Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pencil portrait art business advice

Letter I received (edited)
Dear Darla,
I am an incarcerated artist with 25 years experience drawing pencil portraits from photos. I am due to be paroled this August to the Las Vegas area. However, my goal is to find a job in the arts-related field, so, if the pursuit of that job leads me elsewhere, so be it.  I'm excited and nervous as to what prospects may lie ahead.
I have a business/marketing degree that will be of some help, and a lot of creative energy to apply to any endeavor.
If you happen to have any more information that would be helpful to a person in my situation, please let me know.
Thank you for your time and help.
Dear RH,
Thank you for your nice letter. It is a good idea to be researching what you can do.
I think the best information I can give you is to tell you what you can expect. I have been creating pencil portraits by commission for about 12 years now. The best year I have had, I grossed $8,000. That is, before taxes and expenses. I am not saying this to be discouraging, but to give you an idea of what you can realistically expect.
I augment this income by writing, affiliate marketing and pay-per-click marketing. That brings about $2,000 a year.
This income helps me stay home with our kids. Also realize that because I am spending a lot of time raising children, I do not have as much time to devote to my art as you might.
Portraits may be something you can do to bring money in while you look for a job, and when you get a job, you can do portraits in the evenings and on weekends.
The art example you sent me is very good and you definitely should work on getting into an art-related field to stay positive and fulfilled.

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