Skip to main content

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.

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

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

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Launches Twitter Blue... FaceBook Probably Watching Very Closely

Elon Musk in a spaceship sending out a Tweet. Image by David Arandle + Mage.AI Most people who follow the news cycle are probably aware that tech billionaire, Elon Musk, bought the social media giant Twitter . While his overall goal is to make the platform a better experience with fewer bots, he's also invested in turning it into a network that actually makes rather than loses money. After firing a large part of Twitter's workforce, which former CEO, Jack Dorsey, has taken responsibility for by saying he grew the company too fast too soon, Elon launched Twitter Blue . The initial rumored price for Twitter Blue was US$20.00 per month but this has since been revised and set at US$7.99/per month.  Though on my own account in Australia the cost is AU$6.99 per month, which at the current conversion rate means I'm getting a considerable discount. The point of Twitter Blue, aside from offering a number of features not available to those on 'free' accounts, like longer twe

Rock'n'Rolls and My Driveway Skateboard Ramp Building tips

TET Rock'n'Roll attempt on a driveway quarter pipe. Whenever we have a fine sunny day during Winter in Australia I always try to take advantage of it by getting in some skateboarding, even if it's only in the driveway (not that I really skate anywhere else at the moment). In this driveway skateboard session video I didn't really have a plan for what I wanted to try so I started out by revisiting manuals on the world's smallest manual pad. From there I felt like skating my small quarter pipe, which I don't skate often on account of not being able to do anything on it beyond drop-ins and BS 50-50 stalls. However I do kind of feel Rock'n'Rolls are the trick I'm most likely to relearn next so today was the day to give them a real go. As I explain in the video I don't like people who half ass Rock'n'rolls by tapping the middle of the deck on the coping and turning back in. The trick looks super cool when done right with the back trucks pushed

Review: FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes

FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes I first saw FP's FINO skate shoes in a video by YouTube channel, Braille Skateboarding, titled, THE FIRST EVER NON NEWTONIAN FLUID SKATE SHOES!? As someone whose feet hurt and bruise relatively easily just from the basic tricks of skateboarding (Ollies, Pop Shuv-its etc.) the 90% absorption of impact energy selling point seemed like an ideal solution for minimizing my injuries. A day later I placed an order through FP's website . ​​ Ordinarily I wouldn't mention Customer Service but I can't let the lack of communication on my order slide. FP's website says to expect delivery within 7-14 days of your order. After close to two weeks, my order was still marked as being processed. I sent an email asking for any kind of update, to no response. A day or two later my order was marked as completed but still no signs of shoes in my mail? About two weeks later (just over a full month of placing my order) the shoes arrived. I'm sur

Regardless of Whether You Believe in Climate Change You Should at Least Believe in Better Environmental Practices

Cow burps contribute to greenhouse gases. A beef cow flying through the clouds wearing an open astronaut's helmet. photorealistic. wide angle lens. Dall.e + David Arandle The Australian Government has been in the process of passing some bill that contributes towards meeting some goals on Climate Change that we probably agreed to at least two decades ago at a United Nations Meeting on the issue. I guess? I kind of researched it a little recently.  It's one of those issues I've kind of followed but generally don't like to argue because climate change deniers are some of the most negative and obnoxious people you'll ever come across.  These days climate change is closely linked to energy production and how we generate power because fossil fuel power plants are said to be big emitters of Carbon Dioxide, which contributes to global warming (apparently). Most of Australia's power plants are coal plants, with a small percentage leaning towards renewables like solar and

Gosnells, Murals and the Agonis.

Road Trip Day 21: 12th June 2007 My Mum wanted to show me around the town centre of Gosnells (the main suburb of Perth that I grew up in) so Rose and I spent the day with her, walking around the shopping precinct. I was last here in 2004. Back then there was a lot of development work getting under way. Three years later much of the work has been finished for some time. There is a brand new railway/bus station right in the middle of town - much less out of the way than the old platform. One of the old shopping complexes, where we used to buy groceries, looks nothing like it used to. It's been renovated to the point where you wouldn't even know that the underlying base structure was built more than forty years ago. You'd swear the whole thing was built within the last couple of years. The changes are a real improvement too. The centre piece of the town is the 'Agonis' centre. This was being built in 2003. Now it is open and is home to the 'Knowledge Centre