Christine is one of my staff who will shortly be graduating from University with a BFA Honours degree.

She’s approaching a crossroads in her life which has resulted in some pretty interesting conversations about “the art career”.

These conversations are pretty common for artists newly set free to fumble around and find their way in the art world.

They’re so common, in fact, that I thought I’d write them up and give them to you in a little series:

Conversations with Christine

Part I: Facing the Dip

“I don’t think I want to do art anymore.”

Really? WTF? 

I don’t believe it though… Christine starting working with us at 17 as a co-op student. She loved art then, has been making art her whole life, and went into fine arts at a prestigious Toronto area University.

She’s 2 months away from graduating… there’s something else going on here.

“I just don’t know what I’m going to do with it…”


Not Wanting vs. Not Knowing

Don’t confuse not wanting to do art with not knowing what you’re going to do with it once you graduate.

Those are two very different things.

You may legitimately not want to do art anymore… but it wont’ be an “I think” scenario – you’ll not want to do art in every fibre of your body…

“ugh… art.”

And you’ll know – no more art career for you, and there will likely be a passion brewing to take it’s place. You’ll have a new direction already forming.

The Art Institution Bubble

The alternative is The Dip that Seth Godin talks about in his book… The Dip.

Bubble MosaicYou’ve spent the last 4 years studying art, making art, living and breathing art with other art-minded people and all the ‘authorities’ supported and encouraged your art. You lived art in the artist bubble.

Now you’ve popped your head out of the art institution bubble and you have no idea what you’re going to do with your 3D installation degree.

Your program didn’t include any business courses to teach you how to run an art business.

Now you realize that you’ll need more than just kick ass sculpture skills to make a livelihood for yourself…


“I don’t think I want to do art anymore..”


That’s The Dip.

Your graduation from art school is just the beginning. Realize that now you have to learn an entirely new set of skills to make a viable art career for yourself.

If you don’t think you have what it takes to be an art entrepreneur (that’s all selling artists), then quit now. Go teach, go into science… go do something else. Now is the time to decide.

…you CAN do this. You don’t have to give it all up. There’s help. A lot of help…

 The Help

I’m here to help. Download my free Marketing Lab Foundations Mini-Course from the Library.

Or book me for a consult/strategy session to go over your art marketing plan. I LOVE the strategy part.

Alyson B. Stanfield at Art Biz Coach has been helping artists create viable careers for 10 years,

and The Art Licensing Blog by Tara Reed.

Carolyn Edlund at Artsy Shark is a great resource.

For those of you who need more artsy, soft sell art business and marketing options check out:

The Business Goddess eCourse, by Leonie Dawson, a SARK-ish path to business success. Don’t be fooled by all the colour and rainbows – this lady is doing a BIG business.

Real help. Real Art business plans to help you through the Dip.

Don’t give up on your art career because you lack the business side of success.

You can do this. We need you.

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