When it comes to building an art career, I subscribe to Thomas Jefferson’s view of luck:
I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. ― Thomas Jefferson
In other words, don’t rely on luck to hand you a successful art career. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Every. Single. Day.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves how lucky we are. But every lucky gold coin has a flip side to be aware of.
You’re lucky you can express yourself freely through your art form. We take this for granted, but not everyone in the world can safely get away with doing so.
In many countries, artists are a dangerous lot because they refuse to go along with the status quo and have “outrageous” ideas about democracy and freedom of religion.
Above all, be grateful for freedom of expression.
On the flip side:
[Art] isn’t about being in the studio, it’s about being in the world. – Robert Irwin
I count myself lucky that I ended up at an art talk with Robert Irwin last April.
Irwin didn’t just get off the art school bus. He’s been in the ‘hood for a while now. He’s 86 and was the first artist to receive the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1984.
He’s well known for his garden designs, though he says he never gardened or even planted a plant before tackling them.
He didn’t know how the gardens were going to happen. He just knew it was something he wanted to do, so he educated himself through a lot of research.
Irwin is also an educator, though he doesn’t believe that you can teach art. Instead, the art educator’s
It’s a Memorial Day tradition at Art Biz Coach to offer a list of reminders for your art business.
This is a twist on that tradition.
With inspiration from the stage of Copyblogger’s Authority Rainmaker conference, I opened up my notes and share my biggest takeaways with you.
The thing to remember about live events, books, and even online classes is that not everything shared is going to apply to you. You’re either not ready to receive it, you’re past its relevance in your growth, or it doesn’t match your business model.
You have to look for the nuggets in these situations. I find that there is usually at least one thing from each talk, lesson, or chapter that is worth the investment.
Here are some of the highlights worth remembering.
If you’ve ever questioned the reason for making art, you’re not alone.
After a particularly rough time, you might catch yourself asking, “What’s the point?” You might even begin to see your work as frivolous.
With so much bad news being printed and broadcasted, it’s easy to overlook the bigger picture. These thoughts might enter your head:
Shouldn’t I be out there saving people?
Shouldn’t I be waging peace and protecting the environment?
These are noble pursuits, but are they why you, in all of your magnificence, were put on earth?
After being asked these questions by a number of students and clients, I thought of at least eight reasons why you should be making art.
You’re surely already thinking about and planning for the New Year.
But before you get too far into everything you want to do, take a moment to look back on what you accomplished in 2014. Time to celebrate!
©Victoria Eubanks, Red Sticks & Stones. Encaustic, 24 x 24 inches. Used with permission.
Prepare for your review by 1) setting aside time on your calendar for this process and 2) gathering any data you might need.
This might mean that your first step is updating your bookkeeping.
You also want to have your calendar handy so you can go through it month-by-month.
Expanding Your Profile
What did you do to enhance your professional reputation? How many people did you add to your mailing list? How many social media followers did you gain on the various platforms you use? Who
Many people become entrepreneurs because of the freedom it affords them. When you own your own business, you are free to set your own goals, get out of bed when you like, and control your brand.
Of course, most people who seek this path of independence have no idea what they’re getting into. They don’t realize how much harder it is to be a successful entrepreneur than to clock in for an 8-to-5 job.
©MG Ferguson, Summer Walk Home. Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches. Used with permission.
Still, on this (almost) Independence Day holiday in the U.S, we should celebrate our entrepreneurial freedom and all the things we are free to do.
May you be . . .
Free to explore new creative ideas. To not be tied to the past. Tradition is a lovely place to
In her book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” She encourages women, whether they are in the workplace or at home, to “lean in” to their potential rather than sitting back and accepting unfavorable situations. I’m asking you to speak up.
I had the joy of hearing Senga Nengudi talk about her art. Nengudi makes soft installations and sculptures from pantyhose. When we (about 100 of us) were getting ready to leave, Nengudi said she wanted to give us a gift to remember her by. In line with her work, which transforms a functional item that many women wear every day into art, she considered a gift that we could transform into something new.
For artists making art is life’s main goal, so what happens when we quit producing? When my 13-year-old dog died in September, I thought I’d hit the depths of sadness. Then my mother died in October, and I was suddenly sidelined by my own grief. The direct result of losing someone or something you love is profound grief. And that hollow, meaningless feeling that accompanies loss does not lead to art. Yet we know art is the answer.
My word for 2014 is clarity. I didn’t sit down and randomly select a word or force it. I paid attention to what’s going on in my life. I listened to what I was asking for. I have been feeling a little discombobulated and even unsure about how I can best serve you. In the last few months, I found myself repeatedly asking for clarity in specific situations.