Artists can sabotage their success so many 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?”
1. Are you “dreaming” of being a successful artist or are you “planning” to be successful?
If you are openly or secretly hoping that someone will discover you rather than taking full responsibility for your success, you’re not going to be a successful artist.
2. Are you not 100% confident in the pricing of your art?
If you’re not sure about the prices that you are charging for your art, how can not expect prospective customers to be confident about buying?
If a prospect gets a whiff of your uncertainty, they are not going to buy your art.
3. Do you discount your art?
If you are discounting then you are shooting yourself in the foot, and you are being unfair to everyone who has given you full price for your art. You’re also killing your brand and your reputation.
There is already enough confusion about the price of art. When you discount your art you create more confusion, and you erode confidence and trust.
The negative effects of discounting your art extend to “friends and family discounts.” If they are your friends and your family loves you, they won’t ask you for a discount. They will support your success.
4. Do you lack self-confidence?
At best you attach your self-worth to how much art you have sold.
At worst you are smug or snooty. This is just a manifestation of a deep desire for significance and a cover for insecurities.
5. Do you have a SMARTER goal?
If you don’t have a specific goal to sell your art, then that is your goal.
6. Are you working on your website without a clear idea who your target market is?
If you don’t have a one-page business plan and marketing plan and you have proven your value proposition to your target market, don’t bother with your website yet.
Would you frame a canvas that you had not yet painted?
7. Do you hope that if you just create a new and better body of work, then your art will somehow sell?
Hope is a beggar. If you want to be a successful artist then you will need more than just hope. You will need:
- a specific sales goal
- current plan to achieve it
- consistent action towards your goal
- and a mentor to guide you
- a support network
Stay tuned. Next week I’ll post the other seven questions to ask yourself.
In the meantime, 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.