Artists are dreamers.
Often we operate in two different worlds: the vibrant, colorful, mystical world inside of our heads and…well… the real world.
The real world isn’t as fun. Bills demand to be paid. Responsibilities need to be met. And people? Well, people aren’t always as supportive as we’d like them to be.
How often has a budding creator had their Artist Dream squashed by a thoughtless comment?
“Why don’t you get a real job?”
“Art is a hobby, not a career.”
“Art major? Ha, more like Starbucks barista!”
Yes, I’ve heard them all myself. In fact, it’s rare to find an artist who’s never had to deal with some kind of backlash or judgment on their career choice.
And maybe, to a degree, these people have a point.
Artists often struggle on the path to the Artist Dream. We sometimes take on multiple jobs to pay the bills. We might have to take commissions that make us cringe. We often have to wear many hats as we work to make our Artist Dream a reality.
I have never seen a job ad that said: Seeking full-time artist to inspire the world with their vision, $100K a year plus benefits.
So does that mean we should forget our Artist Dream away and give up? Au contraire!
Artists are creators. We must create a career just as we create a work of art.
You must claim your Artist Dream and protect it fiercely from those who seek to take it from you. You must silence the noise and opinions of the outside world and do the real work instead: the artwork.
If you’re struggling to make your Artist Dream real, here are 8 tips to guide you on your journey:
- Keep creating your art. Keep developing your voice as an artist. Have you heard of the 10,000 hour theory? It’s a numbers game, an investment of time and energy.
- Stop worrying about the outcome. Instead, enjoy the process of creating. Don’t worry about “becoming” an artist, BE an artist.
- Take the job you need to take in order to pay your bills. It’s helping you, not defining you. Take the pressure off your art, you don’t need your art to support you financially right away. You are here to support your art.
- Stop judging yourself against other artists that are further ahead. Instead compare your latest work against your first piece. Look how far you’ve come!
- Failure is essential on the road to success. Don’t wallow in it, learn from it. If you never fail, it means you have never tried to succeed.
- Find a mentor. Someone who has been in your shoes before. They will guide you to your next logical step toward fulfilling your Artist Dream.
- As your confidence builds, so will the number of positive comments you start to receive. The people in your life will start to take you seriously. Even snooty Aunt Sandra!
- Find people whose feedback you can trust. Remember art is subjective. What one person loathes, another will love. Find the people who “get” your work and ask their opinion.
- Present yourself professionally. After all, you’re on your way to becoming a professional artist. Make sure you have your marketing materials together; a website, a CV and Artist’s Statement.
- Never, ever give up. You have an Artist Dream for a reason. It was a meant to be a gift, not a curse. Nurture your Artist Dream, and watch how life begins to unfold in a magical way.
And if you’d like my help and guidance as you work to turn your Artist Dream into reality, consider joining The Working Artist Masterclass. I’ll teach you everything you need to know to wake up from your Artist Dream and bring it to life!
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