When someone asks something of you, there are a couple of ways you can respond: Yes or No.
When you say yes to everything, you are probably saying no to yourself and many of your art goals. You are saying that what someone is asking or offering is more important than your agenda.
You can’t even do everything that’s on your list right now, so how do you ensure that your art business remains a priority when so many people are asking for your time?
Last week I sat in the audience and listened to husband-and-wife art critics Roberta Smith (New York Times) and Jerry Saltz (New York Magazine). They were in town at the invitation of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum. (The photo here was taken from my seat.)
What struck me most was not just how much art they see (a ton), but the wide variety of art that interests them. They go to show after show after show, and then they want to see more. They never tire of looking at art. Saltz confessed to looking for all-night galleries to satisfy their obsession.
You might be tempted to discount critics, but you would be wrong not to listen to people who have spent decades looking at artist after artist, exhibition after exhibition, and style after style.
Much of this dynamic duo’s conversation
I recently came across this quote from a student from 2005:
I have adopted the habit of NEVER leaving my studio dark! … Nothing positive EVER happens in the dark. Life comes from the light around it. Art is created to live and to be seen and felt, not to be hidden away in some dark studio (even overnight). Your attitude will change about your work environment when you enter the space and find “it” awake and waiting for your presence.
While I’m not a fan of wasting energy, I do appreciate the sentiment behind the practice of leaving on a light in the studio. (Perhaps the studio is next to a streetlight, and you could just open the shade. Just a possibility.)
But I’m getting off topic.
©Randy Gallegos, Exit Within 5. Oil and acrylic on canvas panel,
One of the most-used business metaphors is the ladder of success. It’s assumed that you start at the bottom and work your way to the top in a nice, progressive fashion. A few months ago, I woke up with the epiphany that this is not how it works.
Last summer I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark McGuinness, author of Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success. Originally recorded for my members in the Art Biz Incubator, I am able to share this interview now that my members have benefited from it for a number of months.
Emphasized at my mastermind meeting two weeks ago: The most successful people have a sense of urgency. I believed this to be true when I heard it, and then I started researching what “a sense of urgency” really means. It’s not really about hurrying.
If you were the boss and had you as an employee, would you be happy with your performance, or would you fire yourself? Let’s pretend for a moment that you are conducting a performance review of your work. Evaluate whether or not your expectations as an employer are being met by your performance as an employee.
I’ve been surprised at how difficult it can be for artists to introduce themselves as artists. “I’m an artist” doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue easily for some people. And yet it’s critical to be able to say it with confidence. It seems to be easier for people with art degrees to pronounce their profession to the world. This might be because there is a piece of paper that says you completed a curriculum to the satisfaction of an institution.
I recently wrote about the importance of embracing an abundant mindset in your marketing. Now let’s look at some ways that you can start feeling more abundant that will help you break out of that frugal mindset. How do others treat you? How do you treat yourself? How do you treat others?
I’ll just come right out and say it: I am tired of watching artists and arts organizations live on leftover scraps. In my 23 years of working with fine art, I have witnessed repeatedly how frugal the arts are. Not to the patrons with the big bank accounts, but to the artists, without whom their passionate interest would not exist. Frugal isn’t bad by itself. In fact, frugal can be good. But frugal becomes detrimental when it feeds the idea that we are not worthy of more.