Interview with Artist Coach and Marketing Expert Cory Huff
Cory Huff of The Abundant Artist offers advice for building a professional art career in this interview.
Cory Huff Bio
Cory Huff teaches artists how to make money from their art. He is the founder of The Abundant Artist and author of the book How to Sell Your Art Online (Harper Collins). Over 6,000 artists have taken courses through The Abundant Artist. Cory lives in Portland, Oregon.
Please tell us what you do?
I run TheAbundantArtist.com, where we help artists learn how to sell their art, and also handle the marketing operations for a handful of successful artists. The majority of our income comes from the courses that we offer on selling art. The consulting and operations income is a small but growing part of the business, and we use the insights garnered there to improve our courses. Our goal is to bring more transparency to the fine art market.
How did you get started with The Abundant Artist?
It was very organic. I started it as a blog to explore how creative people make money. I interviewed a ton of artists. People started asking me to teach classes based on what I was learning from those interviews and from my internet marketing day job. After a couple of years, the momentum just took care of itself and I’ve been riding the demand since.
Your site says that you are an actor and storyteller,
are you also an artist?
I’m a trained Shakespearian actor and have been doing that for 20+ years. I’m not a visual artist, other than some amateur photography that I don’t offer for sale anywhere.
Are courses a good business direction for artists to
Courses can be very lucrative, and I know a few art teachers that are making very good money doing it, but it’s pretty hard to beat selling $10,000+ per month in prints, or selling original pieces for $100,000 or more. I think selling art has a bigger upside.
If you could start over, what would you do
If I could do it over, I would have been more aggressive about building my mailing list, but that’s probably about it. I might have started offering done for you marketing services earlier, but I’m not sure about that because artists weren’t asking for it before.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
- Make what you want to make, not what you think the market wants.
- Get really good at whatever you do – but don’t let your current skill level prevent you from selling.
- The starving artist is a myth that was created as an excuse by artists who didn’t want to do the work.
- Spend 50% of your time marketing your art. Spend the other 50% making your art.
- Connect with your collectors on a personal level.
- Collaborate with other artists.