The Strategy of Art

The Strategy of Art

The strategy of art cover image
The Strategy of Art

If you can find a job you
enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m not sure who first said that,
but I followed that advice and became an artist expecting that my days would be
filled with glitter and paint, evenings would be spent nibbling on canapes at
my next art exhibition and I would be able to wear paint-stained clothes in
public and drive around in a sleek Italian sports car.

At no point did anyone ever
suggest that it might actually be hard work, nor that I would end up driving
around in a cute little yellow Fiat 500.

To be fair, I did manage to
fulfil the dream of owning a sports car, although it was a British Jaguar
rather than some sleek Italian number. The Fiat 500 though had been on the
bucket list for a while, and I wanted to become a lot more environmentally
friendly, and in part, because art supplies have become exponentially more
expensive and my keen to be green attitude meant there would be more cash
available to import Japanese paintbrushes. I never questioned if they were
arriving by air.

Nor did anyone mention that
mostly, I would need to be concerned about things like sales funnels or
distributed growth strategies, which to be totally honest, I’m still not
convinced is an actual thing. More recently there’s so much currency given to
being ‘agile’, a business buzzword that as far as I can tell, means that you make
it up as you go along. Not that there is anything wrong in making it up as you
go along, I’m convinced that’s exactly how you innovate, it’s certainly how you
learn, it’s also how you make mistakes which are also great and essential
lessons to learn.

Whenever I write an article
about starting out in the art business I always mention having a strategy that
covers both marketing and sales, and I have often talked about having a content
strategy for the works that you create and of course, the content you put out
on social media. That’s all well and good but what I don’t usually expand on in
too much depth is what you really need to focus on when writing those

This week, we’re going to take
a dive into the world of creating a strategy to build your art business on, and
I will provide a few ideas that you might not have thought about but might be
important. They’re certainly things that have helped me over my increasingly
long career.

80s pop music culture art
80s Pop Music Culture by Mark Taylor

When I first started out as an
independent artist there was no such thing as the internet, or at least the
internet that we know today. Hey, we had bulletin boards and a dial-up modem
that the phone needed to be placed on top of. If you were born in the age of
anything more recent, you most likely have zero idea what I’m even talking
about, just know that life was hard.

If you needed to find anything
out about running a business it usually involved some insane amount of effort,
a few books, and some good luck. It’s a little easier today in one respect,
almost everything you need to learn can be found online, but to some extent
running a business has also become much more complicated than it once was. There’s
a heap more distraction for a start.

In the art world of the past,
there was a structure that an artist would generally follow. You would go to
art school, make contacts, work your way up through the gallery system and then
hopefully at the end of it, you might have sold some work. There was though,
never a guarantee despite being told that was the only way.

It was a well-trodden, almost
linear path that was more or less easily understood, even if it was next to a
nightmare to navigate or even get a foothold into at times. Today, that
structure has been eroded away, gone are the gatekeepers to the art world that
once stood outside the gallery doors.  Today
it’s entirely possible to have a successful career in the creative sector
without ever having stepped into a gallery at all.

Today’s relatively easy access
to the art world doesn’t have anywhere near the same structure. Sure, there are
still, gallery routes that artists can follow, but you now also have the option
of going it alone or working in collaboration, assuming you can find someone
who is willing to collaborate and understands that collaboration is a two way
thing, but that’s another blog entirely. The downside is that you then have to
also, do the job that the galleries once did, and that means that you need to
learn the art of the business of art, rather than just the art of creating
great art.

Tools of the Trade cassette tape and pencil artwork
Tools of the Trade – by Mark Taylor and now available in my store!

Unfortunately, there is no
simple shortcut that allows you to only ever focus on creating art if you want
any of that art to find a paying wall to hang itself on. It takes effort, an
effort that can feel herculean at times, and I think it’s fair to say that
almost every artist who has chosen this route in the history of ever has found
out that at times, going it alone in the art world can feel incredibly daunting,
even lonely, and it most certainly identifies and exposes your vulnerable side
like no other business I know.

