The Pros and Cons of Being a Professional Artist

Many people who paint for a hobby have a lot of talent and wish to become professional artists. Much as it seems that being a professional artist would be a great occupation, just like others it has its pros and cons. Having experienced this lifestyle I thought I would tell you of the pros and cons of being a professional artist through my eyes.


  • You are doing a job that others can only dream about and you can be proud of what you have achieved
  • You can spend your whole time painting to your heart’s content
  • You can experiment with different mediums and techniques because as you sell your art you make way for new stock
  • To a certain extent your time is your own and you can fit in other activities when you want to
  • You can essentially decide on what price you charge for your artwork
  • You are your own boss with only yourself to account to
  • You are one of only a handful of people that is able to turn their hobby into an occupation
  • When you get commissions from people this can spark new ideas in your head
  • To see your work in a hotel or someone’s home is a great feeling of satisfaction


  • You may still have to paint when you lack inspiration or just generally don’t feel like it
  • Some clients can be very picky in what they want and you need to paint what that is rather than how you think it should be and you have to go with that
  • In order to get sales, you may have to paint much more commercial work than what you may otherwise choose as a subject
  • You may not know where your next earnings will come from and it can certainly be a struggle to make a living at times
  • When times are hard people are less likely to buy luxury items like paintings and so you may be hit hardest in a downturn
  • There is a lot of competition from fellow artists so you always have to be one step ahead with your ideas

All in all I believe there is no better occupation than being a professional artist, as long as you have some financial back up plan when you start as it will take a while to build up contacts for enough work to sustain you. Once you are up and running though there are many different ways to sell your artwork and you should be able to sustain a reasonable living by selling your art.