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Are there really specific habits of successful artists? (third in a series)

Some people quit when they are faced with adversity, but successful artists don’t.  They see road blocks or problems as a chance to grow and learn  Persistence is the difference between the successful artist and one who quits.  The quitter simply lost their focus.

In many instances, the only thing standing between you and success is YOU!  Some artists are afraid of success, because along with success comes responsibility.  We often hear people say,  “Wow, that person sure hit it big” or “Wow, he/she sure became successful overnight.”  Success doesn’t happen overnight, it requires hard work; often several years of it.  Most successful artists are driven to success.  They have a passion for their work and a passion for everything associated with being an artist.  Successful artists realize that passion must include marketing and developing selling skills; even though they’d sooner be creating.

So, what does it take to be a successful artist?  Is it pure talent?  Is it your marketing skills, or knowing the right people? It’s all of those and MORE.    Sculptor Mike Binkley answers it this way:  ” I approach my art as not only a calling but as a business…making and selling art IS A BUSINESS, and I have to approach it that way.  It means hard work and tenacity and fully accepting that there is no free lunch. I spend at least 5 days a week researching, carving stone  and marketing.  (sometimes more.)”

Successful artists must see themselves as business people.  More than ever in todays world, you are competing for your customers art expendatures. Sadly, most art schools don’t teach business to artists.  It’s something you have to learn on your own.  Always under promise and over deliver.  In short…exceed your customers’ expectations.

Building Relationships:   The art business is no different than any other business.  Building good relationships is essential.  A successful artist is a professional in all their dealings with the general public, collectors, gallery owners suppliers, AND OTHER ARTISTS –  this is most important/   They can all be valuable resources.   When someone has a bad experience with you, they will tell at least 10 people, and those 10 will tell a few more.  Hang out with people you consider successful and learn from them.

Accept Consructive Criticism:  It isn’t always fun to hear criticism, but you need to learn to deal with it.  Focus on the valid points and learn from your mistakes.  It’s designed to help you improve. An honest, sincere and accurate critique can be very important to your success.  A good critic will give constructive information, and point out what you did well and talk about flaws and areas you can improve.  I always like to get that feed-back on a piece I’m currently working on.

Things don’t always work as planned.  Mistakes will hapen, but focus on solutions-not failures or problems.  Learn from experience and experiment to improve.

Is art a top priority in your life?  Most successful artists wake up thinking of art, and sleep dreaming about it.    YOU HAVE THE POWER TO SUCCEED OR FAIL.  Until next post….DO ONE THING EACH DAY THAT HELPS YOU REACH YOUR GOALS.


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