Learning the business of art

Embracing new technology is a necessary ingredient in any business plan, and the art world is no exception, according to Moe artist Sharon Anderson.

Moe-based artist Sharon Anderson stresses the importance of lateral thinking when trying to make a living off art. photograph anne simmons

Moe-based artist Sharon Anderson stresses the importance of lateral thinking when trying to make a living off art. photograph anne simmons

"That is what you've got to do in business ... evolve and change your business to suit what is going on around you," Ms Anderson said.

"You have to think laterally in business. You don't have one set thing in your mind and think 'if I don't achieve this then I can't look at anything else'."

Ms Anderson works in a studio behind her Newborough shopfront and will be partly running Churchill Neighbourhood Centre's upcoming course Art Business to help creative types understand how to live off their passion.

She will work in partnership with the centre's Pauline Garood who will share her expertise in the online world while Ms Anderson will tie it all into the local art landscape.

Ms Anderson entered the creative industry during the '80s when screen-printing was a main route artists could take for income and joined the Art Resource Collective which grew the gallery arc Yinnar.

"I was able to use my art skills to design the screen-printed logo for people or clubs or schools ... and therefore make a living out of it – a small, modest living, mind you," Ms Anderson said.

Once sign writers became the ones who made banners and computers did all the heavy lifting for posters, she gradually reduced her amount of screen-printing and turned to teaching art workshops.

"I've had my ups and downs of course but I know a lot of other artists as well that have done really well and I can offer suggestions on who to speak to and organisations to go to," Ms Anderson said.

An online presence is essential to Ms Anderson and through the internet she has connected with people from all around the world.

"I've had commissions from people from the United States and England and that would never have happened 20, 30 years ago," she said.

"You need to let people know regularly what you're doing. Just keep it happening regularly whether on Instagram or Facebook."

Art Business will be held over six Saturday workshops from July 28. Phone Churchill Neighbourhood Centre to register your interest on 5120 3850 or email info@churchill.org.au.

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