There is nothing that pleases an artist more, than to show off their own creations. And then, to go on and make a living from their art. That’s every artists dream.
Jeremy Wolff found the perfect niche, by creating an online studio. In 2014, Jeremy made a life changing decision. He quit his full-time marketing and sales job in the pharmaceutical industry. Why? To follow his dreams and become a full-time artist. No longer would he tread down the corporate path. Gone were the days of chasing the best sales. He did not have to compete for any far-reaching promotions. Before him was a new road to success, using his natural, creative artistic skills.
How did he get his own studio up and running? He didn’t build a bricks and mortar studio, but a virtual one, on Instagram. Let’s start at the beginning.
Jeremy had loved art his entire life. “I have always had an eye for art,” Jeremy says. “Even when I was a really young kid I would look at my grandmas book of contemporary art pieces for hours. I was always a good drawer in elementary school and on into high school. I just treated it as a skill I had, but never knew I would make a career out of it. I just thought it was an added perk to my diversity.“
One day he become inspired to turn his art into a career. Jeremy was on a vacation. He was inspired by seeing street artists selling their work, for hundreds of dollars. He knew that he could do the same.
He started small, relying on friends and family for commissions. But, that would never be enough to keep his finances secure, and a roof over his head. When in need of a regular income to pay the bills, one cannot rest on their laurels for long. Jeremy knew he had to find more customers.
To make a fast buck, he went off to sell his own prints of famous sports figures, outside the stadium on game days. He would pass out his business card, with every sale that a fan purchased. This would become his main activity when he needed extra money. From this, and word of mouth, further commissions began to come through. Yet, he still needed more coverage. After all, he had huge competition with the many other talented artists out there.
He knew that it was not enough to be a great artist, he needed a sound business head too. If he was going to be successful, it was going to take more than his natural skill at painting. It was imperative to market himself. This is where, connecting with the world proved to be his road to success.
Joining the world of social media, via Instagram, he put his plan in motion. Since artwork is inherently visual, Instagram was the perfect choice for Jeremy. He found role models to “follow” and “like” leveraging the nature of social media, a means of building a network of like-minded people. He learned how to use hashtags, and “liked” random accounts too. He became a “fan” and “followed” accounts that he identified as his target market. In his own words, he “piggy-backed” the leaders in his field. Then, he branched out on his own, by learning from what they were doing on the social media platform. Sometimes, he even met up with other artists in the real world. People who were on the same pathway, that he himself was using. Now, instead of being visible to a few, thousands of people were viewing his works. All thanks to the power of social media.
This is how he became successful using the internet to launch his career. For any business, social media is an important means of marketing. it provides a way for clients, investors and collectors to notice your products. In Jeremy’s case, social media launched his career to new heights. But, it also took some risk-taking on his part. “I quit my job before I made a single penny on my art,” Jeremy says. “I went all in and gave myself a window to see if it would be successful. A leap of faith in myself. I figured if I put 60+ hours a week into anything I’d be successful at it.”
For Jeremy, his social media activities can take up to half his working day. He is committed to the importance of this side of his business. he works 20-hour days, sometimes brainstorming ideas for planning his next move. There are many robotic programs that can save time in this type of marketing. But, Jeremy preferred the personal touch, plus it’s cheaper. By being in control of the searches, it made the social media more personal and satisfying. Every new follower was a result of his own hard work.
Jeremy went from an impoverished, self-employed business man, to a recognized artist. Today, he makes good money for his skills, both as a painter and a social media expert. He still likes the old method of “word of mouth,” which important to anyone who is creative. His career in art is ever growing, as his popularity increases. After two years, his Instagram account now boasts 17k followers, and it is still growing.
There is much more to Jeremy’s future plans. He still feels the need to follow the traditional brick and mortar art gallery scene. For 2017, he has projects with magazines, plus murals to create for the Art Basel week in Miami. He is the first to admit, it all takes time. It does not happen overnight, and it takes long, hard hours of work. Jeremy still considers himself a beginner in his chosen field. For him, he is in a career he loves, and it makes his finances secure. Mixing with like-minded people, his whole life is more fulfilling and creative.