That daunting feeling is a
difficult one to overcome. An artist today has to work in so many different
areas than they did at any time before. Back in the days of showing my work in
a gallery, I had no idea about any of the business buzzwords that we hear so
much about today, it was simply a case of knuckling down and doing your best
and following the galleries lead, it was still incredibly hard though. I don’t
think I even came across terms such as progressively disintermediating
functionalized channels until a few years ago and to this day, I still have
little idea about what it really means. For all, I know it could be a made-up
business buzz phrase designed to put us off even trying.

One thing I absolutely do know
though, is that the daunting feeling can be overcome and the business side of
things can start to become second nature, so long as you have the absolute
basics in place from the off.

And that’s the rub with so
many of the new artists I come across who are just thinking about stepping out
onto the creative path as a professional artist. Knowing exactly what the
basics of running an art business are, isn’t a topic generally covered in any
meaningful depth in many academic art studies, that’s if the subject of
business is even included at all.

My advice to anyone thinking
of formally studying art is to double up on the learning and take an academic
program in business too and maybe even do this first. For those who are going
down the self-taught route,  it matters
not where or how you learn, that’s another upside that has come from the
erosion of old school ways of doing things, but my advice is the same. Spend as
much time learning about business as you spend learning about creating great
art and then some more if you can.

Learning about the business of
art is more critical than ever before. There has been an explosive growth in
technology over the past eighteen months and that growth has fractured an
already outdated art world even more. It’s a sector that has become much more
destabilised due to the pandemic, and as a result, the way we now have to work
has changed almost beyond recognition.

Ascend abstract space artwork
Ascend – one of a number of Space inspired artworks in my new collection – Space and Beyond!

That might sound as if a
career in the art world should be even more daunting than before, and it can be
if you don’t have a plan that builds the foundations on which you can build a
successful career, one step at a time. Given that the art world now looks and
functions very differently to the art world we all knew just a little under two
years ago, having a strategy that factors in those new changes and challenges makes
sense, even for artists who have been in the business for a while. Things have
changed, it might be time to change your forward strategy a little to take into
account what might be around the corner and of course to take into account the
massive changes we have been seeing over the course of the pandemic.

The single most critical
element when writing any strategy, be it for marketing, sales, content,
whatever is to avoid noise. It’s essential that the foundations are well built
and robust enough for you to build a business in a world that has changed,
in some cases, almost beyond recognition when compared to the same business a
couple of years ago.

Noise has no place in an
artists strategy, yet I see it far too often, and I see the impending
frustration emerges when the art fails to go out of the door. Whenever I work
with new artists, I’m often struck at just how hard they work and by how much
currency they give to new trends.

Some trends are worthy pursuits,
it’s great to be right in at the start of something, but the fact that a trend
is a trend implies that you wouldn’t be the first to do it and that
automatically puts you in at least second place. You need to spot the next
trend way before it’s a trend and that my friends ain’t exactly easy.

One of the more recent trends
that we have all seen is a classic example of noise. The noise in question is
around the use of non-fungible tokens or NFTs.  No doubt a trend spurred on by recent NFT
sales that have grabbed headlines in mainstream media around the world. Inevitably,
after about ten minutes of the first headline to announce that millions had
been paid for artwork through an NFT, artists were offering work for sale
through NFTs and perhaps missing the point a little that NFTs aren’t something
that only takes five minutes to master and slightly less to set up.

NFTs aren’t new. A few years
ago I wrote an article asking whether artists were ready for bitcoin,
blockchain, and cryptocurrency in the art world. This was something that I had
been dabbling in at that point for a while, more out of interest than it being
written in any kind of master plan. It wasn’t an easy process back then and
it’s still as complex and costly to do it today. Another misconception that
seems to influence a lot of strategies is that NFTs are some kind of golden
panacea to being discovered, they’re not.

