Are you comparing yourself to other artists? That’s a very dangerous and slippery slope.
It doesn’t help that artists live in a culture of comparison with constant critiques and competitions.
But I remembering Andy Warhol saying that the moment he became truly successful was the moment when he realized that he
just didn’t care.
But how do you get to that powerful place?
You must know your creative purpose. This has nothing to do with your art and everything to do with you. Who you are, what you stand for, and what you stand against.
That’s not something you’re going to delve into in art school and certainly not in business school.
But if you look at every famous artist in history, living and dead, they know who they are, what they stand for, and what they stand against.
Their purpose shaped their mission, the one problem that they believed is really worth solving.
Being an artist requires us to be deeply courageous and vulnerable.
We must reveal our soul’s truth among art snobs and critics, the worst turns out to be us.
We’re thought leaders who make people feel because we feel, deeply.
And we’re brave enough to express ourselves, making us popular or even dangerous.
It’s no wonder that artists are the very first to be executed or the first to be commissioned during a political revolution.
But when you know your truth, when you understand your why, you just don’t care.
Your primary concern is to fulfill your mission during the time you have left on the planet.
That means that you must trust your truth and your convictions and stop searching for approval or permission.
In the wise words of Russell Simmons the hip-hop mogul you must “Do You.”
An artist’s product is emotion. Their emotion.
I don’t sell paint stuck on canvas. A collector is actually purchasing the emotional response that’s ignited within them when they look at my painting that I felt into being.
If they feel me, they’ll buy my art. If they don’t, they won’t.
Art is truly in the eye of the beholder.
And that’s why I think art competitions are complete nonsense.
Why waist your time? For at best blue ribbon and a stipend or at worst your payment of an entry fee.
I’d much rather make art that I am proud of and make money selling it by providing value to my customers. Screw the art judges.
Even if the critics like your art, are they going to buy it?
If you want to make a living with your art the only validation that you need is the market’s.
And you don’t need everyone’s approval, only your target market’s.
One thousand people could yield you a very good living.
Just do the math. Take the price point of your average sale and multiply by 1000.
So don’t worry about what other artists or critics think of your work. They’re not going to buy your art anyway.
What’s your opinion on art criticism? Do we need people to sift through the no-talents?