Keep a Loved file

Now that you know how to appreciate your art collectors, it’s time to remind yourself that others appreciate you. Since you’re probably working by yourself most of the time, it’s easy to forgive that there’s a whole world out there waiting to love you and your art. Or maybe they already do love you and you have forgotten about them because you’re so busy in the studio.

Some time ago, my coach, Cynthia Morris, suggested I keep a file labeled "Loved." I’m going to suggest you do the same.

In the file, you will keep

  • Emails that say nice things about your work
  • Comments left on your blog that make you feel good (copy and paste into another document)
  • Documentation whenever someone says something nice to you at your opening, in your booth, or on the phone. Write it down before you forget about it.
  • Nice notes you receive in the mail.

Whenever you feel down . . . whenever someone isn’t too nice to you . . . pull out your Loved file and remember that there are a lot of people who appreciate you and what you do.

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9 comments to Keep a Loved file

  • When I had a corporate job, I used to do this. I put everything in a folder called, “warm fuzzies.”

  • I’ve done this for years through community=based organizing (where you often really really really need to remember that) through art – in fact I have a sticky note from a fellow blogger/artist on my printer right now. It’s a great idea – thanks for reminding us all about it!

  • I keep 2 folders, one for successes and one for rejections. The success folder is for the reasons you described and I refer to it often. There are times, however, when I need a reality check of another kind. A look at where I still need to go, the obstacles I still have to overcome. You might think this would be discouraging, but it isn’t. It makes me realize how resilient artists need to be. Often those rejection letters have been turned into success letters.

  • I’ve heard more and more people using this system and it does really work. Especially since, for some twisted reason, we’re wired to mentally delete all the great things people say and focus on the negative things! This is a way to have proof when you are going for something you feel is beyond your grasp. Thanks for reminding us of it, Alyson!

  • Deanna: I love “warm fuzzies.” That pretty much says it all. Peggi: I know a lot of artists keep the rejections file. Some have even made exhibits out of their rejection letters. I’m okay with the rejections file, but don’t keep around mean letters and email. Every so often I get a nasty email–perhaps unintentional, but mean just the same. I refuse to keep these around. Bad mojo associated with them. Cynthia: Yes! And it’s really neat to see it fill up. Before, I didn’t know what to do with these nice words. Now, I have a place for them and really do use them.

  • […] hard to ignore the .1% of people because they’re so loud and so negative. I keep my LOVED file to remind me of all the generous, loving people (the 99.9%) in my virtual […]

  • Ahh I am just reading this post now from your collection of top posts post for 2011 and I love this! I was just thinking the other day when I got an email from a customer how full my soul felt after reading it. It was short and sweet but it meant the world to me. I do tend to get caught up in worries and having something like this would really give me a big push to keep going and not give up with my art. What a lovely idea!

    • Lesley: I’m glad you found this old post. It’s very meaningful to hold tight to those words of praise. They prop us up when we’re down and wondering what the heck we’re doing.

  • Good idea about the virtual-world “love file”, but I’d suggest an additional, visual one:
    whether you’re a neatnik or a clutter-bug, make sure the things filling your physical world aren’t just cute (or even elegant) purchases, but relate to (or come from) a person who’s added positive energy to your life. A glance past my laptop screen shows me maps from the art-changing trip to Paris with Joni, the magic butterfly wand from Chaunda, a ceramic vase my gallery owner gave me for no reason but she enjoys me, a gifted drawing from favorite art professor – you get the idea!! We’re visual people, so keep the love in real sight, too.