NFTs won’t make your art
either more valuable or more desirable, indeed, they might even put a lot if
regular buyers off. If you are totally unprepared for NFT then it’s better to
leave that as a strategy for later, in the meantime, it’s totally fine to
accept the currency of RFM, or real freakin money, just like millions upon
millions of artists have done and continue to do every day.

There is a place for NFTs, and
they will continue to be prevalent for a while, although my guess is that at
some point the world will change. Indeed, they can provide the provenance for
digital works that have been impossible to supply in any other way. But their
prominence could be undermined if some of the financial institutions, countries
and governments who are generally doing their best to make them less relevant
get their way.

Personally, I can see some
form of the blunt instrument called regulation being imposed on them, not least
because the other side of cryptocurrency has both uses in illegal activity
and a massive negative impact on the environment.

vintage technology painted as an artwork
Obsolescence by Mark Taylor – available in my store – digitally hand-painted recreations of vintage technology that was designed to become obsolete! 

The point is, that many trends
are generally noise and they can hamper whatever strategy you currently have,
especially if you’re not well prepared. Once those foundations of a strategy
are built, that’s the time when you can begin to lay the bricks, and then in
time, you might want to add the roof and a few essential extras. You don’t have
to do it all today, you don’t even have to do it all tomorrow, art isn’t a
race, it’s way beyond even a marathon, it’s an entire career that can last a
lifetime so you need a strategy that evolves and flexes throughout that

Let’s address that one thing
we all know but prefer to never really talk about. Writing down strategies and
plans is plain and simply, boring. I know, and it’s not lost on me that the
minute anyone sits down with the good intention to knuckle down and strategize,
that’s when life 1.0 gets in the way, or oh shiny happens, or another
commission comes in. The thing is that you are the one who knows where you want
to go with your art business so it makes sense that there is only you who can
map it out. There are no templates, art is the least cookie-cutter type
business to be involved in, your strategy has to be as unique as your art, and
as unique as the people you want to buy your work.

Once you begin to recognise
that you don’t have to fall in with every trend or become distracted with every
little noise, or get confused by the obscurity of business terminology, you can
begin to focus on the basics.

If you were to ask a business
guru, and that’s definitely not me, they would tell you that a well-developed
marketing strategy will help you realise your goals and focus on what you need
to be doing to reach your target market. In my experience, which to be fair
over the years has often drifted between try it and see and a laser-like focus has proven to me that it’s the time when I’m least lazy about doing the
business-critical things is when I tend to get the majority of sales. Equally,
it’s not always possible to be 100% focussed on the business side of things
when you also have to be 100% focussed on creating the art at the same time.

computer storage media from the eighties hand painted digital art
Storage Wars by Mark Taylor – one of my latest creations – all drawn by hand using a digital medium and saved on, you guessed, a drive that isn’t depicted here!

At its most basic, a strategy
is something that provides you with some direction that makes it less easy to
be lazy, we’re human and by default, we’re tuned to seek out the shortcut. The
strategy has to identify the core principles and direction that your business
needs to take, in a way that you can follow. It has to outline what your
business is, what your aims are, what your product and/or service is. Knowing
that should give you the confidence to know the value and purpose of your
business, and identify your place within the industry. Those really are
critical things to know and understand. Break it down to its most basic level
and it becomes exponentially easier to get to grips with.

  • The strategy should identify
    what you and your work are about.
  • The strategy should explain
    how your artwork fits into the market – do you have a theme, a specific medium,
  • Your strategy identifies the
    people you are trying to reach with your work.
  • A good strategy sets out the
    tactics that you will use to reach those people.
  • A strategy has to define your
    business goals and it calls for a need to be totally honest with yourself as
    to why you are in the business you are in and what you really want out of the
    business that you have created.

There is no right and wrong
answer to this last point, if your primary motivation is to produce great art,
that’s awesome. If your primary motivation is to make a living wage, that’s
completely fine too. If it’s to make a living while creating great art, that’s
perfect, but never confuse why you are doing what you are doing.

