Dear Starting Out,
You’re right I do get a lot of questions. But quite honestly, I don’t seem to get tired of sharing what I have learned with others. In fact, it’s one of my passions! So thank you for contacting me and sharing with me where you’re at in your own personal journey. I am more than happy to reply.
The first, and perhaps the most important piece of advice that I can share with any artist is this:
1. Talent is a luxury
Here’s what I mean:
I have met many super talented artists that did not succeed in becoming successful professional artists.
On the other hand, I have met some not-so-talented artists that have managed to create a thriving, successful empire.
What’s the difference?
The sheer will power to work towards something without allowing self-doubt, fear and even public criticism stand in the way of you and your dream.
There is no plan B. Plan A is to be a happy and successful professional artist and that’s it.
For someone that is just starting out, I would encourage you to decide this early in your career and don’t allow anything to shake your foundation or distract and discourage you from your dream.
3. Do The Work
How you do the work is entirely up to you:
I encourage you to either take lots of classes and learn as much as you can, or shut yourself up in your own studio and work alone to develop your own style.
I did both. For as long as I can remember, I have taken some type of art class. Or, I did not take a formal class but was taught instead by my artist grandmother, mother and aunt.
Then I had a long period of absence from art. I call this my “Dark Ages”.
Finally, when I decided to start creating again, I enrolled myself in Art School, got accepted, took only a few classes and dropped out.
The reason I dropped out was because instead of being encouraging, I found art school very rigid and intimidating.
Instead, I decided to lock myself up in my studio and come up with my own way of doing things.
Be honest with yourself: Will seeking higher educating encourage or stifle my creativity? The choice is yours.
Wherever you’re at, share your work with others. This can happen by creating a special page on your Facebook or inviting friends into your studio.
Don’t be shy. You will find that whatever it is that you’re creating, you will find someone that can appreciate it.
5. Nurture Good Relationships
Surround yourself with a network of people that support and encourage you. Cut out the people that are negative and that see your dream as a big, unattainable joke.
You might not be able to choose your family, but you can choose your friends. Taking art classes and becoming a part of a creative community can also help.
I hope this helps!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, you can also take Art Marketing with me!
This blog was created to share my belief that the art-making process is a catalyst for transformation and personal empowerment. I am living proof.