Artwork for podcast The Thriving Artist
Competitive Strategy for Working Artists
21st August 2015 • The Thriving Artist • The Clark Hulings Foundation
00:00:00 00:35:34

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P.A. Nisbet (pronounced "nesbit") is a painter of outdoor landscapes, based in Santa Fe, and this year he's a panelist at the Western Art Society's Quest for the West. Before his career in fine art, he was a commercial artists (illustration and graphic design). He's quoted as saying "no artist is going to survive without being a business person." In this episode of The Thriving Artist Podcast, he answers questions about the fundamental tension between being effective as an artist and effectiveness of growing and marketing a body of salable work.

Topics include:

  • Knowing your audience
  • Business best practices
  • Commercial viability vs. imitating commercial success
  • The tension between art as creation and art as business (distinct but inseparable)
  • Artistic clarity - intrinsic personal vision as a component of commercial visibility
  • Collaborating effectively with galleries
  • Doing your own marketing vs. relying on galleries
  • Quantity of artists & its effect on gallery collaboration
  • Quantity of work & its effect on gallery collaboration
  • Market awareness and production values: sizes, price points, speed of production
  • Holding your own with galleries: filling orders v.s. producing art
  • How to price your art: competitive pricing and transparent pricing
  • Market awareness and competition for gallery space
  • The working artist as social artist: the value of going to parties
  • Quest for the West

This 35-minute episode is a treasure trove of critical insights for creating and managing a career as an artist. In particular, the focus on working with galleries and exploration of how to price your work are gold!

Listen now, or download and take it with you on your phone or mobile device. P.A. Nisbet may be reached at

If you’re a working artist, feel free to visit our Grants page. If you’re an arts industry professional, collector, or business specialist, or a working artist who would like to be interviewed, visit our Teach and Learn page. As always, even a modest donation is meaningful; and that page is here.