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How to Succeed as an Artist

Deart Artist,

I have put this collection of resources together to inspire artists to pursue a career as a painter. In the articles below, I share my experiences over the past fifteen years as my career has developed from selling the occasional commission on Craigslist to doing hundreds of art shows and eventually opening my own line of art galleries. I was told as a young artist that it was too hard to make a living as an artist, and I want to show you how it can be done successfully. I also share my techniques of Open Impressionism, which is an oil painting style I created.  I will show you how to become a true master of your painting style, how to create the paintings you want to create and make a living doing it. I hope you enjoy the collection of articles, and I wish you lots of success in your career!

Erin Hanson

List of Blogs & Articles

How to Create the Art You've Always Wanted to Create
Follow in my footsteps as I carved my way into the art world. Learn how to create your own style of painting and become a master in it. 

Don't be a Starving Artist
I am writing a new book about how to make a living as an artist. Answer my survey to help me finish my book!

Commonly Asked Questions 
A Look at Erin Hanson's Technique and Artist's Tools

When to Stop Painting
I can't tell you how many times I have picked up the brush again after I had already decided the painting was complete, just to place just one more brush stroke... only to regret it afterward as a mistake. So, how do I know when a painting is complete?

Home Study Course for the Professional Artist
This article gives you a step-by-step series of practical drills and weekly assignments to become a master painter.

Seven Years of Doing Art Festivals
This article describes my first seven years of doing art festivals and how I got started along my path as a professional artist. I have now been doing art festivals for fifteen years, in addition to running my own art gallery.

How Does Copyright Work for Artwork?
Learn why copyright is so important for artists. Living artists retain copyright on all their artistic creations, which means others cannot sell reproductions, re-creations, or copies of any kind without permission.

History of the Erin Hanson Gallery
This blog tells the story of how I started creating my own gallery.

What is Open Impressionism
A brief description of my unique style of painting.

Q&A with Erin about Open Impressionism Technique
Get your questions about Open Impressionism painting technique answered here. Learn how to apply Open Impressionism color theory to your own paintings.

The Development of Open Impressionism
This article gives an in-depth view of the development of my style over the first ten years and the first two thousand oil paintings I created. The blog article features an exhibition I put on as a "ten-year retrospective."

How to Commission a Painting
I wrote this article to explain how an art collector would go about commissioning a one-of-a-kind painting. 

How to Commission a Painting - Example
How to Commission a Painting - Example
These two articles give examples of commissions I have done, walking through the step-by-step process.

How to Light Your Artwork at Home
This blog goes over all the details about professional art lighting. This is important information to know so you can make sure your paintings look their very best in your collectors' homes.

How to Clean Oil Paintings
This blog goes over the protocol for cleaning oil paintings. 

History of Painting Styles
Here is a great pictograph showing the history and evolution of art styles.

How to Frame Your Artwork
This comprehensive article on how to frame and hang your artwork was provided by

I use these business organizational tools to run my finances, organize my employees, and make my targets and goals. The book Model of Admin Know-How is a life saver.

If you are interested in following me online and learning more about my paintings, please check out my social media pages above. I look forward to keeping in touch!

Interesting video about the contemporary art world.

Coming soon:

The Discipline of Being an Artist

How to Sell Your Artwork

How to Ship Your Artwork

Art Marketing Advice

Books to Read

Daily Life of a Professional Artist