Skip to main content
Learn How to Start a T-Shirt Business using RedBubble, Society6 and TeePublic - Click Here
Affiliate link - Thank you for helping to keep this site free.

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 1: Introduction and Equipment

The Mobile, Independent Artist
Business Toolkit.

Introduction


Welcome to a new series of blog posts I'm embarking on that gets back to the roots of what this blog was first created for, discussing my own arts practice. A kind of behind the scenes look at what goes into creating my art.

More than that, I'm planning to write a new book based on this series of posts, which are about how to set yourself up as an Independent Artist, able to work from anywhere with an internet connection. This series will look at what you need, how to set your business up, what opportunities there are to earn money, and how to keep it all going.


I will admit that this system is not fully tested as being a viable path to a full time independent artist career so I will be practicing what I preach. These posts are recording my results as a kind of diary of progress. A proof of concept if you will. That said, I currently run an animation business that I can work from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection so, it's not all new territory.

As my art focus is on drawing, painting and animation, my business model will revolve around that. However, much of this could easily be ported over to other art forms and practices.

Follow along and get all the information for free. Should I progress to writing the book I'll let you know, as it may be handy to buy as a convenient reference once these posts start to get lost in my blog archive.

Equipment


To begin, let's look at what equipment you'll need i.e. the actual hardware. My aim is to create a completely mobile business that you could set up anywhere you have internet access. Why? Because it's easier to enjoy the fruits of your labor if you can choose your own hours and work from anywhere.

If you're a 100% digital artist you could literally carry all your equipment in a small backpack, carry bag or briefcase. If you want to keep a hand in traditional, hand created art you may need a bigger bag but nothing larger than a typical size suit case (unless you like working at particularly large scale).

So here's what I think you'll need:

Digital Artist


  • Tablet computer or laptop.
  • Mobile phone with camera and internet access.
  • Graphics Tablet and/or digital stylus.

Traditional Artist (Drawing and Acrylics Painter)


  • Tablet computer or laptop.
  • Mobile phone with camera and internet access.
  • Sketch book.
  • Portable easel.
  • Lead pencils and eraser
  • Five colors of acrylic paint (Red, Yellow, Blue, Black White).
  • Pre-primed and framed Canvas.
  • Paint brushes and palette.

Let's assume  that some of the equipment used by a traditional artist could be rounded up locally from wherever they are e.g. water, towels, new canvases etc. My list above is the essentials. If you have them, you're pretty much set to create an artwork.

Some of the equipment is fairly self explanatory so below is my thinking on those items I feel require further explanation.

Tablet Computer or Laptop


You can do so much from modern tablet computers like iPads these days. I personally own a Teclast X98 Air III Tablet PC with both Android and Windows 10 operating systems. It's the tablet I'll be using throughout this series. However you could do just as well with a laptop.

The main thing is to have something a bit more powerful than a phone, with a bit bigger screen to run the business through (even the bigger phone screens are too small to stare at for long periods). You also need something that can handle the graphics software you intend to use to either create your art or at least enhance the photos you take of your traditional art.

Mobile Phone with Camera and Internet Access


Without Internet access you don't have a business - or at least you're going to find it very hard to find opportunities to earn money. Whilst tablets and laptops are more than capable of being connected directly to the internet you're still going to need a phone so why not use that and connect your tablet or laptop to its Internet through wi-fi.

Phone camera's are much easier to take photos or video of your art with and are usually of higher quality than those built into tablets and laptops. As well there are a lot more accessories like tripods, lenses and more if you want to get creative. Some phone cameras are so good you could earn a living as a photographer using them.

Graphics Tablet or Digital Stylus


If you intend to create art directly into your tablet or laptop then one or both of these is going to make that process much easier (assuming you usually begin creating art by sketching ideas on paper). Both have a learning curve. You may not like either initially but stick with it and soon you'll be drawing as good as you do on paper with a pencil.

I have a WACOM Intuous 4 graphics tablet as well as a cheaper UGEE M1000L tablet (you can pick this tablet up for around AU$50.00). The WACOM is definitely nicer to draw on but the UGEE is perfectly fine too.

Graphics Tablet Glove.
I'm also experimenting with drawing directly on my Teclast Tablet screen using a stylus. I've tried many different styli and settled on the Adonit Jot Dash. This stylus doesn't have palm rejection but I that can be solved simply by wearing a special two fingered glove available specifically for artists who draw directly onto tablet screen monitors (not especially to solve palm rejection problems but more as a way to stop your hand from greasing up the surface). I specifically wanted a stylus that wasn't linked to any particular software like those that are bluetooth enabled.

Five Color Acrylic Paints


The equipment list for a traditional art path is fairly self explanatory except you may be wondering about why I've specified only five paint colors (the primary colors plus white and black)?

My reasoning here is that you want to be portable as possible. With this set of colors you can mix almost every other color you'll need, never get stuck with a color you barely use, and you only ever have to worry about replenishing the same five colors.

You may think that sounds crazy but I've been an acrylic artist for years and the only other color I've personally bought outside of the five is green - and that's because it came in a pack of six that had my other five colors.

Learning to mix colors will keep your costs right down and you will never have to store colors you bought once for a specific artwork and never used again.

---o ---oo--- o---

So there you have it. I'm sure there may be a few pieces of equipment I've missed but that's the point of this series. To really hash out the essentials of what's needed to start and run an independent artist business. Feel free to suggest anything I may have missed in the comments below.

Next week we'll look at the Business software you'll need to manage all the financial aspects of running your business.

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App. Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper. Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.  In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership. Braille App Trick List. One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression. There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by diff

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

Update on my Cheap Skateboard Weeks Later

TET with $20.00 Mambo, Department Store Skateboard. In my previous post and video titled Can You Learn the Basics on a Cheap Skateboard? I began an experiment to see if basic, department store skateboards are at least good enough for beginners to get their first taste of skateboarding without spending a lot of money. (Spoiler - they are). Grrr Dog Popsicle  Skateboard See more deck shapes Just to reinforce my point I decided to film a follow up video a few weeks later showing that my cheap skateboard is still holding up to learning the basics. Admittedly I'm not the most hardcore of learner skaters when it comes to hours spent on the board. On average I manage around thirty minutes to an hour, five days a week. The point is that the board is still holding up to the tricks I've been learning despite my weight being about 16 kilos heavier than the maximum weight recommended for the board (50 kilos). Unlike those Youtube skaters that almost seem like their

Elon Musk's Tesla Bot, Boston Dynamics Atlas, and Disney Imagineering's Baby Groot, Need to Get Together

The Tesla Bot. Elon Musk recently launched a robotics concept, the Tesla Bot, that would've been amazing except it was little more than that, a concept. As of writing this there is very little information on Tesla's website about the project, and Elon himself didn't really elaborate much in his very awkward launch presentation. I'm pretty sure he was winging it given how bad it was. However he did say they expected to have a prototype in about a year. While the concept definitely has its critics (who see humanoid robots as highly inefficient), the general idea is to create a robot that can adapt to and perform any task an actual human could do. Not unlike the robots in the movie iRobot . I don't doubt that, if anyone can make something that looks like the Tesla Bot concept, it's Tesla and Elon Musk. Tesla has been working on artificial intelligence (A.I.) systems for quite some time, most notably in their development of self driving cars. While their autonomous

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.