Brett Amory,
Brett Amory, "Boston & 174th st Bronx 12-1am (Waiting #181)," 36 x 36 inches, Oil on wood

“From time to time I get emails asking about the business side of art and how I transitioned into becoming a full time artist. My response is always the same: work hard, make honest paintings and put yourself out there.”

The Way Forward


The most important thing to remember is to make honest work. Take time to experiment and figure out what you want to say. Your work should be an extension of you.

I started the Waiting series in 2001. In the beginning the series was about waiting to be somewhere else. I did ten or so paintings of people waiting for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) around San Francisco, and then stopped the series in 2003. I worked on different ideas/series for a few years but the “Waiting” series always held my interest. When I came back to the series in 2007, I knew it was what I wanted to say and that it represented a body of work that could continue evolving.

Brett Amory, "Bleecker Bob’s 9-10pm (Waiting #173)," 36 x 36 inches, Oil on wood
Brett Amory, “Bleecker Bob’s 9-10pm (Waiting #173),” 36 x 36 inches, Oil on wood

Experiment and find your voice. Once you know what you want to say, put it out for the world to see. The internet is endless. Use it to market your work. Google artists you like and see who is talking about them and where they are showing. If there is a website that shows art you like, submit your work. If there is a gallery that shows work similar to yours, submit. If they don’t take submissions see if they have a fan page on Facebook and start following them. If there are galleries where you live, go to openings and get to know the community. Become a familiar face.

Social media is another great tool for building a fan base. The more people who know you and your work the more opportunities you will have to sell. The more you sell the easier it is to get into a gallery. Don’t be afraid of rejection—it happens to everyone and is part of the business. Suck in your pride and put yourself out there.

No one is going to do it for you.

Brett Amory, "Flushing, Queens 9-10am (Waiting #179)," 36 x 36 inches, Oil on wood
Brett Amory, “Flushing, Queens 9-10am (Waiting #179),” 36 x 36 inches, Oil on wood

(Originally published in Artists on Art magazine, 2013)

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