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A rollercoaster first 6 months as a full-time professional artist

Contemporary British Indian Artist, Malti B Lee working on adding handing wire to new paintings

6 months ago I started selling my artwork to the public.

I released my very first collection on my home-made website. As I did this, I was apprehensive about putting myself out there and how I’d be perceived. What if no one wants my work? What if I don’t sell anything? What if I fail as a professional artist?

Pushing past my ego, I set myself goals and worked hard towards them. I moved out my comfort zone, learned new skills, made connections in the art world, and applied for endless opportunities. As I reflect back on 2022, I couldn’t be prouder!

Coming from a consulting background, numbers speak to me. So here it is, my 2022 art business in numbers.

2022 in numbers

  • 8 group exhibitions
  • 6 art fairs & festivals
  • 4 publications featuring me & my work
  • 4 collections created
  • 3 commissions completed
  • 60+ original paintings found their forever homes
    (not to mention prints & calendars too)


It’s fair to say that I’ve had a rollercoaster 6 months.

Whilst numbers capture some of the successes (and help me reflect on my own goals), there were so many qualitative achievements from this period too. To name but a few, I’m proud to have

  • Set-up a small, female-owned business
  • Built a website with e-commerce functionality
  • Developed my painting style to land on something that feels my own
  • Learned about marketing, from socials to newsletters
  • Joined to local non-profit organisations
  • Found my confidence and voice, learning to lean into the unknown

Evolution of my artist booth

My very first art booth in Alameda! On the drive up, I prayed that the set-up would hold and had a contingency plan in case it didn’t!
I’d found my patter by the time Mountain View Art & Wine rolled around. PLUS I was super proud about my upgraded display walls
I was feeling more confident in San Jose, with the back-wall filled with my ‘A to Z Flowers’ collection that I thought made a real impact
By my final festival of 2022 in Half Moon Bay, I realised how much pleasure I get from speaking to the public about my art & personal journey

Looking forward to 2023, I’m still full of apprehension but bundles of excitement too! I hope to learn and grow as much as I did this year, if not more.

Here’s to a great 2023.

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