Artists of Marin

Making a Living in Marin

painting by Jean Varda of a cityscape

Painting by Jean Varda (1893-1971) , the Marin artist who “made his living” on a houseboat.

With the high cost of living in Marin, how does an artist “make a living” here? What is the artist’s secret to success? It’s not simple or easy. I have some ideas though. The location helps: The Sausalito waterfront galleries surely have a corner of the market on location.¬† Marin’s natural beauty makes a good landscape to paint and draw. But a location cannot directly feed an artist or pay their taxes.

I read many artist statements, and get the impression that Marin artists make a living with patience and love for their craft, by honing their skills, offering workshops, following their inner visions, and finding a niche where they can sell. For example, the artist¬†Gabriella Spina Drake posted this artist statement: “Anyone can learn how to render anything. Art is a human spirit expressing oneself via pigment, instruments, words, etc. And hopefully the end result is evoked emotion. I do not decide to create, rather it is an uncontrollable passion.”

An artist’s success must be ephemeral in many ways, but somehow Marin artists “make a living”!

I’ll now suggest (softly) that artists sometimes need help with their sales and marketing plans. See Do-It-Yourself and Selling Art.


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