Taking Perfectly Imperfect Action

You know that I’m all about action.

My book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio, is broken up into actions rather than chapters.

While I’m a champion of moving forward, I also slow down to read, research, and learn, which is crucial because my superpower is teaching.

While I could easily bliss out on months of research, the fact is, at some point (not too late in the process), the learning phase must make room for the action phase. No matter how much you research, it doesn’t do you any good until you put that knowledge to work.

I think we stay in information-gathering mode rather than taking action for one of two reasons:

1. We’re afraid to make a mistake (failing), or …

2. We don’t have enough fire in the belly to get moving. We aren’t hungry enough.

Let’s look at these separately and try to move past them.

Embrace Mistakes

You can’t learn simply by reading books and taking classes. The ultimate test of your knowledge comes when you implement.

The only way to grow is to take what you’ve read/heard/seen and put it into action. When you do this, you find out how it applies to your specific situation.

Yes, you’re going to make mistakes. A lot of them. Mistake-making is part of the process.

But you won’t fail. You’ll only fail if

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Self-Portrait: What You Do and Who You Want to Be

How do your close friends describe you?

How does your family describe you?

How do your students describe you?

How do you describe yourself?

All of those descriptions might be true, but they might also mask your potential.

If you grip too tightly to the stories of who you think you are, you’ll never be open to what you can become. [Tweet this]

For example, you know me as someone who is a no-excuse-action-taking-don’t-stop-working kinda gal. I have never had a problem taking action.

My reputation so precedes me that often the first thing many people do upon meeting me is apologize for their lack of action.

It’s cool with me if I inspire the need for action in artists, but I have many other sides and so do you.

We get to make our own self-portraits.

Who Do You Want to Be?

A number of years ago, I began

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Aligning Actions with Words = Success

Do your actions align with your words?

What I mean is: if you say that you want a successful art career, are you doing what it takes? Or are you exerting the minimum effort without any thought of your future?

If you say you want one thing, but aren’t taking action to support that one thing, you are out of alignment. You’re confusing the Universe – probably because you have mixed feelings yourself.

If you proclaim that you want a successful art career, I have six questions to to ensure that your actions align with your dreams.

1. Do you maintain a regular studio practice?

I don’t mean to imply that you have to be in the studio from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day for six days a week. I’m just asking if the art is getting made.

Without the art, you are not an artist. Without the art, you have nothing to promote.

Without the art, a successful art career just ain’t happenin’.

2. Are you promoting your art consistently?

Or are you promoting your art only when you feel like it?

Consistent promotion doesn’t equal bombarding your list and followers with your art. It’s about having a schedule and sticking to it rather than marketing whenever it strikes your fancy.

If you’re a dabbler, you have the luxury of marketing whenever you want to.

If you want a successful art career, you have to get over the idea that

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Read Listen Watch Do Write Teach: How to Really Learn Something

©2008 Libby Hintz, Serenely Happy Energy Cells As Seen Under A Microscope. Stained glass, millefiori, glass, beads, chalcedony cabochons, and pearls, 16 x 16 inches. Used with permission.

Think you can take a few classes or attend a workshop and you’re suddenly a genius at business? Of course you don’t. Being an Art Biz Blog reader, you know better.There’s so much to learn, know, and do. Every step forward reveals even more options, and we only begin to understand the implications of an action after we have been implementing it consistently. Here’s how to immerse yourself and really learn how to promote your art effectively.

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Implementing Is Worlds Beyond Knowing

Artists' Books

I start my live workshops and online classes by asking participants to monitor their thoughts. Alarms should go off whenever they find themselves thinking “Yeah, I already know that.” These are dangerous words – primarily because they are often used in place of action.

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Are You Walking the Talk?

In his keynote at the World Domination Summit, Chris Brogan said almost in passing: It’s not who you say you are, it’s what you do. I have a few thoughts on how you might ensure that what you do is more important than who you say you are.

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Do Something — Anything

Gini Lawson, The Babysitters

The alternative to doing something is inaction. The alternative to marketing your art is waiting for something to happen and watching opportunities to pass by. I’m pretty sure you don’t want this.

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Assess the Risk

If you think about it, you take a risk getting out of bed every morning. You don’t know what the day holds for you. You take a risk signing up for a new class by an unknown teacher. You take a risk every time you pull out a fresh slab of clay or point your lens and snap a shot.

Life is full of risks since nothing is certain. But some things seem to be riskier than others–like leaving a day job to devote time to your art. When looking at opportunities, try a semi-scientific approach and assess the risk.

Charlotte Kruk, Creamy. Acrylic on canvas. ©The Artist

Get out your pen and paper and write whatever you’re mulling over at the top of the page. Below it, make two columns. (You’ve probably done this

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