We all know artists who do incredible work, but fail to achieve their professional goals.
It’s tragic and feels unfair.
At the same time, I’ll bet you can also name several artists who enjoy great commercial success – but their work leaves you scratching your head and wondering why?
It would be better for all of us, artists and the culture alike, if only the best work was rewarded.
But the world doesn’t always operate like that – especially the art world.
The truth is that artists who focus their energies toward marketing and promotion usually achieve their professional goals.
It isn’t always the quality of the art that opens doors, but the fact that those artists know what doors to knock on and how to do the knocking.
But without spending energy toward a connection with creativity, with ideas, with technical excellence, the quality of the work will simply not be there.
And it’s this quality of the work that really drives artists.
As much as we may crave success, I can’t think of one artist who doesn’t really strive for greatness. No one wants to be considered a hack for their creative work, no matter how much money they make.
There’s a fine balance that artists must achieve between the doing nuts and bolts of the work, and connecting with the spark of the muse.
It’s a dance between execution and vision.
And it’s really, really difficult to do both well.
We all wish we had more time to devote to the work. We all fear we don’t put in enough time to promote the work.
The result is that we’re often exhausted and guilt-ridden.
And it’s not just you, every artist struggles with this.
But I’ve learned to accept that it is a dance. Sometimes the creativity gets to lead. Other times the business stuff keeps the beat.
What’s important to succeeding as an artist is that you don’t sacrifice one for the other. There must be a balance between the business and the creative.
And you know when you’re out of balance.
Are you focusing too much on making the work? Is the inventory starting to stockpile? Have you allowed your marketing efforts to languish?
Or have you been so involved in pushing the work that you’ve lost touch with your own creative spark? Has your connection with The Muse suffered?
No matter where you find yourself right now in the dance, I invite you to take the lead.
If you’re waiting for permission to promote your work, this is it. I am giving you that permission. Your work deserves it.
If you need encouragement to engage with your creativity on a deeper level, I’m cheering you on. Take that time for yourself because it is so vital.
Can you hear the music playing? Take the lead and start to dance.
Because life is playing your song.