Making Art on the Road
I have been crisscrossing the country over the last 20 years making a decent living as a traveling artist. While this lifestyle may not be for every artist, it might just be the right move for your career, no matter what stage you are in.
Watching Paint Dry
Why is watching art being created so appealing to so many people? There are litterally hundreds of reasons why, which explains its popularity. The number one reason is that most people for one reason or another feel they have no artistic talent whatsoever. Whether this is actually true or not is irrelevant. The end result is the same, genuine appreciation.
Selling the Experience of Art
In order to have any degree of success as a traveling artist, you need to approach the creative process as a performance rather than a simple means to an end. When developing your performance you should embrace your natural personality. If you are shy, play on that by wearing a mask while you work. If you are comfortable around large crowds let loose, be spontaneous. In either case, interacting with spectators is a major part of the show.
Identify Your Client Base
No matter how you market your art, knowing who your potential clients are is a critical step in the process. Keep in mind, your artwork is likely to have a greater appeal when presented to a larger audience. When deciding who to target, be mindful to seek out groups that can afford to pay for your services. Targeting groups with little disposable income is the number one mistake many artists make when marketing their artwork. Don’t be afraid to reach out to existing clients to share your new service.
Traveling to new locations, seeing new sights and meeting new people top off my list of benefits of this unique lifestyle. I would also add that this lifestyle will expose you to a much larger audience than that of a traditional artist. Having the opportunity to expose yourself to a wider audience can have life changing results by opening up opportunities you never imagined.
This lifestyle does come with its share of issues. How you respond to these challenges will determine if this is path is right for you. Travel is not always glamorous and you may not like it if it separates you from your loved ones for extended periods. Also you need to be a good problem solver to deal with the inevitable problems that arise when operating in a new location week after week. Artist with food allergies may find that life on the road can wreak havoc on your body. I have personal experience in this area and will be posting an article in the near future to explain how I deal with this obstacle. Spoiler, it has to do with 49 lbs of prepared food in my checked baggage!
Thoughts and Comments
Are you considering this lifestyle or currently living this dream? Either way, I would live to hear your thoughts and comments below. Sean Fitzpatrick is the founder and owner if Fitzysnowman Studios a full service mobile artist service specializing in sand sculptures, 3D street paintings, pumpkin carvings and snow and Ice carvings.