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Becoming an artist

by Shane Lewis

6 June '19

The perspective of becoming an artist


Artistic endeavor is one of the most challenging paths only very creative and talented people shall take.



Typically, gallery openings feature endless booze and insufferable small talk, so it's pretty easy to believe the art world's stuffy reputation. But there is a lot more to the art world than meets the eye. Artists are not idea machines that create either masterpieces or total failures. Gallery owners are not rich and snooty—well, not all of them. In fact, a lot of work, passion and money go into creating and selling art, and it takes a whole team of people with a range of skills and personalities to make an artist successful.

In this article we shall cover the perspective of becoming an artist.

Not everyone is cut out to make it as an artist. It’s a tough niche to break into. In order to become a successful artist, you have to treat your artistic talents like a job, of course if you possess those talents.

There’s no exact recipe for success in the artistic niche, but if you want to become a successful artist you need to start with these things:

Find Your Passion and Master Your Art Form
Study Art & Take Art Courses as long as you are sure it won’t block your creativity
Grow Your Art Portfolio and Build You Social Profile & Web Presence
Full Time To Your Artistic Pursuits or leave it
Find An Art Mentor and Network With The Art Community
Market Yourself And Work With An Art Agent

If someone tells you that making it as an artist is easy, they’re lying to you. It’s hard work and not everyone is going to make it. We encourage you to follow your dreams but also be realistic. Artistic endeavor is one of the most challenging paths only very creative and talented people shall take.

In case you are ready for the life challenge, here is some advice that may help you on your way to the formation as an artist.

Don’t be a perfectionist.

Don’t be a perfectionist

Artists who obsess on the need to make everything perfect often are afraid of failure. But, the irony in this is that they then fail to ever put anything out there. The only path to growth is putting your work out to the public. The hard reality is that you will probably fail over the course of your art career (however you define that). You will not get grants, you will have a show that flops, you will have a great idea that just doesn’t materialize. The comforting part of this is that so will everyone else. Failure just means you are learning. Keep failing, because you will be learning your entire career.

Only compare yourself to yourself.

Only compare yourself to yourself

Here’s the thing about comparisons: you are always going to be better at some things than other people, and worse at other things. Dwelling on either isn’t going to get you anywhere. It can stifle your creativity as an emerging artist to compare yourself to someone who is twenty years into their career, and it can stunt your growth to compare your work to someone who is just starting out. Instead of focusing on how you stack up next to someone else, invest that energy into comparing your recent work with the work you made six months ago, a year ago and five years ago. Have you grown? And where do you want to see yourself six months, a year, and five years in the future?

Be aware of toxic relationships.

Be aware of toxic relationships

Artist and creator, Gheorghe Virtosu, points to these toxic relationships as holding artists back from reaching their potential. You have to be smart in choosing who to listen to and what advice to take. Spend it with those that push you to succeed, those that have succeeded as an artist and those that inspire you to do so. Not all advice is equal.

Be creative.

Be creative

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it.

Do not please everyone.

Do not please everyone

You might want everyone to like your work, but that’s not going to happen. And, in fact, it’s better that not everyone does like your work. It’s really scary putting yourself out there, especially when your work is so personal and then allowing the world to view it and judge it and critique it. Self-doubt definitely plays a role, but it can be empowering to know that not everyone is going to love your technique or subject, and that is ok. It means you are getting at something interesting and something different.

Be organized.

Be organized

Successful artists know that they have to be organized to get ahead. Oftentimes artists will try and wiggle out of this by saying something along the lines of “I’m an artist, not a business person”. This is an excuse for being too lazy to learn the basic skills necessary for running your art carrier. When you find your talent and your passion, you can become successful in doing what you love. It’s not always an easy process, but stay focused, positive, and determined and you can do it. Becoming a successful artist won’t happen overnight. Stick with it and continue creating amazing art and hopefully, you’ll be able to make it happen.

Here are some great quotes that shall serve as guidelines however you are the owner of your own actions:

Art that's easier to understand sells better.
Only prodigies create great works.
Not everybody can understand art.
Learning to appreciate and understand art might not be second nature, but it is not impossible if you are willing.
It takes patience, analysis, and an openness to learn to be able to understand some of the most complex and introspective pieces of art.
Everyone in the art world is nauseatingly pretentious.
The higher the price, the higher the quality of the art.
You can make it in the art world if your art is unique.

About author Shane Lewis was born 1962 in Dublin, UK. He studied at National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Educated in Ireland and the US. Lives in New York. Has also lived in UK. Modern Art. Contemporary Art. Build up collections, Institutions, Preservation, Research. E:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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