Over the past 13 years as a professional artist I have achieved many great successes and continue to have amazing opportunities and exposure coming my way. Some people have reffered to me as an anomaly because I have carved out my success on my own with the support of my amazing and loyal fans, supportive friends and community groups and being blessed with REALLY good timing. And all this exposure has panned out for me without the need to be in galleries. In fact as of late I am being approcahed by many galleries because they know my art is a good sell for them, but I just don't have any extra pieces kicking around that I can send them. I have been in the game long enough now to know a number of little tricks and tips to be able to sell my art independently and often within a matter of hours after completion! In my next series of blog posts I'm going to share a number of things that I have learned over the years that have helped lead me to the success I have now. In hopes that it can help you achieve the success you are looking for as an artists as well.
The Artists lifestyle is an amazing one! Full of peaks and valleys, times of extreme stress and others of intense joy and purpose. If you are wanting to become a professional artist be prepared to lose yourself in the lifestyle and dedicate your life to this purpose. If you just want to become an artist to make lots of money and live a sort of 'rockstar' lifestyle, you should think twice about another career! For there will be long days (like 20hrs), times of feast or famine and a drive that never ceases to push you to create your next "best piece". If you don't have this drive and this dedication to the pursuit of your dreams then, unfortunately, you are shit out of luck on becoming a proffessional artist!
The number one most important step in becoming a great artist is to CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE to BE an Artist! As is every aspect of life if you go at it with a half assed attempt with one foot on the shore you will never be able to fully succeed because you haven't taken that leap of faith to go for the wild ride. You have to BELIEVE in yourself enough to take that leap of faith. No one will treat you as an artist until you announce to the universe that you ARE an artist. If you are simply a 'waiter that paints', or a 'busdriver who draws' and not commit to being an artist you will never fully get the benefits of the full experience. Until you can look yourself in the mirror and say to yourself "I AM AN ARTIST!" with conviction and believe it, you never will be. It is a scary step, but a neccessary one! The best way to learn how to swim is to jump off the dock and figure out out as you go!!
Once you are committed to the path of an artist you begin to tune into everything that you need to do to become successful. If you always have one finger in your back up plan then you are never fully going for it with 100% of your intention. 13 years ago I decided to no longer be a 'waiter who paints' and to truly BE and Artist. This was a very scary step and for the first while i was your stereotypical starving artist and was living off of rice and canned beans and the generosity of my friends who believed in me. I must say a HUGE thank you to all of the incredible people who have helped me along the way and offered support when I needed it most. I couldn't have done it without them!!!
One thing that being a creative person teaches you is how to take calculated risks and to think on the fly and be a maleable being that can adapt to any situation. To just dive into this commitment to BEING and artist without any sort back up plan or knowledge of how to do what it takes to be successful is a foolish endeavour. So getting all your ducks in a row and arming yourself with as much information as possible and establishing strong connections with mentors to help you along the way is essential. Hopefully the information I will share with you over the next while will help you out with this!
As Albert Einstein once said "Creativty is contageous, pass it on!". Creative pursuits in ones life are essential to personal growth and overall happiness. So seek out your inner artist and once you can look yourself in the mirror and say " I AM AN ARTIST!", you are ready for the next step!!