During my crazy entrepreneurial artist journey, there’s one glaring thing that I’ve learned
(Learned the hard way btw)
And that’s being an artist is not just about creating the art, it is about running an art business, selling art, networking, and so much more!
When you are trying to make a living as an artist there is no one around you knows how to market artwork, how to set up a website, or you can’t get the support you need, or you just get tired of asking because no one but you seems to care – all while trying to juggle ALL THE THINGS…..
It is a Grade-A way to get depressed and want to give up on your dream of being a working artist.
So let’s talk.
There are a few things I want to get Swavarski clear on.
(Because our wild world online is sometimes a little misleading AND we have been filled with false assumed truths)
AND FYI – IF YOU BELIEVE THESE MYTHS IT WILL BE A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. YOU MUST REMOVE THESE FROM YOUR MIND (easier said than done…I know).
MYTH 1: I must starve before I thrive.
There has been a stigma for far too long, that you must starve for your art in order to make it. The truth is, you don’t have to suffer for your art, unless you just love being a martyr and miserable…
Let me tell you, people are waiting to see what you can create. The question is, how do they find you. YOU CANNOT HIDE IN YOUR STUDIO, you must interact and gain audiences.
Now, that said, you may need to have a steady income from another job while you work out the details, but you won’t starve – you’ll work to achieve the life you dream – we all do it….
One of my favorite quotes of all time is;
“AN ACTION WITHOUT VISION IS A DREAM,
VISION WITHOUT ACTION IS A NIGHTMARE”
~ Chinese proverb
TRUTH 1: The truth is you need an action plan!
MYTH 2: It’s a talent.
This is something that is the underlying myth when artists say “I started too late”, “I just can’t compete”, “I can’t draw a stick figure”.
Um…have you seen Grandma Mose’s work? It’s really not very realistic, not proportionally correct, and doesn’t show the use of color theory…but you know what she did? She was consistent and persistent.
Persistence + Experimentation + Passion = Success
That’s my PEP formula (memorize it, you’ll see it again 🙂 )
TRUTH 2: You are the key to unlocking your success, keep up the PEP.
MYTH 3: Artists are discovered.
You cannot work in a coal mine and get discovered like a diamond in the rough. You have to do the work and put yourself out there, knock on virtual doors, share your artwork on social media. (refer to the starving artist myth and the talent myth….)
PEP + Promotion = Discovery
TRUTH 3: Truth 1 + Truth 2 = Truth 3.
You are not a damsel in distress, you are strong, vibrant, and have limitless talent. Be a voice that is proud of your work!
MYTH 4: Artists are loners/introverts.
I’ll be the first to say – I am an introvert and darn proud of it.
So I’m an introvert, I do youtube, teach online, do online classes, give presentations etc…I’m not afraid of people or giving speeches! We all get the butterflies, those butterflies are the engine revving that says – fly little one 🙂 (that’s what I picture anyway 🙂 ).
So let’s demystify what an introvert is: an introvert is a person who gains energy from within and we prefer to connect with individuals on an intellectual level.
TRUTH 4: Small talk is not for us.
You start talking about creative endeavors or a new idea, a new concept – we all lean in! CREATING that is what draws us out and into building relationships.
What is for us is building solid relationships with progressive, interesting people!
We LOVE People, but they need to be intellectually on or above our level...or they drain us like the energy vampire from “what we do in the shadows”…truth bomb – drop the mic. 🎤
AND here’s why understanding this is the best news of all: You can interact with a like-minded community of artists, take classes and so much more!