Do you ever wonder why some artists are incredibly successful, despite the fact that they aren’t the most talented? And then you meet one of the most masterful oil painters since Leonardo da Vinci, and you find out he’s still living in his mother’s basement.
It seems as though there is a secret combination to finding success as an artist, and only a few lucky people figure out the code.
In our younger years Drew and I prayed that the secret code would land in our laps. We watched as Shepard Fairey and Wyland and Michael Godard traveled down the path of prosperity, and we would ask “how’d they do it?”
It was hard to find answers, because no one was talking. So we put our heads down and just kept moving forward. Before we knew it years had gone by. One day we looked up and saw that we, too, found our way to the cul de sac of accomplishment.
There are many combinations to unlock the secret to success for artists.
Usually it’s not one massive accomplishment that leads an artist down the path of victory, but rather a consistent series of little triumphs that blend together, coupled with basic principles that are practiced regularly.
Below is my list of the 10 Principles of Success for Artists. Over time, I will post a weekly article which will dive deeper into each principle. They are:
1.) PLAN YOUR ART CAREER – Decide what you want: You can’t get what you want without a concrete vision of what it is. Deciding what you want is the jumping off point. Once you do that, you are capable of creating the lifestyle of your choice.
2.) Have Integrity: A good reputation will get you more work, collectors and clients, and it comes from having integrity. Integrity means doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you will do it. Meet deadlines, respect your agreements, and make ethical decisions. Make your mother proud.
4.) Promote yourself Shamelessly: Marketing is how you announce to the world that you have something to contribute and it’s for sale. Tell everyone that you are an artist. Hand out business cards. Keep your website fresh, because it’s your window to the world. Document your work with photos and video. Ask the media to write about you.
5.) Keep the Passion: Being passionate about what you do will shine through you and your work. Think Big. Be a light for your ideas. Never give up. Don’t do things you don’t enjoy. Not for long, anyway.
6.) Control Your Copyrights and Use Legal Agreements: Be protective of your style and your name. Use common sense when going into legal agreements. Never sign anything that you don’t fully understand or agree with.
7.) Manage Your Money: If you aren’t making a profit, than what you’ve got is a hobby. THINK BEFORE GOING INTO DEBT TO SELL YOUR ART. You must be able to make money off of your craft to be a professional. This means charging the proper amount, handling your money well, and keeping track of expenses. Never give your work away – you hurt your collectors and your fellow artists when you do.
8.) Say “yes” to most everything: Be open to trying new mediums and new techniques. Don’t ever be “too busy” to give interviews or to be featured in a book or magazine. Consider all opportunities that come your way, even those that you aren’t sure of.
9.) Contribute to the Industry of Art: Network with other artists, help your fellow artists, buy from your favorite artists. Join us in the vision of making the profession of art become a lucrative career.
10.) Tenacity: Commit to your craft and don’t look back. Never give up. Realize that you can live the lifestyle that you dream of. It’s within your reach. Remember that you are making a contribution to the world, and it’s important.
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Thanks for listening…Maria xxoo