The Art Biz ep. 17: Transitioning to a Full-Time Artist: Dianna Fritzler

Over the past ten years I’ve watched Dianna Fritzler go from full-time artist to full-time marketing employee and back again. I had the pleasure of helping her a little along the way.

I wanted to share Dianna’s path so you can hear how she set a target and took deliberate and consistent steps to reach that target in a very short timespan.

©Dianna Fritzler, Unbridled Enthusiasm. Acrylic, graphite, and pastel on gallery-wrapped canvas, 36 x 48 x 1.5 inches. Used with permission.

During her first year back as a full-time artist, Dianna tested a lot of options for income and gained clarity on what she wants moving forward. And she missed her ambitious income goal by just 10%.

In this interview, you’ll hear Dianna reveal:

  • The moment when she decided that her art could no longer play a secondary role in her life.
  • The steps she took immediately that set her on the path to making her dream come true.
  • The income streams she tested and what has worked (and not worked) for her.
  • The vision she and her husband have for his future full-time role in her business.
  • The amount of time she spends on business v. in the studio.
  • How she structures her day to be most productive.
Artist Dianna Fritzler’s studio with Berrylicious (now in a private collection) in progress. Photo by Alyson B. Stanfield.

She also confesses just how worthless she is before her morning java and why she unapologetically embraces freeform Internet exploration in the mornings.

As you will learn, Dianna works her ass off. But her work brings her joy and she’s determined to succeed.

Please enjoy this conversation with Dianna Fritzler about transitioning to a full-time artist.

Music: Keep It Simple by Wildermiss. Used with permission.
Listen to or subscribe on iTunes.


See also: Making a Living as an Artist

About My Guest

Dianna Fritzler is a full-time artist living in Parker, Colorado. She teaches her Bodacious Blooms and Cold Wax Creations workshops throughout the country and loves sharing tips, tricks, information and laughs with all artists. Her paintings reflect how she sees life’s journey: intricate, layered, vibrant and joyful. Visit her website to see all of her work and connect with her.

Dianna Fritzler, artist
Dianna Fritzler in front of her painting, Flibbertigibbit (oil and wax on cradled wooden board, 30 x 30 inches). Photo courtesy the artist.

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36 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 17: Transitioning to a Full-Time Artist: Dianna Fritzler”

  1. Listening to this podcast today was like revisiting my own story. So many similarities, right down to entering art fairs as a newbie and not having a photo of my tent! It was no nice to hear, and almost reassuring, that the steps I’m taking in this “marathon” are helping me to become a better artist and confident business woman. Thank you Alyson for sharing this podcast, and everything else you do to support artists!

  2. Super helpful, glad you got into detail towards the end. What I liked most was that she chronicled what didn’t work- and honesty that she tried so many things. That is inspirational. My work is mostly spiritual art, my niche, Buddhist, spiritual, yoga and meditation art at , just getting restarted again as an artist.

    1. So glad it was helpful Kala! Wow – so man opportunities to tie in with yoga and meditation studios! Several years back I was asked to hang my work at a local yoga studio and ended up selling three pieces. You never know…! My best to you!

  3. I am transitioning from an artist/art teacher to full time artist.
    I am exhibiting, working in my studio but not earning an income from my art .
    What can I do to promote my work and start selling….
    I have a website, use fb, instagram and have a blog on my website.
    What are the steps I can take to sell work and find venues for sales.
    Any help will be most appreciated!!
    Enjoyed listening to your story…

    1. Hi Deborah – have you read Alyson’s book, “I’d Rather Be In The Studio”? It’s awesome and really helped me get a jump start when I was first getting my legs under me as a selling artist. My best to you!!

    2. I have read the book..will take a look at it. It is a challenge to be an artist in NYC…most people. I know are not making much from their work here…

    3. Deborah: I think it would be very hard in NYC. Such a BIG pond and so many little fish.

      You have been with me for a very long time and I know you know what you could be doing. Sounds like the best step would be to create a plan for consistent marketing action.

      You don’t mention your mailing list, but that’s usually where the gold is.

    4. I guess I just do not have a good mailing list! Will try to work on a marketing plan.I really have not been concentrating on sales since I had a great part time teaching job. I actually don’t know what to do but will forge ahead regardless! Thanks for your comment!Cheers!

  4. I am also in a transitional period but my issue is how do I get BACK to fine art (specifically painting) after being a freelance designer who never really got her feet off the ground in the first place? I took time off and worked freelance to nurture a challenging teen and NOW I have the cliched EMPTY NEST! When I look at my art desk, blank paper, canvas? I start to hyperventilate and don’t know how to RE-start anything right now. So, I keep finding other things to do, like cleaning, or de-cluttering, etc.

