On Becoming a Self Sufficient Artist March 25, 2015 – Posted in: For Artists – Tags: , ,


I was driving through Wisconsin and decided to stop into an antique shop that I passed. Well, after being in the car for 5 hours, the Men’s room was calling.  I opened the restroom door, flipped on the light and this was the scene that was laid out before me.  A painting on display! Conveniently located between the sink and urinal! You actually had to walk around it to use the facilities!

My first response was to laugh out loud and take a picture! My artists friends would love it!

My second thought was, “Man, nobody’s art deserves to end up here next to people going to the bathroom.”

My third thought was, “That’s actually a great marketing idea! Of all the artwork that I saw that day, this is the only painting that I took a picture of and posted all over the Internet!”

I think there is a lesson in all this somewhere, and I am going to find out what it is!


I suppose I should really introduce myself before we get too far into this. My name is Curt and I paint under the pseudonym of “Keemo.”

Even though I have been painting for about 25 years, it wasn’t until about 9 years ago that I decided to make a real attempt to become self-sufficient as an artist. Since then, I regularly receive messages from artists all over the world, who ask for help, encouragement, ideas and tips on how to tackle different parts of being a self-sufficient artist.

This could be everything from where to host a website, which website tools to use, shipping questions, general business questions, marketing questions, and by far the most common, e-commerce. How to sell art online.

Every time I receive a message like this, I always make the effort to respond and be as helpful as I can. I know it is a bit corny to say but there can never be enough artists in the world. Not to mention nothing warms my heart like an empowered artist!

So, after years of answering these messages privately, on a one-by-one basis, I realized that I could really help many more artists, if I were to share these these messages with everyone.

If any of this can help artists become more self- sufficient, then the extra effort will be worth it.


I didn’t think I was going to be jumping into numbered lists already but there are a few key points that we all should understand before we go any further.

  1. I am still learning too. Everyday I learn something new about being a self-sufficient artist.
  2. I am not an expert. However, I do have about 20 years of experience with website design, graphic design and marketing. I have also made a lot of mistakes and wasted time and money along the way. (Why do we have to learn the hard way sometimes?)
  3. This is about becoming a self sufficient artist! These posts are in NO WAY intended to be a something that helps you “Get Rich From Selling Your Art.” This is NOT a “Get Rich Quick” mentality or any of that non-sense. This is NOT a program that leads to the promised land. (I’m still looking for that too, so if you find it, please let me know.)
  4. This is about simply sharing what I have learned over the years so that as artists we can have the knowledge and tools necessary to be able to take care of ourselves.
  5. Please comment on the posts and share your knowledge. Like I mentioned above in item 1, I’m still learning too! Let’s all help each other.
  6. This is the most important one. The art always comes first. It’s always about the art.


Wow, I wasn’t planning to set out to write a short story tonight. I guess there is a lot to talk about.

With that said, this is really just the first post of many. An introduction, if you will.

My initial goal is to write a new post every week or two that highlights a different aspect of being a self-sufficient artist. I would also love to hear from you as well. What things do you want to know about? If you know of a better way to do something, please share it!


The quick and easy way to keep to date is to sign up below to receive updates via email. That way you just get a quick email letting you know when a new article has been posted.

Of course, you can always follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I will be posting the updates there as they are released.

Well, that is all I have for now. See you around the web!


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