'All of creation is but a poor imitation of God's ideal. And man, when making art, only creates imitations of imitations.' — Plato [paraphrased]
Today — 2,000 years after Plato's assertion -- art is 'Expressive,' this means it is a representation of the artist's innermost self. And too there's 'Formalism,' which means an artwork's worth is based on its medium, technique, color, etc. And then there's 'Aestheticism,' art created solely to be beautiful. These theories can compartmentalize any artwork but what is art really?
Most of us are beaten over the head with tons of visual imagery everyday by what's called commercial art or graphic design, which we have little if any education on the subject thereof.
Public schools today don't teach theories or philosophies to define visual things. In fact the general public is very much estranged from the academia of art hence deserting it's intellectuals. And so we're left to interpret a vast visual world using crude notions based on whatever is commercial, repetitive or if it simply resonates with us on a some basic level. We believe photorealism and/or large scale art equals sophistication. We're convinced that western art is more distinguished or meaningful than non-western artwork. And these are absurdities.
Art is so much more than something created in a medium using some style. It is more than a big size and having an origin in some place. And short of Plato's historical reverence, art does not have to be an imitation of an imitation. I challenge you to see that art is symbolism, psychology, action, historical record, civilization, science and last but not least, imagination. Art is the breadth of all these things and the depth of your views concerning them. Art is what differentiates animal from mankind and mankind from Gods. Good luck on your personal journey.
Focus your craft.
Try not to be too many things at once. In one sentence, define yourself as an artist, i.e., “I’m a fine artist who specializes in women’s custom jewelry — using materials such as stone, metal, and wood;" or "I’m an illustrator who specializes in sequential art — doing storyboards and penciling for comic books.”
Target your buyers.
An example: Electronic art, with monitors, wires, unrecognizable audio loops and red paint splashed over its display for effect, likely won’t be as celebrated in a gallery that shows mainly American western-art. In other words, aim for your target by making your art visible to those it's intended to reach.
Your name is everything.
A professional artist is a businessperson and your name is your brand. If you don’t want to represent your art by your birth name, you can of course do business under an assumed name (dba).
Logos are for professionals.
As a pro, you’ll definitely benefit from having a logo. It can be fancy or plain; tasteful or raunchy; conservative or comical; discreet or bold; mysterious or obvious and colorful or not. It’s all on what you hope to communicate when it’s seen. And take to heart, that a logo will be the first thing people remember about your business.
Now you’ll need business cards, which display your logo, to communicate that you are legitimate. You’ll also need them printed on invoices; receipts; catalogues; portfolios; toolkits; websites; brochures; flyers; postcards; disc covers; smocks; banners; table skirts; posters; decals and more.
Where to use the tools.
Network with other artist. Join art groups. Rent booths at fairs to display your work as well as solicit business. Send out press releases about your upcoming shows and/or events. Offer workshops at recreation centers. Purchase database software so that you can begin a mailing list and index contacts. And be certain to add notes to names about the dates and places you met.