Artists can sabotage their success so many ways. Last week I outlined seven ways. This week I’ve outlined seven more ways.
Despite their level of experience, cultural background, or creative medium there are 14 ways that artists can consciously or unconsciously hold themselves back.
How do I know? I’ve been helping artists sell their art without feeling like sell-outs for over 12 years.
So I have witnessed predictable patterns of behavior in artists. Some patterns I recognize in my former self.
If you answer “yes” to any of these 14 questions, you have some work to do to rid yourself of limiting beliefs or destructive behaviors that will prevent you from being a successful artist.
When artists do not sell their art they feel really bad. The word cloud above was created from and survey of 1034 artists response to the question, “how do you feel when you don’t sell your art?”
8. Are you trying to be a successful artist all by yourself?
We don’t succeed alone. We all need help.
You can’t learn everything on your own just by scouring blog posts and with free downloads.
Even if you have the full support of friends and family, many artists don’t; you still need an active and relatable support network who get’s it.
I’m by nature an independent spirit. I get it.
I’ve even had students in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester who did not bother to avail themselves to Study Partners, but they are far less successful than their fellow students who do.
9. Are you jealous or competitive with other artists?
- Tell the truth. Do you secretly resent other artists for their success?
- Are you hanging out with people who resent you when you make progress?
- Why surround yourself with toxic and undermining influences?
The art establishment fuels competition among artists. Join The New Creative Class so you can stop competing with other artists and start collaborating.
10. Is your goal to “show” your art?
If you want to be successful, your goal must be to “sell” your art.
Think about it. You can show your art anytime. Stick it your refrigerator.
But if you are reading this, I think you want to “sell” your art. If you don’t want to sell your art, or you just don’t care, you have a great hobby, and this is not for you.
11. Are you a perfectionist?
Perfectionism kills creativity.
It makes you uptight and afraid to take risks.
I get it. I am a recovering perfectionist.
Perfectionism is a defense mechanism used to ward off criticism and failure, but it doesn’t work. It results in procrastination, and it is unrealistic and inefficient.
12. Do you identify with the idea of the “Starving Artist”?
If you have swallowed the starving and struggling artist myth, then you are screwed. If you have unwittingly developed a scarcity mentality, or worse you somehow regard this as a twisted ideal, then you are not going to thrive. There is no virtue in poverty.
13. Do you think that art should “speak for itself?”
That’s absurd! Would you purchase any product if you were not clear on how:
* the product benefits you?
* where to obtain it?
* what price to pay?
14. Do you have an experienced mentor?
Besides your support network, you need someone to help you avoid the roadblocks and guide you through shortcuts.
A successful mentor can save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.
Sit with these questions and your honest answers. The truth will set you free.
Extra credit. Share this post with other artists and see what they say or what they don’t.