What it Takes to Live as an Artist in New York Cit...

What it Takes to Live as an Artist in New York City

Mali Maeder for Pexels

Aspiring to be a part of New York City’s enchanting art world is a desire most artists crave to fulfill. This is no surprise since New York is one of the capital cities for modern art today. Contemporary artists like Marina Abramovic, Damien Hirst, and many other colossal art world names have lived, worked, and created in New York since this city has world-famous galleries and museums. Exhibiting your work in any of the art places in the city would guarantee a successful career as an artist. Whether you are aspiring to become an artist or already are one, you need to have what it takes to live as an artist in New York City. Most of all, talent and patience. Nothing happens overnight.


New York is there for you if you are a passionate art lover and have always dreamed of becoming a painter, sculptor, photographer, or any kind of artist. You don’t have to have a degree in one of these arts. New York is full of self-educated artists who are brilliant at their work. Since that is the case, you might want to be cautious of the competition. Although talent is essential, and a degree is not a requirement, remember that having a degree from one of the best art colleges in America can open many doors for you. It is more likely your degree, combined with your talent, will open the heavy doors of the Gagosian Gallery.

Brett Sayles for Pexels

Brett Sayles for Pexels

With its rich art history, New York draws many artists each year. Glamorous and romantic stories of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and many more still have an impact on artists of today. What artist doesn’t dream of a spacious loft filled with natural sunlight that shines through the enormous windows? However, as mesmerizing as New York City can be, dreams are not all that it takes to live as an artist in New York City. There are numerous everyday things you need to take into consideration. You need to think about:

  • Finding a place to live and work – an essential part when you want to live in New York City
  • Hiring a representative – an agent might help you to launch your career in the art world much faster
  • Getting inspired – New York City has many wonderful art places you can visit to get inspiration


When you first move to New York, to make it there as an artist, you will need to find a place for yourself to live and work in. Therefore, you might want to wait a bit with that spacious loft-like that of Andy Warhol’s. Leave that for when you become a famous artist. Most people start small when moving to NYC. That means, if you are relocating alone, it’s best to look for renting a studio since this type of apartment has the lowest rental price. And if you are not a street artist, it will serve you well for any work you must do.

Thirdman for Pexels

Thirdman for Pexels

Unless you already have a place to stay, for example, with family and friends, you will have to pay rent. For a beginner artist, it’s not uncommon to have a job in addition to being an artist in New York City. Until your career in the art world launches, it’s best to have a secure income. That way, you can concentrate on your art and not stress about your everyday needs.


If you are serious about having a career as an artist, you may as well consider hiring an art agent. Without a doubt, it is the best way to help yourself. If you can afford the fees, we highly recommend you take the services of an agent. An art representative is there to find you an audience, promote your work, negotiate exhibitions, find potential buyers, and sell your work. Keep in mind that it is best to find someone with experience. Look for proof of the agent’s credibility. Research and find out who the artists that agent has previously worked with are.


It is no secret that every artist can experience creator’s block occasionally. But the most important thing to do when this happens is not to stress about it. Leave your work, pick up your coat, and stroll through New York City’s beautiful streets. You may soon find yourself in front of one of the most incredible places for art lovers in NYC – the Metropolitan Museum of Art or popularly known as “The Met.” If you go inside, you can gaze upon some of the greatest works in art history. Is that a chance an artist would want to miss?

Una Laurencic for Pexels

Una Laurencic for Pexels

Besides the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its collection of over two million works of art, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City offers plenty more places for artists and art lovers. If you feel overwhelmed by extensive art collections, you may visit some of the city’s most famous art galleries, like the Gagosian Gallery. They tend to exhibit the most popular contemporary artists. And if nothing like that interests you at this period and you just need to relax, you can visit the Columbus Circle Holiday Market and see that you don’t have to be famous to live as an artist in New York City. There you can find numerous anonymous artists selling their work. If nothing, their pure love for art will surely be an inspiration to you.

Author’s Bio: Jessica Pattison is a freelance writer who adores all forms of art. She has been engaged with many companies, and most recently she has been creating content for Jessica’s preferred niche is art and culture, but she also enjoys writing about interior design and landscaping. In her free time, Jessica enjoys to read and play with her two cats.


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