Irrigating the Fields of Art


    This post is by guest author  Keith Bond. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the   FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 70,000 subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.



    Here in the Western United States, water is scarce and is not to be taken for granted.  In most cases, annual precipitation is far from adequate for growing crops.  From home lawns and gardens to large fields of corn or sugar beets, irrigation is necessary to grow just about anything.

    To get water to farms, a series of aqueducts, canals, pipes and ditches carry the water away from rivers and reservoirs to feed the thirsty ground.  The otherwise dry landscape has become green and lush.  This diversion of water results in a blossoming of the desert – and food for millions of people. 

    In areas without irrigation, scant vegetation exists except along rivers and streams or at higher elevations where the snow pack doesn’t melt until mid summer.

    Let’s compare your art to the rivers and streams of the West.  Depending upon where you are in your career, you may be a small stream or a raging river.  In either case, there is some degree of success.  Just as there is some sustaining of life from the flowing water.  Something always grows along the banks of the water.  The further you grow in your career, the more success you will find.  Just as larger rivers sustain more life than smaller streams.

    But, the success you will find is limited to a relatively small proximity – whatever grows next to the river.

    Imagine your art business with a network of reservoirs, canals and ditches. How much fertile soil is there to be watered and cultivated? How much more success could you find? How do you dig those ditches? What kind of crops can you grow?

    A few examples:  teach workshops; mentor; consult; curate shows; sell prints, books, or cards of your work; sell instructional books or DVDs; write; do web design; illustrate; lecture; license your art; etc.  Maybe the irrigated fields include diversifying the venues for selling your work.

    You need not do all these things, but it is wise to have more than one source of income.  Diversify.  Use your strengths to find ways that you can provide a service or products to fill a need.  What can you offer that your fans want?

    There will be times when your river seems to be flooding and you will be creating and selling ‘til your heart’s content.  But there will be other times when droughts come and your river will be reduced to a trickle or may dry up completely for a season.  If you have a network of irrigation canals tied into a reservoir, you can still find success and income even if your artwork isn’t selling as well.

    What crops have you irrigated beyond the banks of the river?

    Best Wishes,

    Keith Bond




    Editor's Note:

    Today's post is an updated version from a few years ago, but we're republishing it again today because it's still a timely and a very relevant message. Enjoy!


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