If you’re serious about being
in the professional art creating business, you kind of have to forget being a
fragile genius who thinks that art and money have no place in the same sentence.
If that were the case then art supplies would be free and the bills would never
get paid. Never think that you have to compromise making a living to create
great art, the myth of a starving artist is as real today as it was in the
eighteenth century, and it really is just that, a myth that belongs in some
romanticised period novel.

hot flamingo vibrant 80s inspired artwork by Mark Taylor
Hot Flamingo by Mark Taylor – Oh those colours just pop!

A quick point to note here is
that the starving artist myth was at one time more likely to be applied to an
artist who had only one, or a small number of assistants, it had very little if
anything to do with actually starving. The media probably romanticised the myth
more than the art world did. Throughout art history, art has attracted artists
from all kinds of backgrounds and incomes and whilst many historically
successful artists weren’t necessarily wealthy, not many of them were actually
starving either.

The starving artist label has
prevailed throughout art history, and to some extent, we’ve been forever led to
believe that art that is functional or commercial has no legitimate place and
that an artist must suffer to produce great work. Nope, you don’t have to
suffer to produce great work at all.  In
fact, you can enjoy creating art, even if it is functional or commercial. Being
an artist shouldn’t be about surviving, it should be about thriving and having
a conversation with the world.

You really do have a choice,
you can hang around in the hope of being discovered and be the one in however
many hundreds of thousands of artists who manage to find success this way, or
you can do what every other successful artist is doing right now, and that’s to
build a business around your work. Forget the romantic and noble notion of
working in a darkened room, for the majority of working artists who are making
it already, they tend to have the lights well and truly on.

I do get it, there’s a fear
that by somehow commercialising our talent we will lose the purity of our art,
and while that can be a legitimate concern for some, it’s not a rational way of
thinking about how you should create. That is something at the very core of
creating a strategy and I sometimes wonder if that is something that puts
artists off creating one. If you formulate any strategy with a view that
devalues your talent and your work from the start, that really won’t be a very
good business or marketing strategy to move forward with and you will forever
be chasing the proverbial tail.

Once you have this nailed down
you can then think about a marketing strategy, something that can only be
defined by the goals that you set yourself through your business strategy. Your
marketing strategy relies on having a strong symbiotic relationship with your
business goals, but they’re not the same.

toucan art collage by mark taylor
Toucan Play This Game by Mark Taylor – Available in my store!

Now we understand that there’s
a need to define your business goals so that you can focus on developing your
marketing strategy, we now have the basic foundations on which you can build
upwards and outwards. The marketing strategy differs from the business strategy
in that this is the plan that will lay out the roadmap of how to get your art
hanging on the walls of other peoples homes.

That might mean defining how
you plan to increase the size of your market, or how you develop the market to
sell your work to other people who don’t already buy from you. These don’t have
to be overnight strategies, I don’t think that would even be possible in the
art world unless you already have the pedigree of say, Matisse or Banksy. Van
Gogh even found that his pedigree needed some development even after his death.
I think that in most cases, the art will always need a strategy that outlasts

Marketing strategies and by default,
the business strategy, should constantly evolve and they should remain aligned.
If you update one you need to update the other, at a minimum you should be
rewriting strategies year on year or whenever you notice a change in the market.

What happens if your next-door
neighbour starts selling the same work as you and starts selling it in the same
space, what happens if you suddenly find that your current market has moved on
to something else? They can and they do, and whilst these things might sound
extreme, this is what happens in any business.

Your market today is never
guaranteed to be your market tomorrow, and I think that’s a good thing. I would
think it would be really hard work to keep the same market engaged forever
purely in terms of what you would need to create to keep them engaged. There’s
another train of thought in that you should at some point want to change the market
of your own volition. If your current market is only buying one hundred buck
prints, you might want to find the market that wants to buy the two hundred
buck print or the five thousand buck original.

