With so many people rethinking their lives and careers this year, there are many looking into taking on a creative path. Instead of toiling away in an office making other people’s dreams a reality, they are thinking of ways that they can turn a hobby or passion into a job that actually pays a full time income.

Luckily, there has never been a better time to change careers and do something creative. With the internet, you have a market from all over the world to sell to and marketing is easier than ever. You just have to stand out.

A good way to stand out is to create artwork with metal. Creating works of art out of upcycled metal is fun and rewarding and can bring in a lot of money. You can make sculpture out of it, or even 3D wall art to sell, depending on your creativity.

In this article, I will go over how you can set yourself up as a metal artist and turn it into a career.

Learn the craft

You don’t have to really be a creative person in the beginning, but you have to at least have some vision of what you would like to accomplish. Once you have an idea of your direction, you can either choose to be self taught or go to an art school to learn.

There is no right or wrong way. However, if you decide to be self taught you will have to learn how to use a mig or tig welder and get familiar with tig welding supplies depending on your medium of choice. The training for this is highly recommended as the learning curve is quite high.

You’ll need to start out learning how the equipment works to then get creative with it later. Different materials are going to require different welding techniques which all require special training. There is likely a vocational school or some adult learning classes near you where you could learn the basics. Then it’s simply a matter of practice to make perfect.

As far as art school, that is a very personal choice. Many metal sculptors are self taught and use their creativity to come up with the art pieces and have no use for classes. However, some people like to learn about art and then use that to form a basis for their creative process. Another benefit to going to art school is the network you create that can help you advance your career.

Pick a niche

It is difficult to stand out when you’re in a crowded field. Being an artist often requires the right attention no matter how skilled you might be. There are some excellent artists that nobody has heard of out there simply because they aren’t getting exposure.

Having a specialization is the key to getting your name out there so you can make money. It’s very similar to being a lawyer. A general lawyer will have a hard time finding clients as there is a lot of competition. But, a lawyer who specializes in entertainment law for instance can more easily make a name for themself.

You have a lot of choices. There are many different types of art that you can create and make a name for yourself with. Pick an area to concentrate on and then master it. You’ll become the artist that people seek out for that specific type of art.

Learn marketing

Just as important as your artistic skills are your skills at marketing yourself. You may just want to be the type that works all day in the studio and the art sells itself, but that rarely happens. Instead, you will have to work equal parts at creating and then doing the marketing.

It all starts with having a solid social media presence. Create beautiful pictures of your art work and let your social media tell the story. Picking the right social media channel is essential. You’ll have to find the right one where your target audience is. There are so many social media networks to choose from that you can’t possibly use all of them.

Be consistent and have a way for people to go to the next step if they like your art. Either collect their email to market to them later, or send them directly to a page where they can purchase the art directly. This involves having a website with the ability to accept payments.