When I heard about Architecture’s Odd Couple, the new bio about Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson, I couldn’t wait to read it.
I have a thang for architecture, and reading about the friendly rivalry between these two opposites was too appealing to pass up.
It’s my summer reading.
What’s on your list?
“Ambitious artists hire me because they want more recognition for their art and support as they get their art out of the studio and into the world.”
I strung together these words during a small group discussion at a conference. One of my Inner Circle members happened to be sitting next to me and flinched at the word choice: ambitious. (You should have seen her face!)
Then she challenged me on it. The word just didn’t sound right, she thought.
I said, “You’re ambitious. Don’t you think?” She thought a bit, and agreed with a little hesitation, “Yes, I probably am. It’s just the word I have problems with.”
Definitions of ambition include:
– A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
-A desire and determination to achieve success.
– An earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.
If you don’t see yourself in any of these definitions, you might want to rethink your path as an artist-entrepreneur (all successful artists are also entrepreneurs).
Without the desire, there’s no
As a student of art history, I love reading about communities of artists that evolved organically over the centuries. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the Cedar Tavern in the 1940s and 50s!
I believe that an artist’s work is better when there are other artists around to question, critique, challenge, and, yes, to praise.
Artists’ communities are all around. Among other spots, you’ll find artists’ communities in:
- Coffee shops and bars
- Classes and workshops
- Conferences and events
- Online (pick your favorite spot)
- Studio spaces
- Creative workspaces
Search for a group where you feel at home and nestle in. If you come up empty, you can always start your own.
The Value of Community
There are at least 5 key reasons to seek out and become an active part of an artists’ community.
Busy in the studio, busy at home, and busy in the office. Everyone is so busy that it’s a boring topic. I’ve even made it an important goal to never utter the words I’m so busy.
But lots of the busy-ness involves sitting on our butts. And when we’re not doing that, we might just be so involved in deadlines and commitments that we forget to eat.
None of this is good.
Today’s big question originated from one of my Inner Circle members: How do you take care of yourself?
Curious Monday is a weekly question that is sent only to subscribers.
I’m curious about how you live your life as an artist, how you juggle the demands on your time, and what you’re thinking about.
I hope you’ll read the responses from other artists.
Maybe you’ll get some fresh ideas or even feel a little more connected as a result.
Feel free to email me with suggestions for future Curious Monday questions.
Living the life as an artist is hard enough, but it’s made harder when those we’re close to don’t support us.
We need people around us who can support us emotionally – people who believe in our message to the world. It really stinks when friends and family don’t believe in our goals.
Have you lost friendships because people couldn’t support your life as an artist?
You might be leaving money on the table.
People who buy from you once – whether it’s a work of art or your teaching services – are more likely to buy from you again than people who have never bought from you.
It’s less effort to nurture relationships with people who already know, like, and trust you than to find new people to share your art with.
Take care of the people who have purchased from you. Show them you care now instead of contacting them only when you want something from them.
One of the biggest mistakes artist-entrepreneurs make is not following up with people who have given them money. Here’s a plan to awe your collectors – not just once, but over the course of your relationship.
If you sell art from your studio, rather than through a gallery, you have no excuses for not following up appropriately. You have the name and contact information of your collectors. Gallery artists envy you because that data isn’t usually shared with them.
Follow this plan to stay in touch with collectors.