Much of your marketing
strategy can be completed by thinking about the reasons you create what you
create and who you are creating it for. I have previously said that if you
haven’t currently got vast amounts of customer profile information it’s a
useful exercise to set out on paper, the exact type of person you think you are
creating for. That will at least get you a customer profile to build on, and
once you have that fleshed out with some reasonably basic information, you can
then think about how you might attract a different audience, perhaps a younger
or older generation or a generation with a little more disposable income.

trippy mushroom art by Mark Taylor
Eat Me by Mark Taylor – from a commissioned series and available in my store!

Those strategies might include
changing how you run your social media, creating a presence on other platforms,
or getting out and about in your own local community. In fact, any strategy
that fails to include drawing in the power of your local community is missing
something that has the potential to significantly make selling easier down the
line. For me, creating a community strategy and raising my local profile by
becoming involved in the community has opened more opportunities than any
number of previous exhibitions.

If you ask some of those
business gurus I mentioned earlier, I think many of them would say that any
strategy needs to be smart. Smart being the acronym for specific, measurable,
achievable, relevant and timely. I’m personally not a fan of setting targets,
especially SMART targets, they don’t necessarily have a perfect fit with the
art world, they’re cliched and often destructive and more than that, they’re

Instead, forget the acronyms.
Whatever you do has to be purposeful, it has to move your business forward, and
any goals that you set for yourself should be set with affirmative action,
and then rinse and repeat over and over, tracking your progress so you can see
how far you have developed, and this doesn’t have to be complicated.

What it comes down to is
knowing whether something needs to be done, did your last work land exactly
where you thought it would, and if it didn’t, identifying what didn’t work and
taking an affirmative action to put it right. Remember, this really doesn’t
have to be complicated, if you can create something that is really easy to
follow you will be more likely to continue following it.  It really is as simple as that.

mushroom art by Mark Taylor
Majestic Mushroom by Mark Taylor – available in my store from a commissioned series of work!

If you can align the stars
that are the business strategy and the marketing strategy, you then have the
foundations that will begin to solidify the rest of your business.

A marketing strategy is
essential if you plan to do things like running online advertising, and that’s
something that you should never even contemplate attempting without having any
kind of strategy in place at all. The glossy invites luring you into spending a
few dollars a day on clicks isn’t necessarily a worthy strategy to follow,
especially if you have no idea about who you need to target to get the best
bang for your buck. Coupled with all of the new privacy restrictions
implemented by tech giants such as Apple, it’s even more vital that you know as
much as you can know about who your market is before you spend anything on ads.

Out of all of the artists I
know who have travelled down this rabbit hole without having the information
groundwork completed beforehand, only those who have taken the time to
understand who they need to reach through advertising has had any real success.

Your strategies will inform everything
that you do. If you haven’t strategized something beforehand, there’s little
point in jumping in with both feet. Ad spends are a great example of absolutely
needing some level of planning to be in place, not least when it comes to
funding the spend.

A strategy should provide the
details around funding a campaign and perhaps even more critical, it should
outline the tactics that you will engage throughout the campaign. Without these
in place, you’re more likely to misread the market and ultimately you could end
up paying even more for your campaign trying to salvage it.

Many business owners representing
all kinds of businesses get online ad-spend completely wrong through a lack of
having a strategy in place that identifies the target audience, only to find
that the spend doesn’t land anywhere near who they need to reach.

vintage tech art with palm trees
Miami Nights by Mark Taylor – Each piece is hand-drawn and represents an original work in itself!

Figuring out the question of who buys your
art is easy.  At least it is when people are buying your art. If they’re not, it
becomes a tad more challenging and can even feel impossible. If you’re starting
from scratch and don’t have a consistent sales record you will need to carry
out some market research, and this shouldn’t be limited to online research.

