Sometimes Artists just have to…Quit!

Sometimes artists just have to…quit!

That’s what I did. In fact, I didn’t paint or draw anything for over seven years.

What happened? I developed chronic anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Then I began painting again to help quiet my mind and loosen the stranglehold of anxiety.

I had no intention of showing my paintings to anyone, let alone any intention of selling them.

Eventually I made a commitment to build a profitable full time creative enterprise.

I defined a unique value proposition and a target market.

I found my muse, the press found me, and I made money.

But then two vital strategic partnerships failed.

And guess what? I had to quit, again!

After I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I reached out to my mentors and I developed a new business strategy and defined a new target market.

It turned out to be a fantastic decision. My average commission price soared and I enjoy this new market so much more.

So sometimes it actually pays to just, quit!

But then you’ve got to adjust your attitude and get back on the horse. I was reminded of this today.

On March 10 and 11th I’ll be teaching a free two-day seminar at Creative LIVE.  So sign up now!

I’m inviting a diverse group of artists who I’ve worked with to share their successes, failures, and some of the lessons they’ve learned.

I phoned one artist who I worked with early on. Unfortunately, her creative enterprise wasn’t doing so well.

Racked with debt and disappointment it seemed that she was not generating much, if any, profit and she was just out of gas.

I was concerned and I wanted to help her.

She’s smart and talented. I know that there is a market for her work but her strategy is still off. But not completely off.

So I offered to give her a mini-marketing makeover via Skype on Creative LIVE, free of charge.

What happened? She got very defensive.

My lessons learned? I failed to communicate and I was reminded that path to hell is often paved with good intentions.

I could have connected her immediately with some key prospects and helped her tune up her business strategy.

But she didn’t ask for my help and the one thing I can’t help with is reversing an artist’s negative attitude.

The moral of this story?

Failure is inevitable.

Your attitude determines your recovery rate from failure and the quality of your relationships.

Therefore, your attitude is the very best indicator of your future success and your happiness.

If you have really tried and it’s just not working, admit it. There’s no shame in that.

  • As long as you take a break.
  • Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul so that you can adjust your attitude.
  • Then get some help and get back at it.

Why? Because we can’t succeed alone.

Relationships equal revenue.



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  1. says

    Ann, I’ve been thinking about your new course all day. I teach on Mondays and Tuesdays, so can’t watch the March l0-ll program, but would be interested in learning more about purchasing a version that I can watch on my own time.

    I think having this kind of guidance/structure at this point would be extremely useful.

    Please keep me updated.



  2. says

    Dear Ann:
    Will it be possible to “sign in late, and leave early” for the March 10-11 webinar? I want to catch as much as I can, but may not be able to be there at the beginnings or endings given scheduling.

  3. says

    Ann, I am once again thrilled to be reading one of your artist communications and will be very much looking forward to your Creative Live event. We all sometimes become discouraged but like you stated, our attitude will affect whether we succeed or fail. Being an artist is not for the weak because it takes all we’ve got to be successful and we cannot really rely on others as in many other professions. It is refreshing to have witnessed how you so generously share your knowledge with others. I am one of those who are extremely grateful! Thanks so much for caring for others the way you do!

  4. says

    Dear Ann: That is very good. Just yesterday I was going over the history of my other business, “Fresh View Leather Restoration”…I was remembering how scared I was at the beginning, how many days I thought about packing it in…and how blessed I am nearly thirty years later, in all honesty the best in my field, at least in this geographical area. Now, as I build my fine art business (thank you for helping us define it as nothing less), I realized those same doubts can creep in. Bu they have been faced before, and overcome. Stepping away and stepping back into it is a part of the process. What a great process.

  5. says

    Thanks, Ann! Sometimes quitting is so much harding than going forward, even when going forward is the wrong thing to do at the time. I, too, have had to quit and restart. Often it is the wisest strategy!


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