Sustainability is at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind these days. You might already be eco-conscious about the things you consume and purchase, but what about your career? While art doesn’t necessarily make people think of waste, pollution, and emissions, there are still things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint that can also enhance your artistic career.
Making sustainable choices, from materials to marketing, can have a positive impact on your creative process and can help to get you noticed for all of the right reasons.
With that in mind, let’s cover a few practical tips that can inspire you, as an artist, to embrace sustainability and make eco-friendly choices to grow your artistry and your career.
The simplest sustainable choice you can make as an artist is to choose which supplies to work with. If you already have your own home art studio, it should be easy to take stock of your inventory, including how many supplies you regularly go through, and how much you might be throwing away.
Today, you can find eco-friendly paintbrushes made from bamboo and non-toxic paints that aren’t harmful to the environment. It’s an easy swap to make that can end up having a positive impact on the planet and your work.
You can also boost the eco-friendliness of your art studio by reusing and recycling as often as possible. Some of the best ways to give new life to used equipment include:
If you know that some of your supplies could still be used but you no longer want or need them, consider selling or donating your obsolete goods instead of just throwing them away. You never know who might be willing to give them a new life and keep them out of a landfill.
You can (and should) also maintain any equipment you might have to improve its efficiency and lifespan. That includes everything from easels to drawing tables. Take care of your supplies, furniture, and other equipment to help reduce waste. If you’re a digital artist, maintaining your computer, printer, and any other machines you use to bring your art to life will not only help to ensure your livelihood keeps moving forward, but that you’re not harming the planet in the process.
As an independent artist, it’s up to you to market yourself and your work, and build your business from the ground up. Because consumers are so interested in sustainability, using it as a marketing point is a great way to get noticed. Of course, you have to be genuine in your efforts. Don’t greenwash your personal brand or make your audience think you’re practicing sustainable habits more than you actually are.
But, if you can practice what you preach, there is value in letting your audience know you take sustainability seriously. It can boost your brand recognition and improve your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to boast about your recycling efforts or how you repurpose old materials into new things. Partner up with an environmental organization and donate a portion of your sales.
You can also open a completely digital online store to sell your artwork instead of shipping actual pieces across the globe. Opening an online store allows you to market every single piece you create, it’s less expensive than selling your work in a gallery, and it allows people to print your pieces at home rather than relying on air or freight to send them where they need to go. That will help to cut down on carbon emissions and get your art in the hands of a buyer much faster.
Sustainability is more than just a trend. But, if you’re willing to make it a priority in your career, you can benefit your business, boost your recognition, and feel good about doing something beneficial for the future of the planet.
A passionate writer, Katie Brenneman writes about a variety of topics including marketing. You can find her on Twitter.