The art world isn’t known for
its transparency. Googling another artists sales history or the type of buyer
who buys their work isn’t a guarantee that you will find any level of useful
data to suggest that you should go after the same or similar clients. There’s never
a guarantee with online research that the information you find is anything like
the truth. Sure, the internet will play a role in your market research but
physically getting out and about and talking to real people is going to bear
more fruit.

What you need to figure out is
who are you creating your art for? Once you work that out you can then identify
the potential size of the market, its potential to grow, demographics such as
age, income levels, gender, and perhaps just as importantly, the markets social
trends. Are the people you identify on Facebook or Twitter, perhaps they don’t do
social media at all. That’s the kind of information that can turn a potential
sale into a guaranteed sale if you are targeting the very people you know will be
more likely to buy your work.

That might sound obvious,
except in the art world, it’s not. Artists who have carried out any level of market
research tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Art doesn’t always fail
to sell because it’s bad, it usually fails to sell because the marketing isn’t
reaching the right audience.  The people
who are more likely to buy your art just have no idea that you are there.

Of course, there will be other
reasons why work doesn’t sell. Just last week I noticed a relative newcomer to
the art world marketing a thousand dollar print, with no provenance, little
experience, and clearly little idea that the platform they were selling the
work on wasn’t suited to that type of work or that kind of price level.

That’s not to say that a thousand
dollars for your first work is unobtainable, it is, but only if someone with a
thousand dollars is looking at it and wants to buy it. The thing is, the work
was pretty good, but on that particular platform it wasn’t close to a thousand
dollars kind of good because it was the single most expensive print on the
platform by around $900!

vintage technology art by Mark Taylor
Together In Electric Dreams by Mark Taylor – available now!

Once you have identified the market,
figured out where they hang out, and begun the process of connecting with them,
that’s the point when you can begin to profile your ideal customer. Profiling
will reveal the customers buying patterns, do they only buy occasionally or are
they regularly purchasing work, and more importantly, what is it that they’re
buying and when?

When the profile of your audience
changes, that’s the trigger point to change the strategy, give it a fresh coat
of thinking and a fresh coat of research. Again, that’s something that is often
missed, a strategy should live, evolve, and grow along with your business and
any changing trends.

It’s not just about your own client
base though, keeping an eye on the market to figure out what’s working for other
artists who sell similar works is also just as critical. I’m reluctant to say
that any other artist is competition, for me, other artists are my inspiration,
but that’s not to say that you can’t learn from how other artists are using
marketing to attract their own buyers, sometimes you just need a little
inspiration to think outside of the proverbial box.

Having said that, if the
market of another artist is exactly the same as yours, you do have to identify
what makes you the better choice and then you have to somehow convey that
message to your buyers. It might be that you offer a much more personal
service or your products are created on better quality materials, equally your
products might be of a lower quality, and you need to consider whether the
buyers are indeed even the same at all, it’s not always obvious.

You can begin to use this
information to work out what sets your business apart from everyone else’s.
This will improve your performance, improve your offer, and give you an opportunity
to review things like your pricing strategy, or marketing tactics, and even
your supply chain. A good example of this would be if your market shifted to
become much more environmentally friendly. Your current supply chain might not
be as environmentally sustainable as another artist and that could make a difference
in a client deciding to buy or walk on by.

Knowing the audience allows you
to begin to cater exactly to their needs, you no longer have the tedious and
complex job of trying to market to anyone and everyone which is in itself a
really hard way to run any business. By taking the time to strategize and work
out your audience you can focus on the product because you’re being smarter
about the strategy. That really is the Holy Grail for artists, every artist I
have ever met would give up their best paint brush to spend more time arting
than marketing.

It’s really important to test
out any new ideas first too rather than jump in with both feet from the off.
Remember when I talked about avoiding the distraction of noise earlier, it
becomes way too easy to fall into those distractions when things begin to go
well so you really do have to be mindful and remain both focussed and grounded.
You have to strive to become the signal that is so much louder than the noise.

boom box art by Mark Taylor
Turn it Up by Mark Taylor – available in my store now! You should absolutely get this on an acrylic block and illuminate it from behind, it looks super-80s-awesome!

