This is something that I have googled at least 100 times since starting this entrepreneurial journey into the art world. I've read articles, books, and watched numerous YouTube videos that aim to help guide the budding artist on their way.
It's amazing to me that the business side of art was so absent during my studies in college, where (my family) spent a lot of money sending me to gain my education in art. I learned so much about the wonderful world of art, but nothing about the practical side of being a full-time artist in the world. This is an obvious flaw, because I was spit out the other side thinking I'd achieved something while the "real world" kept telling me that in all actuality I hadn't. This was something I realized while shooting to lock down some kind of art career and ending up in an unpaid internship.
Being an artist is a magical, amazing and completely enriching existence.
Making it as an artist is something else.
To make it as an artist, I believe you must be persistent, confident, determined, flexible, and willing to be vulnerable again and again. I tell me students that anyone and everyone can be an artist - it's all about belief. This is true. To make it as an artist, you need about 15% skill and creativity and 75% all the other stuff aforementioned.
This may sound shocking, but if you think about it all art is subjective anyway. If you call it art then it's art, and if you continue to make more of it that looks similar and believe in yourself enough to stand behind it - then you're halfway to making it.
There are a million resources out there, which tell you how to create the perfect Instagram, how to take stellar pictures for your website, how to network and gallery hop, how to sell prints online, and how to build your e-mail list, etc. etc. etc. All of these are good ideas and helpful tips.
I'm here to tell you that all of the above and more will work, but the most important aspects to being an artist is being persistent, creating work you're proud of, remaining determined, and believing in yourself.
That's it. As my dad always told me : Do what you love, the money will follow.