you let yourself think about it !!!!!!!!


ART a BUSINESS – Be yourself. You already have the Value


So let’s look at three things about making a business out of our art based on reveal

1. Artist within you

So this is like a brand if you like. There are plenty of examples of brands aren’t there. In fact, we are bombarded with brand advertisements all day long. Even if we like to think we have not interested it is in fact unavoidable. It’s amazing how things stick in our mind and we take them on board to be true.

An example for me is skiing. Now I have never been skiing and it’s not my bag. I don’t like falling over or being on slippery things or being high up and dangling. So my insight actually comes from watching James Bond movies when I was a kid. Where they race off-piste down a hill whilst shooting at each other.

Now I thought that the locals in the films: the Austrian Sound of Music types must have been downhill skiing for centuries. It never occurred to me of course that getting to the top of the mountain would take a lot longer than going down.

Also, why would you want to do that? Turns out it was the good old Brits who decided it was a good idea and of course it needs loads of mechanics to get you to the top of the hill.

Clients can believe what they wish

As you see I am not an expert. The point I am illuminating is that I believed something to be true that clearly wasn’t and what’s more nobody told me that skiing downhill was an ancient skill either. Hence brands.

So the beauty of it is if you decide you have a brand and present it in a certain way then customers or clients will believe what they wish.

Being successful in the art business is really as simple as that — a matter of getting to know the cornerstones of marketing art, selling art, photographing art, and displaying art.

Whether you deliver the goods, of course, is the next step and so to point two

2. Quality and Value

First of all, you can at attract attention if you choose to present your brand as an expert in your chosen topic. Next thing is when you eventually get them interested in your offer you need to be able to deliver what you have promised.

Now, this can be a sticking point. Certainly with art objects and the artist it can be the hardest part of the process. For me, to look at the object as a container of value and that is what you are providing for your customer, works. Equally an exchange of energy in the form of money becomes relevant to the value. So the object is worth the value of the object you have made.

There we go back to Authenticity. Long-term being true to yourself will help you be clear in what you do and don’t accept as the value of your work. For me this is changing for the better everytime I have the experience of an exchange.

Actually, when a customer is really happy with what I make for them, it can’t be beaten. The rest of the transaction falls into a healthy place when I fully appreciate the sincerity of a happy customer.

So more observations to come. This is really talking about objects and art, which for the creator is almost like having an offspring. I have not been in sales ie selling other peoples products but I have sold my paintings. It is amazing and I wouldn’t swap it for the world!!!

Patrick Turner-Lee


To help me come to a deeper understanding I am undertaking a 90 Challenge

So I am digging deeper into the why do Art what is behind our desire to create

More discussion around the self in this process of Art a Business. As anyone knows who makes art at times the self can feel particularly vulnerable when sharing work. It is like exposing part of the self that has never been shown before. With more practice we transform this into strength.