Lastly, you absolutely have to
resist the romantic notion that your art practice isn’t a business unless it
really is a hobby, and if it is, that’s absolutely okay too but don’t get
concerned about not selling art if that’s the case. Art is too often seen as an
incredibly vulnerable undertaking that is fragile and can be disturbed or even
sullied by the concept of commercialising it.

With art, you can’t wait until
the time is right, it never will be, and you can’t afford to hang around in the
belief that inspiration for your next masterpiece is just around the corner.
You have to resist anything that stops you pushing forward with your creations,
and just as importantly, selling the work that will fund the next piece. It’s
only when you are known by someone that you will be discovered and you’re more
likely to be known by someone when that someone can see that you are striving
to be prolific, and to an extent in the art world, it’s fair to also say being profitable. Sounds cold, that’s a reality though!

You absolutely can’t be
fragile or lazy when it comes to creating art. If you have a belief and a deep
passion for something, anything, it doesn’t even have to be art, there will
forever be competing factors that will work to stop you pushing forward. If you
park your truck in that space there will always be competing excuses that stop
you from realising your full potential.  Excuses
can become comfort blankets that you hold on to so tightly that you never take
the leap over the edge and you never take the leap of making a firm plan. We’ve all been there!

warp speed space abstract art by Mark Taylor
Warp Speed by Mark Taylor

Art is hard work, but it’s not
the only work of an artist. Every successful artist before and after you will
have reached out and engaged with their tribe. They will have done the
marketing thing, even if they now have a team of people who do it for them.

The one’s who got discovered
will have initially found that someone who noticed them and they will have
realised that confirmation of talent doesn’t come solely through sales, they will
have found validation in other ways long before they even sold a work.

Your art is the conversation
that you have with the world, so make it count, but try not to get too
distracted with all that noise on the way. You totally have this. Anyone who
wants to be an artist as much as you do has the potential to become a great
artist, but you really do have to remember that resisting what needs to be done
in favour of only ever taking the creative path isn’t going to make the journey
any easier.

Before I go for this week,
there is one very simple thing that has proven to me time and time again that
the business of art doesn’t have to become messy and chaotic. That simple thing
is to make sure that you get the things that you least like doing out of the
way early on. Even get some simple things out of the way early too in order to
give you the confidence to tackle something more challenging. The more early
wins you get, the more willing your mind will be to accept that the business of
art is essential, even critical to your success.  Most of all, have a plan, define your own
space, define your own style, and there will come a time when even the business
of art will become fun.

the night garden art by mark taylor, snail, mushrooms,
The Night Garden by Mark Taylor – now available in my In the Night Garden Collection!

If you have been wondering
where I have been for the past month or so, I have been inundated with new
commissions, building out my new retro-inspired collections and I took on
another major project – more on that in the weeks ahead! You can see some of my latest releases throughout this article!

I have plenty of new articles
lined up, we’ll be deep-diving into some of my processes in creating art, including
my work on vintage computers to create authentic 8 and 16-bit artwork! A niche
that hasn’t gone away for more than thirty years of creating the art for a
community that keeps vintage computing alive, and I will be exploring the art
of the artist side hustle!

As always, stay safe, stay
well, and happy creating!

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger and
live in Staffordshire, England. I began creating digital art in 1980, moving on
to coding 8-bit computer games and producing graphics for early computers. To
this day I am still involved in the retro and vintage computer industry creating
8-bit and retro-inspired works along with my more traditional landscapes, book cover
and box art designs.

You can purchase my art
through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here:   and
you can purchase my new works, special and limited editions directly. You can
also view my portfolio website at Or you can reach out directly
if you need a digital commission or rights-cleared work for your next TV or
film production – digital files can be with you within minutes when you need work on set!

If you are on Facebook, you
can give me a follow right here, 
You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at