    Do you have any guidance to get “back on the horse?” Recently – artistically speaking – it seems easier to slap together a t-shirt design in Illustrator, but I need and want to find my way back to fine arts and painting and like I said – I go into anxiety-attack-mode! Thanks for your time and for continuing to provide us with engaging content!

    1. Hi Lisa – I know how you feel! It’s tough to start that engine again. One thing that I did that helped was to take a workshop or two with artists/art mediums/art styles I was interested in. It really kicked me in the butt and go me motivated! Hope that helps! My best to you!

    2. Thank you Dianna – this is definitely in my near future. I need that kick in the butt. I also just discovered this week, a friend attends an semi-public weekly drop-in drawing session at a local gallery. Once the baby bird is out of this nest in a couple weeks, that is def on my radar! Thank you again for sharing your time and experiences!

    3. Lisa: I think this is exactly what Dianna talks about in the podcast – that she wasn’t making art for a number of years. And she set up a plan to make it happen.

      In addition to Dianna’s suggestion for taking a workshop, I might encourage you to spend at least 30 minutes a day with your art: looking through old sketchbooks, reworking old compositions, copying (but never passing it off as your own, of course), someone else’s work. Can you just start with 30 minutes?

    4. I had a feeling that is the direction I need. I think I just needed that validation haha! And looking at my notes on unfinished projects or mockups of illustrations that got “killed” and maybe going ahead and finishing them might be in the works, too. 30 minutes sounds like a good start. Thank you for providing this platform to share these experiences. What’s frustrating is that we didn’t get any prep for the business side of things in college and art school way back in the day…we just got turned loose into the world. Now, at least I can share with the younger artist in the family so she is hopefully more prepared than I was! Thanks again!

  5. I do all forms of art. I’ve had countless pieces, digital storage, and notebooks/pages stolen and all I want now is funding to make, protect, and distribute my work if, how, and when I see fit along with other wants. I want to influence the world positively.

  6. This was a great podcast! It was very encouraging to hear that she did home parties because that is something I will be incorporating this fall in my business!

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Great podcast and congrats to Dianna for making her goal happen!
    Dianna I also have a FASO website. I love 90% of what FASO offers but it’s built in newsletter function doesn’t allow you to segment your list. Did you go with something like Mailchimp and just import it to FASO? It’s a daunting task to move all those contacts over to Mailchimp, but I’ve got to do it.

  8. Hi Theresa! Thanks for listening! Yes – that is something that frustrates me with FASO as well. I use Constant Contact and have for years and really like it. One thing I did was pay the to set up a newsletter template for me because I thought they could do a better job. It cost me about $75 I think, saved me a ton of time and I’m really happy with it. Just a thought… Also – I paid my daughter to transfer all my contacts and double check everything. Was a win-win!!

  9. This is very inspiring. Just listened during my lunch break at my desk at work. I am a part-time professional artist and have done many of the things that were discussed. I’m currently enrolled in ACSS also, and while I barely have time to keep up with work, art, ACSS, my kids and life, I am encouraged by this as I keep plugging away at the part-time side of my art career so that I’ll be ready and positioned to take it full time when I’m ready. My timeline for that has continued to shift, and i know that the next step is the financial planning piece. It’s on my to-do list now, so thanks for the “nudge” to get that going.

  10. I just finished listening to the conversation between Alyson and Diana Fritzler! Thank you so much for the insight on starting a business and all that goes into it…It inspired me, but more importantly it motivated me to move outside my fears and tendency to self sabotage. I look forward to meeting women in all capacities of the art world. Listening to the rich conversation between two business/artist women made me realize how much I yearn for that creative world. Thank you, Jackie Sarchett

  11. Christine Aaron

    What a fantastic podcast. Thank you Alyson and Dianna. Dianna, I really appreciated you being so specific about all of the things you tried, and how and why they did or did not work for you. I admired your willingness to give yourself the room to try so many things on for size (home sale, art fair etc) and talk about them all. I was also really interested in all of the steps you took in making things happen for yourself. I laughed out loud at your “break on internet” time…and the timer. It is a rabbit hole I get seduced by too often. After one of Alyson’s great newsletters, I bought this adorable mint green timer….but might not exactly be using it. My daughter saw it again the other day and said “…so when are you going to use this?” So that will be one of the first things I do. Thank you for you candid, authentic and illuminating discussion.

  12. Thank you for posting this! Thouroughly enjoyed it! Alyson, have your book and think it is fabulous. Dianna, thank you for sharing your journey! Such an inspiration!

  13. Step 1: be married to someone who can support you financially, while you ‘reboot’. There is no step 2.
    The rest is all footwork.

    I am waiting for a success story that does not hinge on spousal support.

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

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