Thursday, September 3, 2015


Small Wave, oil on panel, 45 x 15 cm

There are two sides to the life of a professional painter: the artistic and the financial side. Most of the time the focus is on the artistic side, probably because it's the most interesting. But for the artist him/her self, the financial side can sometimes be pretty interesting too, especially in times of crisis. Gotta make a living...

I read that only 5% of the artists with a professional training can actually make a living selling their art. The remaining 95% have spouses with a job, or have a job themselves. That was my situation for quite a few years. I had a teaching job for three days a week. It wasn't until 2004 that I quit and started making a living as an artist. Great day for me. I loved teaching, but being my own man, making my own decisions is the best thing that ever happened to me. I still enjoy that freedom every day. But it comes with a cost: an unsteady income. If you want financial stability, you better find a different occupation.

I kept my head above water, during the economic crisis. The internet has been a great help. It enabled me to sell my work online (mostly oil sketches). Selling my tutorials would have been impossible without the internet.

Did the crisis affect my artistic decisions? Sure. I made far more small paintings, even when my heart went out to the larger formats. Gotta make a living...

The good news is that I had a great year so far. Sales are picking up, for the large formats in particular. Got some inspiring ideas for new paintings. I'll keep you posted.

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