It’s not surprising how many artists accept the idea of not being able to make a good living, considering it seems to be a common belief in society, reaching as far as community partners, supporters, friends and family.

The truth is, there are many financially successful artists today, working in different mediums, living in different parts of the world, and of all different ages and backgrounds.

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Let’s debunk a few common myths:
  • Not all artists scrape by to pay their bills
  • Not all artists are bad with money
  • Not all artists need to have a day job
  • Not all artists need to sell their work cheap, out of desperation to pay their bills
  • Not all artists need to compromise their artistic integrity by creating work that others deem ‘sell-able’

Could you imagine if everyone thought this way about electricians? Or dentists? It would discourage people from pursuing those jobs and we would be lacking in those areas. Every role or occupation in society has value… it all fills a need.

Please don’t accept or assume the starving artist idea is truth. It is not! (unless you make it your truth – more on that later).

People do things because society tells them to. We trust that society knows best. For example, many people go to college because society tells them this will get them a better job for more pay. Yet, how many graduates do you see not using their degree?

The point is, we must go after what we truly love, without influence from others. If making art is your calling, then do it. If you love and are fully engaged in what you do, opportunities will present themselves to you.

Ultimately, the beliefs of the masses don’t matter. You’re success in the arts is dependent on one thing, and one thing alone… YOU.

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And now let’s look at some possibilities:
  • Artists can make a great living
  • Contributing to the world through art-making is just as important as other vocations
  • Artists who are clear and consistent in their goals, often accomplish them
  • Artists who treat their practice with the respect and importance that they would give any other job, see progress and results over time
  • Artists who create authentically from their heart without being compromised by selling strategies often get better feedback and see more demand for their work

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4 Tips to Creating Your Successful Artist Reality

Rewrite Your Internal Thoughts

If you have accepted the starving artist idea as truth, it’s okay. There are ways to change your thoughts at any time. But you have to be willing, and you have to be consistent. Most of all, you have to BELIEVE your new thoughts. The key is switching your automated thoughts of lack to those of abundance. If a negative or self-defeating thought pops into your mind, quickly push it aside and replace with the opposite.

Research How to Sell Your Art Online

There are SO many options out there! The internet is an amazing place with an mind-blowing number of people on it at any given moment. Plus, we live in an age where most are comfortable shopping online.

So who says you can’t make your entire living online? Think outside of the box – galleries, art markets and festivals are not the only way to sell art.

From online art marketplaces to social media to Amazon to putting your art on everything from bags to hats to cellphone cases, the possibilities are limitless.

Start doing your research and find something that fits you and your work.

Clearly Define Your Goals

Write out a list of things you’d like to accomplish in your art practice. Then get more detailed with it. Place each of those goals onto a timeline for the next 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Picture yourself having completed your end goal, and how good it feels.

This may sounds like a lot of work, but if you are serious about reaching your goals, this gives you the best chance. It will keep you motivated, and allow you to check things off (and celebrate) as you accomplish them. Also, the clearer and more detailed your goals, the more likely you will get there.

Set a Schedule and Stick With It

As if you would any other job, dedicate uninterrupted time to your practice. Schedule it beforehand, and let everyone know that you are unavailable at that time. Take a lunch break and bathroom breaks like you would a regular job, but stay on track for your scheduled shift.

Schedule as many or as few shifts as you like, but remember the more time you dedicate, the sooner you will end up reaching all those exciting goals you just made.

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Debunk the Myths By Being An Example of Greatness

Ideas, words and opinions are powerful. They can either hold you back or set you free.

When you hear people talking about their opinions about artists, just observe. If an idea resonates and brings you joy, hold it close and repeat it often. Believe in it.

If an idea or opinion is negative and holds yourself or other artists back, still observe and then let it go. Just because someone else believes it, doesn’t mean you have to.

Choose your own reality. Make your own reality. And make it one that excites you!

Below are some books that I absolutely love, and that have helped change my mindset around abundance, having a healthy relationship with money, believing in oneself, and deserving and creating the life of my dreams.

To living your best life,

Theresa

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