The Truth About Being An Artist
I will be completely honest about the things that I find hard in my business and what other artists struggle with too. Knowing these will either comfort you if you experience them, or help you avoid them altogether by pre-planning now. The road to becoming an artist is a winding one, but it is hugely fulfilling and SO worth it.
Here are some of the things I have learnt so far:
- You're not going to master your technique overnight.
- Try not to get discouraged when your ability doesn't match your vision.
- It doesn't always get easier, but you get more resilient.
- There's never a perfect time to start. Start anyway.
- To be successful, you have to show up and do the work.
- True satisfaction with your work cannot be found through external validation.
- There's no 'right' way to be an artist.
- Nothing should stop you from living the life you want.
The hardest things I found in the beginning were:
- Inconsistent income (save up some money to support yourself in the early days).
- Staying motivated and disciplined (connect with other artists for support).
- Making a business plan and learning how to organise my finances (you are in the right place for this!)
Here are ten lessons that you can expect to learn in your first year of becoming a full-time artist.
1. Your work/life balance will be out of whack for a while.
2. Your mindset will shift from 'artist' to 'artist and business owner'.
3. You will see the benefit of surrounding yourself with advisors, mentors & peers.
4. Perfection is the enemy of progress.
5. Getting organised from the start saves you a lot of stress.
6. When you decide to turn your art into a career, you will begin to see your artwork as an asset in your business.
7. It’s not like what you see on Instagram.
8. You will (and should) say yes to all opportunities ... at first.
9. You can (and should) stay firm on your pricing.
10. You will regret not documenting and cataloging your artwork in the future, so start this as soon as possible.
- Reach out to other artists who are further ahead than you and ask them for advice. Most successful artists will be happy to help.
- Make a plan for yourself on how you will manage your art business. I try and spend a few hours on a Monday or Friday morning getting the admin side of things up-to-date.
- Approach your business and practice in a way a professional artist would. Imagine yourself as a hugely successful artist - what would they do?
- Let us support you and cheer you on!
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