7 Ways to Expedite Your Breakthrough

I hope you’ll agree that breakthroughs come in handy. Yes?

It’s pretty awesome when the perfect answer appears or that nagging problem is solved. Suddenly, the barrier is removed and you can make progress.

You can’t identify the moment that a breakthrough will happen, but you can prepare yourself for it to come.

Breakthroughs happen as a result of doing the work and being present. Here are 7 ways to accelerate the process.

1. Solve a problem.

Any problem! Art is about solving problems.

How can I balance the composition?

How can I make this with less expensive materials?

How can I convey this or that emotion?

Faith Ringgold was researching shipping options for her paintings when she realized that if she just painted on fabric, without the support, she could roll it up and easily ship it in a tube.

2. Challenge yourself.

There’s very little motivation in the daily grind: update Facebook, schedule a few tweets, send a newsletter, write a blog post, work in the studio. If you’re not careful, you can get stuck checking off menial tasks without doing something extraordinary for your art and for yourself.

Pick a color or

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How to Be More Successful and Lucky

Our first grade classroom photo was taken on St. Patrick’s Day. I was the only one who wasn’t decked out in green that day. Mom had just made me a beautiful red and white dress, and I guess that seemed like a better choice for such a formal photo.

Guess who got pinched that day? Guess who stood out in the photo?

Maybe this was an early hint of rebellion.

Or maybe I didn’t believe that I would really have bad luck if I didn’t wear green. After all, I had been pretty darned lucky to that point.

I was lucky to have been born into a healthy, loving family that always had plenty of food on the table. I was lucky to be in a safe school where parents cared about a decent education for their children – an education that eludes so much of the world’s population.

Later, I would be lucky to have a higher education and the continued support of my parents along the way.

What I did with that luck was up to me.

Luck had little to do with the success of my business, and it has little to do with the success of your art career regardless of whether you feel lucky, were born into luck, or are convinced you are unlucky.

I’m fond of quoting what our third president had to say about luck:

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

― Thomas Jefferson

When you work hard and take action toward your goals, you put yourself in a better position for luck to find you.

Why Some Artists Seem Luckier Than You

Have you ever observed that many artists whose work is on par with your own seem to have luck on their side? Chances are good that they worked for that luck.

I’ve included here a few of the reasons for their good fortune so you can emulate their success and duplicate their luck.

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How Do You Know If You're a Real Artist? (Curious Monday)

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You’re at a <party/meeting/wherever> and Smarty Pants asks you what you do.

I’m an artist, you say with confidence (of course).

Not missing a beat, Smarty Pants says, “Oh! My aunt is an artist. She does these …”

You restrain yourself – resisting the urge to stomp your feet and throw a tantrum while shouting, You don’t understand! I’m a REAL artist!

Okay, so what does that mean?

What is a real artist anyway? How do you know if you are one?

Please leave a comment with this post and share your experiences.

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Getting Back Into The Groove (Podcast)

Kelly Borsheim Sculpture

Any change in your routine — holidays, illness, vacations, family deaths or weddings — can bring a slump in your creative work.

Even when you’re completely into your art, there’s often an inertia that keeps you from rebooting and being productive.

Cynthia Morris and I recognize this in our clients and thought it would be juicy content for a podcast.

But first … full disclosure … we went to a yoga class. It was an experiment. What would it be like to record one podcast, go to yoga, and then try another after taking a break? Would we be able to get back into the groove?

It was a tall order and it didn’t quite work. I think you’ll see that we empathize with the topic when you listen to this podcast.

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Where and How Do You Retreat? (Curious Monday)

Sunset painting by Malcolm Dewey

It’s well proven that we need rest and relaxation for peak performance.

Artists need to get away or get out of their heads in order to be refreshed and newly inspired.

Enter the artist’s retreat.

You might have official getaways planned in the form of retreats. I often refer to Art Biz Breakthrough as a retreat because it allows you to get away from the daily grind and focus on business-building.

How do you get away from it all?

Do you have regular retreats planned? Where do you go? What do you see and do?

Do you plan weekly or monthly retreats?

What do those look like?

Please share in a comment below.

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The Best Idea for Unloading Unsold Art

Black Forest Fire painting

We received loads of good ideas for what to do with earlier artwork that is taking up emotional energy and inventory space.

Many of you wanted to donated it to charity, sell it at a steep discount, repurpose it, or destroy it. On top of this, a number of you said that if it’s not up to your standards, you should rework or destroy it rather than give it away. I agree.

As promised, I have selected a winner. Be sure to keep reading for the honorable mentions.

The Winner

©Carol A. McIntyre, Nature’s Promise. Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches.

The best idea for “how to get rid of earlier art” is from Carol McIntyre. Knowing

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The Role of Failure in Your Art Practice

Reclining Nude

Failure. It’s a loaded word. Lisa Call attended a panel discussion at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design that I couldn’t attend and thought this question had a lot of value. Deep Thought: Is failure in your art practice something to be embraced, managed, or forgotten?

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What Did You Learn From Your Art Teachers?

I knew I was an artist when we made cut-out bunnies in grade school because mine was the only bunny with a hula skirt on. I was fascinated with Hawaii at the time. Two other art teachers have also left a big impression on me.

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To Create Is To Destroy

I was taken by the subject line from photographer Beth Thompson in my inbox. The quote “To create is to destroy” is apparently taken from Keri Smith’s book, Wreck This Journal. Deep Thought Thursday: True?

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How to Act Like The CEO Of Your Art Business

You are the CEO of your art business. The CEO is the person at the top of a company’s hierarchy. The buck stops, ultimately, with the CEO. Start acting like the CEO of your art business with these 5 tips.

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